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10 Ways Technology Can Power Workplace Learning

A recent survey by CareerBuilder showed that smartphones are sapping worker productivity. 

But what if instead of fighting your employees' favorite technology, you could harness it to accelerate learning and retention, increase productivity, and build on-the-job skills?

That's exactly what many organizations are doing.

According to the Association for Talent Development's 2017 State of the Industry Report, technology-based learning accounted for 45% of learning hours, up from 41% in 2015.

There are endless ways to use technology to power workplace learning, but we've listed 10 of our favorites below.


  1. Online computer training isn't new -- but advances in technology have made it even easier and more cost-effective to deliver training entirely online, often without the aid of an instructor. If you're worried that online training is less effective, chew on this: The Online Learning Consortium, an industry group, found that 71% of academic leaders rate online learning at least as effective as traditional face-to-face instruction.
  2. Mobile applications allow workers to complete training on-the-go, on their own devices. Your employees can complete training at their own pace for content mastery.
  3. Mobile applications also enable employees to use tablets and smartphones to access and interact with learning materials like company manuals and MSDSs. 
  4. Pre-made training materials like slideshares, videos, and courses are readily available online, often for free. For example, OSHA offers many online training and reference materialsvideos, and web-based training tools on occupational safety and health topics. 
  5. Virtual reality tools and simulators offer a cost-effective, low-risk way to simulate tasks and allow employees to practice processes and procedures. VR tools are gaining popularity across a wide range of industries, from hospitals to police departments to coal mines.  
  6. Social learning tools enable employees to collaborate and share knowledge to drive learning outcomes, in the same way they might naturally interact on Facebook or Twitter.
  7. Video training has come a long way from the low-resolution 80's VHS tapes we all remember. Now employees can access videos from anywhere with just an internet connection. You can even create your own training content that's relatively inexpensive to produce and adaptable to your employees' needs.
  8. Gamification applies elements of game playing like point scoring, leader boards, awards and badges to existing workplace learning activities. Put simply, it's a way of making learning fun to encourage employee engagement -- and it can be applied to nearly any existing training activity.
  9. Online quizzes and tests can assess employee knowledge, skill acquisition, and educational needs. Employees can take these tests on their own devices, and complete them in less time than pencil-and-paper assessments. You get instant results and feedback to inform decision making. 
  10. Training management software not only helps you keep track of who's completed training, but also integrates employee training status with your EHS and risk management activities. That means you can measure the effectiveness of your training programs against specific organizational issues, and identify areas where additional training is needed.

Your takeaway

Technology can make workplace learning more affordable, efficient and effective. It can help with delivering training materials, monitoring and measuring employee learning, and reducing risks in the workplace. Next up, learn the difference between a learning management system and a training management system

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