Virtual L&D: How to move to an online model

74% of L&D professionals believe upskilling is the most important part of rebuilding our organizations

Virtual L&D: How to move to an online model

Learning and development has undergone seismic change thanks to the current COVID-19 crisis, with more and more employers looking to move to an online model.

In theory, moving to a virtual platform sounds easy – but in reality, it’s a complex and ongoing process.

According to LinkedIn, 74% of L&D professionals believe upskilling is the most important part of rebuilding our organizations – with a further 62% currently helping their people build skills internally.

But where to begin?

Well, according to Dr Melanie Peacock, associate professor of HR and winner of HRD’s Lifetime Achievement Award 2020, she advocates a particular model.

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“When moving to online offerings, the strategic lens and process for learning and development must continue to be in place,” she told HRD.

“The ADDIE model is useful:  Assessment, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation.  Breaking down the “assessment” means understanding what the purpose is at a person, task and organizational level. 

“Those charged with developing the programs must have the proper competencies and experience to do so. Return on investment, which involves cost and budgetary considerations are also critical.”

Measuring ROI on L&D is essential.

Oftentimes, organizations invest time and money into programs which are left neglected.

But if the crisis has taught us anything, it’s that employees know the value of L&D – if only to help safeguard their current roles.

Employees spent 130% more time learning in March and April of this year than they did in January and February – with 25% of employees upskilling in order to make themselves indispensable to their company.

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A clear indication that employers need to place more emphasis on internal development.

“In essence, moving to online learning is not simply taking what had been offered in-person and placing it online,” warned Dr Peacock.

“Complexities around motivation, learning abilities, or trainee readiness, instructors’ competencies, transferability of training and ability to reach well-defined outcomes must be part of any initiatives.”

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