How many times have we heard people demanding “I want it now” or “I want it fast”?
You would have at some point in your life requested for something along those lines. People are so used to instant gratification that they expect everything to happen right here and right now. You can either choose to embrace the fast-paced society or be caught losing out at the bottom. More than anything else, consumers value convenience and naturally gravitate towards businesses or services that can offer them that.
Uber and Grab brings you to places faster than you can book a cab. Amazon Prime deliver groceries to you within hours of your order. These are just a few examples of how society is today and the availability of information and advances in technology has made us more productive.
With businesses creating instant solutions for consumers, there is a need to think about how learning should be instant for busy executives, students and lifelong learners.
Let’s face it. Technology has revolutionised the way we work and live.
Employers around the world are ditching the traditional office concept. It has become common for people to work outside of the physical office location or have colleagues dialling in for office meetings from anywhere around the world. But how do you deliver training to remote workers? It could be a mammoth task not to mention a logistical nightmare flying everyone to headquarters for a few days of training. Online training could be feasible, where employees could dial in at an agreed time to listen to a trainer lecture for hours. Another way is for them to complete online courses by a certain deadline. But the question remains: How engaging or effective will these training be? One way to manage training is to learn instantly via chatbots. Chatbots offer instant replies, providing on-demand information and answers. In the workplace, a newly-hired employee who needs to find out the process of procurement could carry out a conversation on a mobile device with a chatbot and get the knowledge he needs almost instantaneously without bothering any of his colleagues. Not only does instant learning saves him time from seeking help from other employees, he can be productive by applying the knowledge immediately to his work needs.
What about instant learning in education institutions? In most traditional classrooms, the teacher to student ratio is not always ideal and students are battling for teachers’ attention. A typical class of learners possess vastly different learning styles and needs. Chatbots could work together with educators to create sustainable learning environments. Chatbots hold great potential in providing personalised instruction. They could easily track individual learners’ progress and provide immediate feedback in real time. Based on such data, chatbots can design personalised learning plans by setting objectives at the right level of difficulty and create learning experiences to motivate learners. Chatbots also demonstrate the skills to be a teacher’s assistant. They can provide quick answers to repetitive questions that tend to occur for every topic. In addition, they could suggest additional reading materials or supplement more practise questions for learners based on their level of ability. All these can be done instantly as learners interact on their mobile devices. No longer do learners have to sit or wait around until a human teacher is available to address his learning difficulties. Learners take charge of their learning and finds that knowledge become more meaningful when they are able to get “just-in-time-learning”.
With today’s increasing globalisation and evolving technologies, we need to adopt a lifelong learning mindset to keep up with the demands of society. Learners do not have time to log in to a complicated learning management system and browse through catalogues to identify what they need to know. With the demands of time, learners want bite-sized information delivered to them that they can apply immediately to the situation they are facing. For instance, at a supermarket, instead of hunting around for a sales promoter, you may type in your queries into a chatbot and get your product queries answered instantly. You are able to make decisions on the spot without wasting time. Similarly, at a museum, if you have missed the timings for guided tours, you may download an app where you could ask questions to a chatbot relating to artefacts or exhibits that intrigues you. It acts like a personalised guide for you and saves you from asking embarrassing questions or not getting your burning questions answered.
Instant learning will no longer be a trend but a necessity in the new year. While traditional learning models will still be around, it is time to embrace instant learning as a new way of learning for modern learners.