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Published on:
March 21, 2022

All About Digital Learning: Benefits, Resources, Tips, and More

"Should we try digital learning?

Asks one of your employees, a pen contemplatively tapping their temple.

And why shouldn’t they? Ask that is, not tap a pen against their head.

Digital learning is education facilitated by technology like computers and software. It can improve productivity, engagement, and revenue. No wonder the digital learning market has grown by over 900% since the year 2000.

If you’re struggling with bored learners, knowledge retention, and employee turnover, digital learning may just be your holy grail.

Source

After all, 94% of employees would stay with their company longer if better training and learning opportunities were offered.

So get ready because we’re about to go on an informative adventure to teach you all you need to know about digital learning.

Hang on to your hats.

What is Digital Learning?

what is digital learning

A digital learning program is an education aided by technology, so the course is unrestrained by time, location, the pace of other students, and the teacher’s particular method.

Digital learning resources can be more personalized and liberal.

The process will include:

  1. The device you learn on, such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone
  2. Educational content is delivered to the device, usually via education software like an LMS
  3. The instructor – yes, you’ll still have a teacher. The tablet won’t do everything.

There are different models for digital learning training, but they all follow this rough formula. If you have a teacher, learning content, and some type of technological device, you have digital learning.

And the corporate world is way into digital learning:

1. Productivity

Employees say they learn 5 times more material

2. Speed

Courses can be completed 60% faster

3. ROI and revenue

42% of companies who use digital learning generate more income

4. Current usage

77% of US companies provide digital learning opportunities

5. Future adoption

93% of companies globally, plan to implement digital learning

6. Engagement

Employee engagement can increase by up to 18%

Types of Digital Learning Services

Digital learning is an umbrella term that covers all sorts of education assisted by technology.

Which means there’s a lot to choose from.

What is digital learning compared to blended learning or adaptive learning? Well, actually, It turns out that those are two different types of digital teaching and learning.

Adaptive Learning

This is the delivery of customized learning experiences to a learner to suit their unique, individual needs. A teacher can use tools like:

  • Feedback, ratings, and comments
  • Data and analytics
  • Learning paths
  • Assessments

And use them to create education that’s personalized to the learner. It isn’t bulk education from Costco.

Learning paths are particularly useful. They’re basically a structured roadmap for a learner to follow at their own pace, checking off checklists and completing milestones.

Read all about learning paths over here in our blog post on learning paths for learning management systems.

Gamification

Gamification is growing as one of the top ways to engage learners everywhere.

This can be anything from memory games and quizzes to leaderboards with points that award the winner with a free doughnut.

By utilizing the reward center of your brain and the natural human desire for competition, gamification motivates and captivates your learners, so they barely realize they’re learning.

We can’t be the only ones who didn’t realize they were learning Italian as they played Assassin’s Creed.

Okay, to the next point. Andiamo!

Blended Learning

Blended learning is a synchronous blend of traditional in-person learning and remote education via technology. Let’s whip up an imaginary scenario.

  1. Monday: Attend class
  2. Tuesday: Online test
  3. Wednesday: Attend class
  4. Thursday: Attend virtual class
  5. Friday: Attend class

It’s a structured path of brick-and-mortar and virtual learning. Some of the courses may even be digital learning in the classroom itself – like computers and laptops in a physical classroom.

Mobile Learning

Mobile learning includes education and training conducted by means of portable technology, like tablets and smartphones. As long as you have a mobile device, you can access learning content.

Completing assessments and quizzes on your smartphone at the coffee shop, isn’t that the epitome of learning digital?

In fact, 46% of learners say they dabble in mobile learning right before bed. Not only convenient, but sleep improves memory and knowledge retention from anywhere between 20 and 40%.

Benefits of Digital Learning

The benefits of learning digitally are through the roof. We could devote an entire blog post (or two) to just how much you can get out of a digital learning program.

But for now, we’ll settle for five solid points.

A galaxy of knowledge and resources

Sorry, did we get too 90s there? At least we didn’t use “radical”.

But hey, it’s true! A learner no longer has a reference book and a pocketful of Post-It notes for information anymore. They have the internet.

Having research at your fingertips improves speed, productivity, and performance. You don’t need to go to a library to research your topic (and then get stuck in the manga section, just us?).

You could have 5 different internet tabs open at once, not only researching subjects but fact-checking and sourcing them. All at the same time.

