e-learning plays a key role in Inspire! by EACA’s training offer for many reasons. Over the last few decades, the work environment has changed significantly: professionals have become increasingly more mobile, understand and appreciate the value of continuous training in a fast developing industry and don’t shy away from re-inventing and innovating their jobs and roles within the industry.
In order to keep up with the fast pace of change, education and training needs to be able to reflect such developments in working attitudes: traditional, face-to-face, corporate training does no longer correspond to the demands of its audience: unlike e-learning, it desires a large group of people to come together and free up their time, it is often outdated and requires the trainer to be able to connect to an audience with often diverse and unpredictable identities.
As technology continues to dramatically transform human experience, it is inevitable that the learning process must also undergo some changes. EACA has committed to this cause, supporting and providing CPD in its industry for many years. For instance, its current e-learning offer -under the Inspire! by EACA brand- is comprised of 6 online courses: the European Advertising Certificate; Commercial Certificate; Search Certificate; Advanced Certificate; IMCC Diploma; and Squared Online. These online courses were established through a close cooperation with partner organisations, such as the IPA or Google.
As a relative new concept in education, e-learning is yet to convince many HRs and managing directors. Teaching and learning in an e-learning environment happens differently than in the traditional classroom and can present new challenges to instructors and learners participating in this online learning environment.
Challenges often go together with questions, such as ‘How can you ensure that learners will complete the e-learning? Do you allow them time at work to study or do they need to work on it in their free time? How do you assess their performance? Does the learning need to focus on information that the learner needs, or does it need to assess the learner’s abilities to process that information and apply it to their day-to-day jobs?’. The questions don’t always lend themselves to a clear-cut answer, and often trial and error is key.
Another challenge is the age and technology knowledge gap between different students. e-learning relies on technology and tech-savvy learners: while it may be a good fit for young professionals in the advertising industry, it might not be the answer for senior staff in the medical industry, for instance.
Where to go next
For Inspire! by EACA, the next step is to expand our offer of online training through partnerships with bigger players in the industry; e.g. Facebook Blueprint; Programmatic and Mobile Google Masterclasses; Digital Ad Traffic Academy, and others.
One of the more popular and recent formats of e-learning are podcasts. At the moment, Inspire! by EACA offers 6 webinars a year on a relevant topic by an industry professional in the form of a live webinar. The idea would be to develop this in a series of podcasts to reflect its consumers and their habits: people are more on the go, have less time to attend a live webinar, and would benefit more from having the liberty of choosing when to listen to a series of podcasts.
For Inspire! By EACA, training is the most valued attribute by employees in our industry sector – and the least invested in by the management of agencies. To sum up, e-learning can make a significant difference by providing benefits for all stakeholders involved:
- For employees, it brings personalized and flexible learning. Unlike traditional training, the course content can be accessed, anytime, anywhere by anyone. They can learn at their own pace, repeat the content over again and test ideas without having to face the judgment of a group of people or trainer.
- For management, it brings job satisfaction. e-learning is a cheaper investment than most trainings and improves the management of your staff: employees can engage with e-learning whenever they feel most productive, they are encouraged to explore new ideas in online brainstorming sessions (e.g. Google Hangouts) and their ideas become available to inspire future learners. e-learning also makes it possible to carry out quick updates and implement recent changes and development in our industry.
- For the provider, e-learning is cost-effective. Each time the course is accessed, your return on investment improves because you are dividing the fixed production costs by the number of uses.
- For the industry, e-learning means better trained staff creates better work, which in return has a positive effect on the industry as a whole and the economy in general.
Weighing up the advantages and disadvantages, it is clear that e-learning should be put at the heart of professional development in this day and age. Young professionals must adapt to the future, not the past, and it starts by creating a learning environment that is relevant to them today.