JOHANNESBURG, 30 March 2023 – Equipping and re-equipping professionals with the insights they need to stay relevant in their professions is no simple task.
The rapid speed at which technology is advancing can be terrifying for many people, as just as they have become used to a certain way of doing things, they need to be retrained.
The advent of technologies like ChatGPT, LaMDA and Neuralink are making professionals even more nervous. Suddenly they are questioning whether they are even needed anymore or whether they might be retrenched.
Particularly in a country like South Africa, where the business environment can be volatile due to the political and economic dynamic, these concerns are felt even more deeply.
It may seem blunt, but the reality is that modern South African workers needs to be able to adapt to these changes and navigate challenges quickly and effectively.
Fortunately, says Michael Hanly, MD of South African online learning solutions provider New Leaf Technologies, there are learnable skills that can equip people for this ‘new world’ where different ways of doing things arrive almost every other month. These include:
Hanly says these skills are likely to remain in high demand for the foreseeable future, which it is why every business should be investing in learning and development (L&D) programmes to help employees along.
“These programmes should be designed to meet the specific needs of the learners and should include a variety of learning methods, such as classroom-based training, online learning and on-the-job training,” he says.
“Educators and training companies should partner with the right industry experts who can provide insights on current industry trends, technological advancements and market demands. Innovative and interactive learning methods such as gamification, simulations, scenario-based learning and virtual reality are encouraged, while it is vital to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the training to ensure that they are achieving the desired outcomes.”
Having the right tool for this purpose is critical. This is called a learning management system (LMS) or Learning Experience Platform (LXP), which is designed to deliver engaging, practical and personalised experiences.
The LMS needs to offer a variety of content types and formats, such as SCORM and xAPI, virtual classrooms, simulations, gamification and even built-in content authoring. It must also include analytics and reporting tools to track learners’ progress and identify areas for improvement.
New Leaf Technologies has exclusive rights to the aNewSpring LMS platform in Africa. This platform ticks every box and allows educators and training companies to create personalised learning paths for learners based on their individual needs and learning preferences, what is known as ‘adaptive learning’.
A study recently undertaken by aNewSpring in partnership with Dutch publishing house Bohn Statleu van Loghu showed that adaptive learning can reduce study time by more than 30% compared to traditional e-learning methods, all while maintaining the learners’ grades and results.
Importantly in the context of South Africa’s need to grow the small business sector, the platform can accommodate organisations of any size, from small startups to large enterprises.
“We’ve found that the aNewSpring Learning Platform is very well-suited to meet the demands of the skills gap in South Africa,” Hanly says.
“It is fully SETA-compliant and automates Annual Training Reports and Workplace Skills Plans, saving you a huge amount of administrative frustration. It is also now available with a text-to-speech engine for all 11 official South African languages. It truly is the unicorn solution that encompasses every training requirement for training companies and corporates to equip their professionals.”
New Leaf Technologies provides “best of breed” learning software and services to corporations, training companies and educational institutions throughout Africa and the Middle East. Its products include aNewSpring, a cloud-based Learner Experience Platform (LXP); New Leaf LMS, an enterprise-grade Learner Management System; and Wisenet, a sleek student management system. The company also offers over 20 000 off-the-shelf courses and tailor-made course content, shareable through these platforms, as well as a turnkey design and production service, to create holistic e-learning experiences.