Is online education the new normal? It is at least an opportunity.
We are hopeful that 2021 will allow us to hug our friends and family again, and also to spend time with simulations participants and education professionals we work with – nothing really replaces the coffee break during which we discuss about the results of such or such team, and how we would refine our coaching to help them out of a tricky situation.
A disruptive year for education.
Anyone can tell 2020 has been tough, both personally and professionally. We are thinking in particular of education professionals and students, corporate trainers and employees – 2020 has disrupted everyone’s experience of learning, and of teaching.
Most students haven’t set foot in a classroom for the last few months, which has tested their ability to cope with the sometimes limited tech-savviness of their institution, while educators have struggled moving to online education, without necessarily being aware of the tools that could help them improve their teaching experience – and keep their students engaged.
This is why we developed our guide to virtual transitioning, available for free here.
Online education can be an opportunity to become more competitive
However, we at MEGA Learning find inspiration in what worked well, technologies that helped circumvent the shortcomings of this year, and organizations that helped fast-forward a trend towards online education that was anyway meant to happen sooner than later.
Leading universities quickly turned to innovative solutions such as Microsoft Teams or ZOOM, to not only move their class online, but also to allow for more intimate, more focused learning environments, thanks to breakout rooms for example. Session recordings also became a gold standard, to allow students from all around the world to stay on board, even when they could not attend classes. For the most creative of us, a window of opportunity has been opened, with tools such as Mural or Miro allowing for more interactive content than a regular, standardized, and scripted conference call.
On the corporate side, many organizations chose not to cut their HRD budget, knowing that investing on human capital is always the right moment, especially in the middle of a crisis, where entrepreneurship and sound business acumen are the most needed. Regular day-long executive development has been shortened to a few hours of more concise, better refined, more relevant content that brings concrete tips to employees for their day-to-day activity in a remote-first environment.
Online means more compact formats, focused on the essentials
Crises teach us to focus on the essential. Seeing organizations and institutions question whether their approach is human-centric enough, or whether the skills they teach lead to tangible results is a sign we are going in the right direction.
Concentration is more limited when sitting for hours in front of a computer. That’s why moving programs online has led organizations to tailor programs that are less time-consuming and that focus more on the essential skills that need to be transferred.
Yet, your organization does not need to reinvent itself from scratch, it needs to adapt to change, to allow for more innovative ways of connecting and learning, if it wants to remain a leader in the industry or make its way to the top, while keeping your human capital, or students, on the bandwagon.
Business simulations can be easily leveraged in online environments
Our experience of 2020 is that our business simulations have played a major role in comforting our existing and new clients into being able to sustain the level of quality they want to deliver, in class or in their training. Among others, our successful partnership with Harvard Business Publishing has reinforced our belief that game-based learning is not an alternative: it is an extremely valuable complement to business classes and in-company management trainings:
- Playing is the most engaging activity you can offer participants or students: it is not only fun, it is also a binding experience that helps create a team spirit
- Our premium content leads participants to ask themselves the right questions regarding how to run a business, and tap into the power of learning by doing
- Simulations combine an outside-in and inside-out approach, requiring participants to look at themselves, question their actions in light of what others do, and vice versa. They learn from their own experience and that of others.
- It is so easy to implement our simulations online: we have developed educators resources and FAQ that support you in your implementation, and we personally make sure that you get the ins and outs of how to facilitate.
- It is not limited to a number of participants, or to a time period: we play with groups of 12 to 1,000 participants, over periods of 1 day to 3 months!
We think the best way for you to know what we are talking about, is to try it by yourself. We can then discuss what your needs are, answer the questions you have and offer solutions to your challenges.
But first, enjoy this end of the year with your loved ones, spend some quality time and reflect on what direction you want to give to your organization or institution in the year to come, and what place innovative holds in that scheme.
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