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Higher education is more abstract and focuses on teaching foundational principles, while employee training offers hands-on, realistic opportunities that go beyond having knowledge of a topic.
Fremont, CA: In the e-learning space, the sharp distinctions between higher education and corporate training are beginning to blur. The philosophies, methodologies, and goals for teaching and training are radically different, and as a result, the technologies that help each have diverged with little overlap. Now, corporate training and higher education are finding that collaborating to deliver cross-training strategies and exchange content benefits both parties.
The rise in digital learning over the last year, combined with the need to build (and redevelop) a professional workforce, creates opportunities for higher education and corporate training to collaborate. The problem is bridging the technological gap since the structures that serve these various learners have never had to function and play well together.
Higher education is more abstract and focuses on teaching foundational principles, while employee training offers hands-on, realistic opportunities that go beyond having knowledge of a topic. Although the two are often complementary, learning is more theoretical in nature, whereas preparation focuses on practical implementation and skill growth.
To appreciate the technical gaps between higher education and corporate learning management systems, consider some of the primary differences that have led to the vastly different digital platform designs that underpin each.
Content and innovations for higher education are designed with the needs of the student learner in mind. Traditionally, it was thought that a student's highest priority was learning and schooling, with longer periods of time spent in learning and working on building the basis of knowledge. Learning takes place mainly in the classroom, with textbooks, tasks, journals, tests, and examinations. Higher education LMSs are primarily designed to complement in-class lectures or to mimic the in-person classroom model in terms of course length and learning style.
Corporate learning requirements are usually more urgent and must be accommodated within an employee's current work schedule. In most situations, preparation is more oriented and based on a specific skill set. To perform their jobs and answer questions when they occur, corporate learners often need just-in-time preparation. Learners do not have the ability to acquire essential skills over months or even hours, and corporate LMSs are planned with these constraints in mind. Microlearning is an excellent example of on-the-job, just-in-time preparation that does not translate well in the academic world.