What have we learned about remote training and how to support learning? Almost a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been asking ourselves that question at Edusity. As relative newcomers to the Learning Management System marketplace, our team has been able to benefit from watching the older brands discover that their solutions also had to pivot and re-imagine themselves by diving back into the development cycle.
Having realized our vision to create a fully-interactive virtual classroom to delivery synchronous education and training, we have never stopped our on-going development. Continuously building and expanding new features is just part of our culture. At Edusity, I think you could say we’ve replaced technical development cycles with ongoing educational cycles.
Educational practices and philosophies have changed how our business operates as the EdTech sector faces greater challenges than ever before. We are not alone in facing those challenges and it’s time for us to share the lessons we’ve learned on this journey.
When the pandemic changed life and learning as we knew it, Learning and Development professionals had to make rapid pivots in strategy, methodology and delivery using the tools they had available, not necessarily the tools they need. This realization was remarkable.
LESSON 1: You don’t need an LMS supplier. We don’t need customers. Both of us need strategic partners.
The Edusity white label solution, as we envisioned it, was to be a customizable virtual classroom with colour schemes, logo placement and other features that would communicate content ownership and brand integrity. Immediately, potential customers started to express needs for levels of customization that included instructor scheduling, L&D departmental operations tools and other management features.
We were meeting with managers, owners and life-long training and development experts who want a headless LMS that can meet their unique requirements. Their needs expand from an LMS into enterprise solutions and communications tools. Meeting those needs demands expansion without becoming too difficult to use intuitively, or become prone to greater external cyber threats to student security or privacy. Our end-to-end encryption to protect student security and privacy has no comparison in the marketplace. Edusity knows we need to co-invent, not merely customize. To do that all parties need to consider their contribution part of a strategic partnership.
Lesson 2: Emphasize collaboration over competition.
The tech sector has always seen itself as a leader in collaboration. Certainly, in the open source development culture, there is a lot of collaboration and cooperation that should indeed be the pride of the sector. In education, collaboration is and always has been at the core of their being.
Getting beyond the course delivery model has been key to adopting the educator’s value system at Edusity. Knowledge transfer, enabling the evolution of knowledge in other’s hands is the practice we are supporting. There are always opportunities to support more seamless interactivity between instructors and students or students and their colleagues. It is always possible to deliver new functions to support greater learner engagement. By collaborating with each other, we develop endless possibilities for knowledge to grow. Competition, in terms of what others are developing and in determining what has been built-out, or not, is backward looking.
LESSON 3: Accept the merging of expertise
Using social media during this pandemic has taught us much about the role of experts in our society. We have seen infectious disease specialists, with years of education and experience, challenged by skeptics who had never heard of the field until March of last year. Educators, software developers, and technical specialists have faced the same skeptics. We have not been immune to those challenges at Edusity. As an education company, we have learned to merge with the expertise of everyone we encounter and accept their advice. Achieving new understanding of how other professional cultures live and learn has been the greatest benefit to Edusity and our team.
We recognize these lessons are central to the shared future of Edusity, of how L&D operates and of how all of us will continue to learn and evolve knowledge.
Arvind Betala, CA-CPA, is the co-founder of Edusity. To preview how you can co-invent with us, register for a demo at https://www.edusity.com/business to start the conversation.