It’s pretty radical.

Personalized courses for education tailored to you

People aren’t clones. Why should education be?

When you aren’t going through the motions of traditional learning – buy a textbook, go to class, do a test, etc., etc. – you find yourself not only learning more but engaged and interested in the subject matter.

95% of employees say that the #1 eLearning motivator is the individual learning pace. And 58% of employees say they prefer self-paced learning versus traditional education.

Education personalized to speed, skills, and needs connect to the learner on a deeper level. They’re going to learn more as a result.

Flexibility

Going hand-in-hand with the last point, implementing technology in a course offers more learner flexibility.

Flexibility can mean more and better opportunities for:

  • Physically disabled learners
  • Mentally disabled learners
  • Learners with different schedules and lifestyles (like night owls)
  • Learners in different countries and time zones
  • Learners who speak foreign languages

Dona Sarkar, a chief engineer at Microsoft, cites learning technology as one of the main factors in overcoming her dyslexia and finding amazing success.

Source

For a more in-depth look at this topic, read our blog post Accessibility: eLearning for Everyone.

Tracking progress and measuring efficacy made easy

Assessing how effective your course is, has never been easier. It goes to figure that utilizing technology would help add up the numbers and give you solid data on how things are going.

Especially with learning management system software. Here are a few ways an LMS helps you measure progress:

LMS Features

How it helps

Course tracking and reporting

Monitor progress

Quizzes and assessments

Discover knowledge gaps

User-submitted ratings and comments

Evaluate lesson effectiveness

Assessments, in particular, allow you to keep an eye on learners and ensure everyone’s progressing along and nobody’s left behind.

You can learn about assessments in-depth in our blog post focused on online assessment for learning management systems.

Exciting, engaging courses

Traditional classes can sometimes be a little…well…

Source

Need we say more?

But when knowledge can be accessed through games and quizzes, awarding you points, badges, trophies, and little chime-y sounds…

You’ve got an engaging course on your hands.

Digital learning results in an 18% increase in employee engagement overall. This study showed that employees are not only more engaged but also have a boost in morale.

The ability to interact and affect our educational content is immediately more interesting to a learner’s mind. You can read more in our blog post on interactive content for learner engagement.

Disadvantages of Digital Learning

Everything has its issues. Its challenges.

I mean…even chocolate has disadvantages. It would, say, be bad to have it for dinner every night.

Although digital learning training has a few problems, here are its main troubles to address.

Digital learning requires strong self-motivation and killer time management skills

distraction

When you’re seated in a classroom, your attention has to be on what’s in front of you, and someone would definitely notice if you left.

But when the training is on your laptop in your living room, it’s way too easy to get distracted with cat videos. It’s way too easy to delay class to play with Fido.

The solution?

 

  1. Regular communication with the instructor
  2. Peer-to-peer activities and projects
  3. Clear due dates and goals
  4. Encourage self-motivation and self-starting behavior (obvious, we know)

Crackdown on these, and your course won’t only be teaching the subject matter, it’ll be teaching self-starting go-getter-ism.

Oral communication skills could lag behind

Through digital learning and teaching, writing and tech skills flourish – but what about verbal communication?

Sitting in your basement doing quizzes in your pajamas surely isn’t going to help your social skills.

However, video chats, virtual classrooms, and webinars all offer both instructor and learner alike the opportunity to speak and socialize, all via remote technology.

If oral skills are particularly critical, you can also implement blended learning into your course. That way, you’ll have entire sections of the program that are in-person.

Preventing cheaters is difficult

Yes, it’s sad but true. It isn’t as easy as catching the student who has answers written on their hand.

Who’s to stop a learner from hacking software to find answers? Or a student from having another person entirely fill out an assessment or complete a test?

Academic dishonesty, also called exam fraud or simply cheating, happens in a digital setting just like a traditional one.

But there are things you can do. A lot of learning management systems offer preventative measures, like plagiarism checkers, which provide reports of plagiarism percentages.

You can also have students complete tests during video calls or at designated locations.

Digital learning is limited to certain fields

Some things can’t be done by a computer. Some fields require hands-on training that technology just can’t substitute. 

We have the technology, but it can’t yet dissect a frog for us.

But both blended learning and hybrid learning programs can address this perfectly. Implementing in-person activities, projects, and classes into your digital learning school will give you ample opportunity to teach anything physical you need.

