What Are Some Of The Challenges That You May Face In Online Learning

Being around other people is one of the most essential skills in communication. But you don’t necessarily have to be around other people to be able to talk to them face-to-face.

What Are Some Of The Challenges That You May Face In Online Learning

A new report by MIT found that the biggest digital transformation for employers is that they have increased their expectations for managers. The survey asked employers about their digital education for managers and frontline managers.

Inconsistent Learning From Various Learning Platforms, Especially for Managers

Recent survey findings from The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) speak to the divergent educational experiences workers receive today, from traditional learning programs on video-based tools, to web-based learning platforms, to online small-group, interactive courses. Without some kind of evaluation system, it becomes hard to tell which programs provide the best outcomes, according to the study, which estimates that the “difference between the most successful and the most unsuccessful programs is minimal, and can vary by a point or two.”

The one thing that all the programs do have in common, though, is that they’re inconsistent in their outcomes. That is: some programs show consistent growth in employees and others don’t. And how those programs are evaluated matters. Program results show an astounding correlation with how much time supervisors put into the program. Those who tested strongly early on in the course see their managers more involved in helping them out after six months. However, program results that say managers are well-served after six months do not predict growth over time.

Thinking of online learning as a way to enhance managerial effectiveness doesn’t help. And some organizations are saying that they’re investing in online learning programs that provide extremely mixed results. Online-education survey results for managers show that a majority of employers don’t think managers who receive online degrees are equipped to tackle all current or future tasks. Meanwhile, online educational leaders say that few employers provide any kind of metrics or evaluation tools for managers’ success in online programs.

People Prefer Skills Over Knowledge

Many employers want a manager who has mastered enough skills to do their job. Yet, on average, that skill-engagement figure for managers who are willing to take an online course for an executive level is around 40%.

Rabbhi Mirzai of the communications & HR consulting firm Upturn praises the academic work done in the field of human resources. He says that by providing a better narrative of skills, “many universities and organizations are more widely recognized as being able to prepare people for their chosen career path” as well as “the dynamics of successful careers.” But he adds that it’s also important that employers “own up to the failings and emphasize alternatives.”

The most obvious issues here are high student debt and difficulty finding quality providers. But one of the more surprising findings in a recent study funded by the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University is that “one of the first advantages of learning online is mastery.” Some of the users’ reported benefits were “immediate recognition of oneself and the issues they face.”

Online Learning Could Help Managing Careers

The biggest challenge of online learning for employers is a slight conflict between educational gains and career outcomes. And online learning providers will need to ensure that managers get “value-for-money” and take the time required for effective online learning.

Recognizing the limitations of some technology and learning tools and then finding other alternatives is certainly an excellent idea. Two big tech transformations of the past decade have cut through the traditional hierarchies and eliminated the employee hierarchy. People are now empowered to learn, grow, and prosper based on their abilities instead of on where they started.

“It is precisely the most part of their work and daily life that managers must bridge the gap between high-level skills and workplace skills. In other words, managers must make sure that every manager has the right skills and basic competence to learn and grow.”

—Kailash Sahu, an administrator at Mukesh, the Internet company that redesigned the way its employees functioned

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