Keeping up with the new technology, research and changing requirements has become part of working life, regardless of the field. This sets challenges for both employees and the company. NASA astronauts Dr. Charles Camarda and Timothy Kopra visited Finland to discuss creative problem-solving culture, the importance of learning and how learning experience platforms can provide a way of improving efficiency in companies.
For companies, educating employees can be a part of a strategy for not only improving efficiency, but also engaging employees in their jobs.
According to Kleiner & Perkins' (2017, Internet Trends Report 2017) study, millennials consider learning new skills as the most important work benefit, whereas salary was only mentioned as the fourth. In four years' time, 60-70 % of employees will be millennials and post-millennials.
The question of efficient learning and education at workplaces should, therefore, not be dismissed.
Traditional learning methods need to be developed
The current way of working does not allow enough time for development and learning.
Often, learning happens outside the working hours because traditional learning methods take too much time. Dr. Charles Camarda sees a huge opportunity in developing the way in which companies and employees learn.
– New skills cannot be acquired fast enough and inexpensively with the traditional learning methods, Camarda says.
Digital platforms provide a solution for efficient education within working hours.
The digital platform enables analysis and measuring
Digital learning platforms collect data from the users. By analyzing the data, companies can track what kind of skills are most needed, and which kind of learning is preferred by the employees. This information can be used to develop the education process and personalize the way employees learn.
For employees, digital learning environments provide possibilities to acquire skills faster than before. This is guaranteed for example with setting specific learning goals for each employee, offering learning material in different formats and allowing the individual pace of progress. Sharing information and learning in teams is also made possible with digital platforms.
The results of learning can be seen in increased efficiency and level of motivation. Employees who acquire new skills are more motivated to use the skills than those who struggle in the learning process.
– Digital learning environment should provide any lifelong learner the ability to access information to learn a new skill. Through digital environment, experts can find peers and share information as well, Camarda tells.
Active participants learn better
At NASA, learning is a vital part of work. To solve a problem in space requires not only a good education and experience, but also ability to learn new things and work in a team.
– I have grown to admire the necessity of repetition. Sometimes I feel like we are repeating things too much, but it is through repetition that we can understand and acquire skills that are necessary in space stations, Tim Kopra, NASA astronaut tells.
Digital learning platforms encourage and demand active participation from the learner. They also help the learner to identify the methods in which they learn best.
Repeating experiments, being an active participant in the learning process is important. Learning that requires problem-solving is more efficient than learning by only reading or listening because it activates learner to apply their knowledge in a new way.
Implementing a digital learning platform in a company changes not only the way learning is measured and analyzed, but also the way employees take part in the learning process. It can be a part of changing the whole company culture.
Please also read Camarda's tips on developing a creative problem-solving culture in companies from our blog.