5 Things to Consider When Providing Digital Learning Training

considering digital learning

Having a little forethought and planning when diving into digital learning services is a great idea. Your program will lift off smoothly and cleanly when you address all question marks before execution.

Here are a couple of thoughts to ponder.

1. Ensure learners have ready access to devices

Confirming whether or not your employees actually have the technology they’ll require is an important step.

Will they require access to a computer or laptop? If they don’t have one, could they access one at a library or work?

How about WiFi? If your learners don’t have that at hand, it’ll be hard to complete online courses, and they may need to utilize public venues like coffee shops.

However, mobile learning won’t be much of an issue – 83% of the entire world has a smartphone.

2. Instructors have to know their way around eLearning methods

Your instructors have to be comfortable with webcams, LMS software, course authoring, online group-editable documents, and more.

They may know the subject like the back of their hand, but if they don’t know the medium they’re working with, it could be a disaster.

Take time to ensure your teachers know the ins and outs of devices and modern tools. It’ll be a life-saver.

3. Choose a reliable, first-rate LMS

Your program is going to lean heavily into digital learning services, and an LMS is going to be #1.

We can’t overstate the importance of a good learning management system. It’s going to be the backbone of your course – designing and delivering lessons, measuring progress and efficacy, communicating with your learners, and more.

You know we’re going to recommend Tovuti, but trust us, we do it with good reason. Why else would it have all these awards like “Highest User Adoption” from G2?

4. Make communication a priority

When you aren’t having regular, in-person classes like a traditional school, it’s important to make communication a priority.

Both instructor-to-learner and peer-to-peer communication is important, so try to establish:

  1. Method of communication
  2. Regularity of communication
  3. Variety of communication

How about monthly video chats and five different chat groups? Maybe weekly video chats, 10 different chat groups, and monthly emails.

It’s good to note that 86% of employees and executives cite a lack of effective collaboration and communication as the main causes of workplace failure.

5. Consider privacy and security

Your information won’t be under physical lock and key. No big steel safe with a swivel dial.

When all your private info is floating around in the cloud, it’s critical to consider online security. Look for an LMS with encrypted server assurance like TLS.

There’s a range of authentication methods a learning management system can offer, too, like OAuth, SAML, and SSO. These not only keep your system protected, but they also make it safe and simple for learners to log into your program.

Learn a bit more about authentication from this article: Single Sign-On eLearning Authentication.

Top 6 Digital Learning Systems in the Market

Okay, so here’s some more info on that “choose a reliable, first-rate LMS” point from earlier.

We’ve wrangled 6 of the best digital learning services out there just for you to peruse.

We’re so thoughtful.

1. Tovuti

Sure, Tovuti may seem like an obvious choice when you're on tovutilms.com, but it’s also an obvious choice because it’s an efficient, cost-effective digital learning program.

Tovuti is the fastest, easiest way to offer engaging courses through a built-in course authoring tool and delivery system. Plus, it has top-notch security, seamless integrations, and fast implementation.

Companies like Summit Mortgage Corporation, SafetyNet, and the Saint Louis Science Center have adopted Tovuti and found tremendous success.

2. 360Learning

360Learning is an LMS with a focus on collaborative learning, which is learning in groups of two or more. Everyone’s involved when courses can be user-created. And learners are also encouraged to leave instant feedback to better develop future lessons.

Mitsubishi Electric, Dannon, and Haribo are using 360Learning and loving it.

And who could argue with a gummy bear?

3. Docebo

Most people who’ve heard the term “LMS” have also heard “Docebo”. It’s a pretty popular platform.

It features course authoring tools, learning analytics, smooth workflow, and more. It has a suite of learning products, containing customer training, partner training, and employee training.

It won the Best LMS Software award from Digital.com in 2020 and has been adopted by companies such as Brompton, Heineken, and ZipRecruiter.

4. TalentLMS

With an easy interface and access from any device, TalentLMS makes it tough to find excuses not to learn.

They have highly customizable white-labeling, quick implementation, and an extremely user-friendly admin system. They offer simple onboarding, customer training, compliance training, and more.

Many teams have found success training with TalentLMS, like Philips, Takeaway.com, and Lindt. They say that it’s highly preferable to just send out bulk training emails.

5. SAP Litmos

From sales training to compliance training to support training, SAP Litmos promises a smooth learning experience. 

Tight security, quick implementation, and universal accessibility are all things you can expect. It has a great course authoring tool, plus premade courses, so you can jump right in if you're strapped for time.

