The future of digital learning
Digitalization influences all areas of life. Not only the working environment is changing fundamentally, but also the way people learn. Learning trends such as mobile learning, micro learning, gamification, adaptive learning and virtual reality are also shaping technical education and training. For this reason, Festo Didactic has developed a digital learning portal; the Festo Learning Experience, in order to be prepared for the future of learning and to create individual learning experiences for teachers and learners.
New technologies change jobs and bring challenges for employees and managers. "In the future, it will no longer be possible to make it through one's entire career just by graduating today. We all need to continually improve our qualifications and learn new things," says Dr. Ute Gebhard, Head of the Digital Learning and Training department at Festo Didactic. She is convinced that lifelong learning is becoming increasingly important today. Employees must therefore be prepared for a constantly changing environment. "Specialist knowledge becomes obsolete ever more quickly, which means that methodological competence in the sense of implementation and transfer skills is becoming increasingly important for everyday work," says Stefan Dietl, Head of Training at Festo. For this reason, technical training and further education is subject to enormous change.
Learning trends in basic and advanced training
Many studies show that people's attention span has fallen sharply in recent years. This is particularly noticeable among the younger generation. It is important for the education sector to react to this and create adequate learning solutions. Micro Learning is the magic word. Here, small, self-contained portions of knowledge are taught. The learning units are very short and have a clearly defined learning goal. In addition, they can be grasped quickly and can be put together in modules. The advantage: You can pick up each learner exactly where he or she is standing right now. This makes learning much more individual. The flexibility of learning increases. Also, by means of the commonly known mobile learning, where smartphones or tablets are used for learning – regardless of time and place. Thus, learning is increasingly oriented towards the needs of the learner.
Furthermore, virtual reality and augmented reality are formats that are becoming increasingly important. Through virtual reality, the learner with VR glasses dives into a virtual learning world. Augmented Reality fades in information into the real environment, for example by scanning a QR code with a smartphone or tablet. Both formats offer incredible possibilities for technical education and training, for example, for virtual maintenance work or realistic simulations of otherwise life-threatening situations. "Trainees can be catapulted into future roles via VR," explains Holger Regber, expert for Learning Experience Development at Festo Didactic.
The right mix: the combination of hands-on training and online learning
Digital formats will not replace presence formats. The combination of both formats is essential. "In the future, too, learning with all the senses, including the haptic impression, for example, will ensure sustained learning success," explains Regber. Connected Learning merges the real and digital worlds. Familiar learning methods are combined with digital elements. The combination of hands-on training and online content allows the full learning potential to unfold optimally. This is confirmed by Stefan Dietl in his book "Ausbildung 4.0" (Training 4.0), which deals with how to use the digital transformation for training.
Festo LX - the digital learning portal for individual learning experiences
Digital learning solutions already exist like a dime a dozen, but do they really reflect current learning trends and the needs of learners? Festo LX - Festo Learning Experience - was developed to meet the growing demand for more individualization options in learning. The learning portal provides didactic learning resources for various technical training professions in small nuggets which can be individually assembled into courses and entire learning paths. Varied formats such as videos, animations, simulations, text units or small quizzes ensure that there is no room for boredom. Existing courses can be modified as desired. New content in text, image or video format can be easily added and assigned to the learners. This allows for an individualization of learning. The trend towards micro learning is also taken into account by the small learning nuggets. Available online, independent of time and place, Festo LX fits in with the information behavior of today's generation of trainees, who spend a lot of time on smartphones or tablets.
The learning portal also proves to be particularly practical in terms of new possibilities in the field of Connected Learning. A search function finds all suitable online courses for the Festo Didactic learning systems available on site. In this way, not only is the equipment used optimally, but digital and practical learning units are also sensibly connected with one another.
"In the future, learning nuggets will also enable adaptive learning, which means that learning methods are individually adapted to the learning progress and learning type of the individual," says training expert Regber. This creates competence-oriented adaptive learning paths that can be adapted to the learner's prior knowledge. In addition, these learning paths will take into account which didactic media the learner prefers.
The learning portal also offers enormous possibilities for the future. "Festo LX is in a continuous process of further development, which we design together with our customers in order to pick up current and future learning trends early on and to create individual learning experiences for learners and teachers," says Gebhard.
Festo Didactic is a leading provider of technical training and further education. The product and service portfolio offers customers integrated educational solutions in industrial automation topics. The wide range of products and services reaches vocational schools and universities, research centres and industrial customers. Festo Didactic is part of the globally oriented, independent family-owned company Festo with headquarters in Esslingen a. N., Germany. The 822 employees of Festo Didactic in 61 Festo national companies generated sales of EUR 171 million with 56,000 customers in 2019.