Soft skills, however, are even more difficult to quantify, forcing learning leaders to rely on indirect measures to determine a platform’s success.
For instance, an e-learning program’s ability to instill soft skills in an employee might be measured through engagement, said John Ambrose, senior vice president of corporate development and emerging business at online learning provider Skillsoft.
“When you are using technology and involve technology, it is impossible to be a passive learner,” Ambrose said. “The way the courses are constructed, the way the modes of instruction are interwoven with rich video, mobile prompts, quick assessments, interactive exercises and challenges, it really encourages the user to be not just physically present but mentally engaged. That’s not the case in a classroom setting.”
Because technology-based learning programs require more time for reinforcement, Ambrose said employees are more likely to be engaged as they participate. Many online learning modules meant to develop an employee’s leadership ability can prompt frequent questions after every section. In a classroom environment, employees have less of an incentive to pay attention.
“Just because they are physically present does not mean they are learning,” Ambrose said.
“Whereas online with technology, you’re able to make sure that they are engaged because you are constantly testing and validating.”