Learning software: engaging and effective
To keep up with changing business demands, organizations need to get their employees to acquire new knowledge and learn new skills quickly and efficiently. Thus, the L&D function of any organization plays a vital role in the ongoing success of the organization. The primary responsibility of L&D managers is to ensure that the right learning material and learning resources are available to the right resource at the right time and to ensure that employees are skilled to the required level. We can therefore divide their duties into three broad areas:
- Creating learning content
- Providing learning content
- Tracking user engagement and learning effectiveness
Software for learning and development
Developments in the software industry have made all three activities much easier to manage well. Learning through electronic means, commonly known as eLearning, is nothing short of a revolution. The rise of eLearning is driven by the rise of software technology as well as hardware technology. In this article, we will focus on how software has revolutionized these areas. Let’s focus on these areas one by one.
Creating learning content
There was a time when reading printed books or attending lectures was the only standard way of learning. The rise of eLearning has given us many more options. Students can now access course materials in electronic form from websites or other sources. In fact, creating learning materials has become a multi-hundred billion dollar industry. The development of software tools has given us innovative ways of creating learning materials. Some of these include:
1. Multimedia tools
Advances in multimedia tools such as graphics processing tools, audio and video processing tools, animation tools, etc. have given us the means to create engaging learning material. This helps not only increase visual appeal, but also increase student engagement, motivation and learning retention. In addition, these multimedia tools help reduce the time it takes to create media, thereby helping to reduce production costs and “go-to” time.
2. AR/VR tools
AR/VR has revolutionized learning complex ideas, learning where physical risks are involved, and hands-on learning. This also allows the student to experiment in critical scenarios without fear. For example, mechanical engineers can use a VR-based engine model and can experiment with different configurations without the risk of damaging a real, heavy-duty engine.
3. 3D modeling
3D models give us a great way to teach about complex design, whether it’s the construction of an organ or a rocket engine or the construction of a building.
4. Creation tools
Authoring tools are perhaps the most revolutionary software contribution to eLearning development. Authoring tools allow us to create modules in an easy and cost-effective way. They have built-in features that can be used to quickly create engaging learning material.
5. Custom widgets
While content authoring tools are great for rapid development, sometimes a special feature is needed that these tools don’t have. In such cases, software developers again come to our rescue and create widgets that can be plugged into the main module to improve its functionality. These widgets greatly enhance the learning experience without breaking the budget.
Provision of teaching material
The delivery of learning material is mostly done using software called a Learning Management System or LMS. The primary function of an LMS is to host learning material and allow users to access the material. It helps organizations manage, deliver and track their learning materials.
Modern LMSs also include virtual classrooms, allowing traditional and modern teaching methods to be combined. Another very important benefit of LMS software is the gamification of learning. Gamification is the use of game design elements such as points, badges and leaderboards.
Tracking user engagement and learning effectiveness
A key feature of an LMS is tracking user activity. Everything a user does after logging into the LMS is tracked, providing significant insight into learning behavior. This enables L&D managers to make informed decisions.
Another major benefit of the software is the ability to personalize learning. Modern LMS software can track students and allow them to learn at their own pace and in their own way. They can promote customized learning modules and design learning pathways based on individual skills and learning gaps.
Editor’s note: Browse our directory to find, select and compare the eLearning industry’s best LMS software.