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What are the Differences in Creating Courses for Corporate Training vs. Education?

What are the Differences in Creating Courses for Corporate Training vs. K-12 and Higher Education_

Although the eLearning space is large and diverse, it can be broken down into two main categories - corporate training and education.

Of course, both are forms of learning and are bound to share similarities, but the type of material presented in each category is vastly different. There are more differences between corporate training and educational learning materials than simply the subject matter, though. The types and length of the courses and modules are likely to differ as well.

Keep reading to learn more about both the differences and similarities between the two. Whichever side you’re on, you’ll see that eLearning can be an excellent tool to add to your arsenal.

What We Know About Corporate Learners

Did you know that when it comes to corporate training, most employees are not getting enough ongoing education? According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, companies with less than 100 employees provide about 12 minutes per month of training, while companies with over 100 employees provide only six minutes of training per month.

Those numbers are shockingly low. Professional development is important for the success of a company and workers are eager to grow their skillsets to advance their careers. So how can companies boost these numbers?

The answer is by investing in eLearning. The best part about eLearning is that courses and modules can be completed around a schedule that works best for each individual employee. It can be used to discuss new products, sales techniques, or employee onboarding procedures.

The key difference between corporate eLearning and eLearning in the education sector is that corporate eLearning isn’t necessarily used to evaluate or grade employees in the same way that it is in an educational setting. While managers may keep track of certain aspects of a learner’s eLearning track and completion, it’s just a small piece of evaluating them as they complete the key functions of their jobs.

What Are Corporate Learners Learning?

In a corporate setting, the learning environment involves on-boarding, training on everything an employee needs to know about the company and getting ongoing supplementary information about how to best execute within their roles.

A specific example of the latter would be when product and marketing departments join forces to train the sales team up on all of the features of a new product release, it’s various uses, and different pricing scenarios. Resources are then provided that are both internal and client-facing that can be used to successfully sell said offering.

How likely is it that learners have a dedicated instructor for each piece of material? The chances are low. Many companies, in their traditional training processes, have their L&D departments curate learning content which is then cultivated by management teams to present to their direct reports.

This calls for a more comprehensive course strategy. With eLearning, learners won’t find themselves in a position where they’re trying to hunt down the subject matter expert to get their additional questions answered.

It’s also important to consider the life stage and timing of those who use eLearning in a corporate setting. Unlike the majority of students, professionals are likely to have more serious obligations outside of work, such as being a parent or caretaker. Their eLearning opportunities will be something that has to happen around their work and personal schedules. With that in mind, courses at the corporate level tend to be shorter or take advantage of microlearning or just-in-time learning in ways that the education side does not.

What Do We Know About Higher Education Learners?

It’s no secret that today’s students are deeply invested in technology to the point where it has trickled into their educational lives. In fact, a full third of college students take at least one course online. Even as college enrollments are slightly declining, enrollment in online courses is trending upward.

What Are Higher Ed Learners Learning?

Within the educational field, eLearning either replaces traditional teaching methods or works with it. It helps to present subjects like History or Math. It helps to provide, collect, and score homework assignments, plus offer supplemental materials to help expand upon certain topics within the subject matter.

Unlike on the corporate side, eLearning is the means of evaluation in education. Students are presented with the information via their courses and modules, and while they probably have outside assignments (reports, exams, etc.), it’s also possible that the entire course may be contained within the eLearning platform.

Learners using eLearning on the educational side are just that - learners. They’re still students. In the case of those enrolled in distance learning or continuing education, it’s possible that they have jobs and families to balance in addition to their higher education aspirations, but that doesn’t change the fact that courses will likely be created with the assumption that being a student is the number one priority. Therefore courses tend to be longer and more involved. Microlearning modules could be set up for homework assignments or as additional resources, but there won’t be as much of an emphasis on imparting vast sums of knowledge in a short amount of time in the same way as workplace learning.

With eLearning courses, learners won’t be completely left to their own devices. Even in the case of distance-learning, they’ll have a way of communicating with their instructor to receive additional clarification or guidance. This means that while each course and module should be comprehensive, there will be room for outside discussion. In fact, if eLearning is being used in conjunction with traditional learning, it’s likely that additional discussion will be a graded portion of the course!

Where Do They Cross Over?

Whether you're using it for corporate training or educational means, the advantages of eLearning remain the same. Learners will be provided with the opportunity to complete courses and modules, review supplemental resources, and take quizzes and exams from within the platform. Courses and individual modules can be formatted to meet the needs of the course creator and learners will be given exactly the experience that their leader or instructor wants them to have.

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