New ways of learning

18th of November 2020 Article by Lynn Webster
New ways of learning

From the UK, ECJ’s Lynn Webster on how new ways of training have emerged during the pandemic.

During this strange year we have all experienced some major changes in both our personal as well as business life. We experienced Zoom fatigue; having to make more emotional effort to appear engaged and show interest; the mental exhaustion associated with sustained eye contact during an online video conference; having the constant vision on a screen of colleagues’ faces frozen in time without the benefit of real social interaction.

One key aspect is the way in which we have managed our learning and development. Education has changed dramatically with learning undertaken remotely and significant utilisation of the various digital platforms, and the business world is no exception. Many during ‘furlough’ or ‘working from home’ have had the opportunities and advantage of online and e-learning. The enforced lockdown allowed us to try things we were previously apprehensive of doing. Now perhaps everyone is more willing to embrace this medium and comfortable with the new normal format going forward.

Research suggests online learning typically requires 40-60 per cent less employee time than learning the same material in the traditional classroom setting and e-learning can increase retention rates by 25-65 per cent compared to eight to 10 per cent during face to face training. (Research Institute of America). Participants can learn up to five times more material without increasing time spent in direct delivery training.

Our own industry has seen substantial increases online with webinar overload covering a multitude of topics but also with the advantage over face to face sessions without the associated time and travel costs. From personal experience the current situation gave me the opportunity to deliver programmes to a global audience across Asia, Africa the Middle East and Europe from my home base.

For the attendees the bonus was sharing experience on a worldwide scale. Access is also more readily available as the participants do not need to incur travel and accommodation costs to attend. However, I do still miss the social interaction of being part of a group in person and the debate that comes with that.

How are the cleaning and facilities industries adapting to this? Over recent months we have seen the growth of online programmes and adapting of course materials from many of our industry colleagues with great success. Both ISSA and the BICSc have provided a summer of excellent learning opportunities which will no doubt continue as we remain in this ‘new normal’ situation.

The cancellation of exhibitions and conferences this year has created inevitable disruption to many of our manufacturers and supplier partners with repeated “it’s on” and “it’s off” scenarios to contend with. This has led to a new platform of virtual events. It is very sad that we will not have the opportunities to meet in person and gather together this year but these new platforms will enable those essential insights to innovation and developments we all need. Again, the fact there is no need to travel will hopefully bring a whole new audience.

 

Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited