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Digital Learning: How Digital Transformation Creates the New Learning Model

In the midst of a digital transformation, the labour market and the business world are undergoing many changes. Businesses are evolving faster and faster, practices change and require people to cultivate their employability by continuously developing both their business skills and their transversal skills. This new paradigm of lifelong learning has a significant impact on the vocational training ecosystem. With digital learning, the players in the sector intend to take advantage of the digital tools to lead agilely the conduct of the change of the formation in the sphere of the company.

Evolution of the cognitive sciences: a considerable contribution to rethinking our learning

With the industrial revolution and then the digital revolution, many companies have regularly questioned their modes of transmission of knowledge in order to adapt them to their cultural (technical and technological environment, uses …) and economic (labor market) changes. With technical and scientific advances, the cognitive sciences have taken an increasingly important place in these reflections.

Learning to learn by decrypting our cognitive mechanisms

Continuous improvement in brain imaging techniques and advances in life sciences (genetics, neurobiology, physiology, cognitive and behavioral sciences, etc.) have led to a better understanding of certain cognitive mechanisms such as reading, concentration or memorization . The discoveries of specialists in these fields have gradually led to a clarification of how the brain learns and forgets throughout life, thus providing man with the keys to learning better!

Leaving the vertical model of transmission of knowledge

This relationship between cognitive science and learning has led to the emergence of a number of pedagogical approaches aimed at optimizing our ways of learning in order to adapt them to the evolutions of our societies. They have led the training actors to rethink the vertical model of knowledge transmission and to shake up the roles of the teacher and the learners. In a context where knowledge is at a click and social networks are part of our everyday life, everyone becomes both a learner and a pedagogue.

Learning recovers its social essence and nourishes the collaborative and contributory values ​​of the web to make its moult. Time for collaborative learning values informal exchanges between peers and oriented towards the acquisition of operational skills that can be mobilized on the ground. As a result, the teacher’s posture takes a 180-degree turn, and becomes a facilitator, a guide capable of providing the methodological and motivational elements that will allow each learner to construct his own learning path.

The aim of the pedagogue is no longer to deliver knowledge, but to provide the keys enabling everyone to appropriate it to convert it into practical skills and knowledge. Some approaches have been particularly adapted to this model of sharing and collective construction of knowledge.

While digital offers the opportunity for education and training actors to develop new learning modalities, it must be borne in mind that it will be necessary to accompany the new digital practices in order to adapt them to our capacities and cognitive limitations.

Adapt our learning to our digital environment

By enabling us to illuminate the impact of digital technologies on our learning, cognitive science is one of the keys that will enable digital learning to offer a new, more relevant training offer. Modes of reading, attention ecology, memorization methods, information management…

Digital Learning actors must support the development of new uses that allow each learner, regardless of his/her “digital culture”, to orient and make the most of new digital tools. The development of this digital culture of learning also involves the introduction of new digital tools, serving both the new pedagogical approaches and the new requirements of the learners.

“Learner centric” and “adaptive learning” approach: Place the learner on the levers of his / her learning experience

Cognitive sciences are not the only ones that have had an influence on the development of new forms of knowledge transmission. The worlds of cinema, the Web and video games have also made their mark on digital learning.

By digitizing, the training has appropriated certain codes that have proved themselves in the digital domain, in particular the notion of user experience, storytelling, the so-called “user centric” approach or even personal recommendation mechanisms … The latter allowed to address the questions of the place of the emotions in the learning (motivation, commitment, completeness …) as well as the new requirements of mobility, flexibility and personalization of learners to whom traditional face-to-face training had difficulty responding.

Learning with fun, the secrets of gamified learning

In learning gamified, the learner is in control of his learning experience . It has a global vision of its course (objectives, steps …) and its progress thanks to the rewards it has collected by validating a certain number of evaluation steps. To cultivate the commitment and the surpassing of self, each learner can measure himself to the others by means of challenges or by comparing the scores and badges obtained. But collaboration and exchange, especially exploited in network games, are also encouraged and rewarded: they allow conferring a social and collaborative dimension to the learning.

Another essential principle in the world of video games and cinema: the transmedia storytelling . By exploiting different media and different temporalities, it creates the event by deploying an engaging communication strategy before, during and after training. This ensures that the learning system is meaningful by linking the objectives of the training, the operational gains and the strategic stakes of the company. Transmedia storytelling is also an important lever for extending learning and stimulating the development of learners’ communities.

The latest trend in the game world, immersive learning exploits Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) to offer a learning experience in conditions close to reality. The learner is projected into his or her work environment and confronted with a situation that involves solving a problem or performing a complex task. This allows him to acquire and develop practical skills almost in the workplace. More applied, this approach promotes and reinforces the memorisation of the skills discussed. This method is also particularly useful for field training: it simulates realistic working conditions and environments that are difficult to reproduce in a classroom (firefighters, doctors, nuclear workers, pilots, etc.) .

Learning anywhere and anytime: learning becomes mobile

Relatively recent in the digital learning landscape, mobile learning has quickly become a must! Driven by the massive use of smartphones, the development of 4G or BYOD, this learning modality attracts us through its natural integration with our practices and the flexibility it provides for learning. It responds perfectly to the new expectations of workers who have become more mobile and have less time to learn.

Mobile learning enables students to integrate learning into the continuity of their professional activity, by consulting content from anywhere and at any time. It promotes the development of practical skills especially with the notion of just-in-time learning. The reduced costs of developing and updating learning content also make it attractive for companies.

Each has its own learning path and its educational cocktail

Digital learning does not escape Big Data! The collection and analysis of learning data is at the heart of the evaluation and personalization processes of digital learning. By combining the reported data (user profile) and observed data (navigation data, results with evaluations …), adoptive learning allows each learner to propose a learning path adapted to his objectives, level (skills, gaps, etc.) and the time available. With the rapid development of bots and more generally AI, learning will probably be more and more interactive, personalized and accompanied by the machine.

With the multiplication of pedagogical methods developed in the context of digital learning, the Blended learning approach is certainly the approach that makes the most sense in the process of transforming the vocational training offer. To the players in the digital learning ecosystem to co-build, with the companies they accompany, the pedagogical cocktail most adapted to their cultures, their needs and their strategic objectives to make digital learning a real lever of performance!

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