It’s been used by many teams, but the Girl Scouts of San Diego reported a 99% confidence rate among volunteers who complete their new leader course. In addition to volunteers, they also used it for training internal staff.

6. Absorb LMS

Designed to inspire learning and boost work productivity, AbsorbLMS is a solid platform that’s easy to use and easy to scale.

It features both an intuitive administrator and student view in the software, plus it has great data-driven features to improve courses, such as smart reporting, analytics, and performance reviews.

Not to mention, Absorb was named a Strong Performer in the Forrester Wave: Learning Management Systems And Experience Platforms, Q4 2021.

Not too shabby!

Digital Learning Resources

digital learning resources

So what is digital learning without some digital learning resources?

There are nearly limitless methods and means when it comes to digital learning training, but here are a few to get you started.

Quizzes and games

One of the most engaging parts of learning digitally.

Quizzes come in so many flavors: fill-in-the-blank, true or false, drag and drop the answer. Plus, you can build quizzes directly into PowerPoint presentations and videos. 

And education can take the form of games, like memory games, and be gamified with certificates, badges, and leaderboards. And 72% of employees say that gamification inspires them to work harder at a task.

Microlearning

Wouldn’t it be great to learn whenever you had time? Like waiting in line at the bank or when your pasta boils?

Welcome to microlearning. Little bite-sized bits of knowledge can come in the form of:

  • Videos
  • PDF
  • Slide decks
  • Simulations
  • Mini quizzes
  • Infographics

Microlearning not only improves knowledge retention, but it can boost engagement to more than 50%.

Interactive videos and slideshows

Possibly one of the first forms of digital learning, videos and slideshows sure have come a long way from projectors and VCRs.

An LMS allows you to add quizzes right on top of presentations and videos, like true/false statements or multiple-choice questions. This not only enhances learner engagement but ensures everyone’s paying attention.

No one can be scrolling Instagram on their phone if they have to click to continue.

E-books and manuals

The bread and butter of traditional education made digital.

Documents, handbooks, and manuals are all easier to store, distribute, and share when virtual. Every employee can read the same textbook at the same time without the need for buying and printing multiple copies.

And Tovuti allows you to bring your own content so you can effortlessly add your own training handbooks and technical documentation.

Media library

As if the internet wasn’t already a vast expanse of endless knowledge, an LMS has a media library of its own filled with videos, PDFs, handbooks, and more.

And it’s all in one convenient hub that anybody can access.

Not to mention the pre-created course content. Learn all about that in our article Content Library: Curated Content.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are examples of digital learning?

What is digital learning but education aided by technology? So this can include mobile learning, eLearning at home through software, or students on laptops for digital learning in the classroom.

There are so many options. Go ahead and get creative.

What are digital learners?

This term can be applied to two main types of people.

  1. Anyone who uses digital means to learn
  2. A learner is who is especially excited and motivated to learn through technology

Some people will say #2 is a specific generation (we’re lookin’ at you, Zoomers), but a digital learner can be any age as long as they’re thrilled by videos, games, and quizzes and always seeking new, modern ways to learn.

Why is digital learning important for employees?

Digital learning training can be beneficial in many ways, from encouraging self-directed learning skills to boosting technological comprehension (vital in this day and age).

But it also reaches out and allows education to be broader, accessing a more diverse pool of learners.

It’s not only important for students – it’s preferred. 52% of learners prefer digital learning to traditional education.

Conclusion

adapting to digital learning

Digital teaching and learning can be an amazing method to adapt.

It boosts engagement, it’s accessible to every learner regardless of position or ability, and it’s simple to maintain and monitor progression.

Whether you’re training new hires or upskilling long-term employees – education is seeing big advantages by applying gamification, microlearning, quizzes, and everything else an LMS can offer.

An LMS like Tovuti. Why not watch our demo so you can put that digital learning program into motion?

Your employees will thank you.

Author:
Tyson Chaplin

Tyson Chaplin earned his Master of Educational Technology degree from Boise State University in 2014. He also earned a graduate certificate in Technology Integration and holds teaching certificates in online teaching, special education, and history.

Tyson is an Idaho native who is passionate about technology and how it can help all people learn and better themselves. He has worked in both public and private sectors. Tyson enjoys cooking and traveling with his wife, Malia, and restores vintage video game systems in his free time.

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