E-learning is a trending word. However, this obsolete term doesn’t really do modern digital learning justice. At Learnifier, we talk about exponential learning instead. In this article, we explain the difference and how your organization can benefit greatly from exponential learning.
The term e-learning was first introduced at universities around 1999. For those working with digital solutions today, it associates to a very bleak, early version of computer-based courses, lectures and knowledge sharing. Back in the days, interactive distance education was of course revolutionary. But modern digital solutions have come such a long way that we’re far beyond this simple notion of “e-learning” at this point.
Also, there has been a significant transformation from the traditional learning environments into a much more efficient one: our phones. Now that digital interaction is a natural part of daily life – and not least our work life – a new and more accurate term than e-learning is called for. That term is exponential learning.
What does exponential learning mean?
A quick Google search will tell you that exponential learning is “the process of energized learning that leads to a desire to learn even more about a given subject.” It is also defined as "large initial effort leading to small progress at first, only to suddenly accelerate so new things can be learned effortlessly."
As a developer of a dynamic digital learning tool, we feel closest to the first of the two definitions – even if both are accurate. Modern technology enables you to excite, engage, energize and evolve your learners much faster and more efficient than ever. And in fact, that “initial effort leading to small progress” stage doesn’t really exist in the modern version of e-learning, as the effect is pretty much instant using the right platform.
One small drop of knowledge in the digital has the power to create a positive ripple effect that spreads across your entire organization and outside it. That is what exponential learning means in the practical sense. If you want to see your people convert their knowledge into results, you should dedicate time to build your e-learning platform around exponential key factors such as the things listed below.
5 tips for making your e-learning exponential
1. Encourage talking
If there’s one thing we can take from traditional learning into the digital, it is the joy of learning together and from each other. Ensure that the digital platform of your choice has enough features to allow swift and seamless communication amongst your learners. Research shows that we learn 30 % of what we see but 70 % of what we discuss. Old school e-learning never featured interactive elements and chat functions for the learners to share their thoughts. Now, these things are an essential built-in part of every decent learning tool. No talking in class? Think again!
2. Allow for a little cheating
We’re just kidding, sort of. Modern e-learning tools can create such flow and progress that it feels almost like cheating. Especially when all the stuff that really doesn’t have anything to do with the actual learning is put on autopilot. Taking in new knowledge requires great focus and clever automations are very good for keeping your learners’ attention all the way through.
Let the students cut class. No, we don’t mean literal students or literally cutting class. But employees, partners, customers or anyone you want to reach with your digital content are in fact better reached when they’re not in reach – if that makes any sense at all. With everything you need in your pocket, why would you attend a physical place for learning during these stressful times
3. Make sure your platform has a mobile-first solution
This allows for your learners to stop and start their course, onboarding or lecture anywhere at any time. This way, they can get to work when they are most inspired and eager to consume knowledge. With your course on cruise control, you probably won’t have to lift a finger. And believe us – these measures will save your organization both time and money.
4. Bribe your learners with treats
One of the biggest advantages of a modern e-learning platform (or should that be exponential platform?) is that you can easily make the learning journey fun and exciting. Think of it as a university in a whole different universe, ready to be explored. By tailoring the route after each given target group, you can create a learning atmosphere where every step feels like a true treat – no matter how advanced the content is. There are also endless possibilities to give actual rewards along the way, which will encourage your learners to reach their goal even faster. For instance, this is super important when you create onboardings for new employees and need to make a great first impression of your organization.
5. Take lessons from your learners
In most businesses, organizations and educational systems, feedback used to be quite a slow traveler. Now, the tables have turned. People of today are in general very fast when it comes to sharing an opinion – and it’s not always for the better. But to create exponential learning and growth, knowing what works is key. A data and analytics feature is therefore highly useful for making your content more relevant and for seeing what knowledge converts best into measurable results. Remember, information is your friend in the digital. Take help from your learners to spread knowledge and reach common goals even faster.
Of course, exponential learning is also just another term. If you wish to continue using e-learning instead, we won’t blame you. The important thing is that you make the most of all the knowledge your organization and people have today. At Learnifier, we are dedicated to help you get there