Education and training providers must embrace technology-enhanced learning solutions or risk losing out to more innovative providers, awarding organisation YMCA Awards has warned today.
A newly released report from the international awarding organisation reveals that increasing numbers of students now expect access to on-demand learning, enabling them to learn at a time and place suited to them.
The report surveyed students on their study routines and revealed that 68% of elearning is done outside of traditional 9am – 4pm learning hours using digital resources, and 16% is undertaken on a weekend. In addition, almost half of students said they had used a Smartphone in their studies over the past 12 months.
Experts at YMCA Awards are now warning that as students continue to take advantage of the proliferation of technology and flexibility of digital learning, education and training providers who fail to respond to this changing marketplace could lose out to competition that choose to embrace it.
Commenting on the findings, Rob May, Director of YMCA Awards, said: “It is clear from our research that providers are still at various points in their digital learning journey; there’s still work to be done to make strides towards industry wide adoption. One thing we can say for sure is that students are really benefitting from the flexibility that digital learning offers.”
Bob Harrison, architect of the FELTAG report supported the findings saying: “It’s not about technology, it’s about thinking differently about learning and assessment. How learners expect to receive training mirrors how our expectations as consumers have changed in recent years: increasingly, we believe that the world should fit around our timetable, and not the other way around.”
The report also future gazed into what might be next for the sector and suggested that personalisation and user experience (UX) will be key focuses for digital learning developers moving forward, both holding the potential to improve attitudes towards digital learning.