The learning market in Romania is, now, in a very good moment. Unlike the Western European markets which are quite mature from this point of view, at us, the learning market is only now starting to grow.
By Silviu Dragomir, Co-Founder Eucom Business Language
What does the learning market in Romania look like now
From what I see both in the case of our customers, but also in the market in general, more and more companies realize that continuous development of employees is a strategic direction for their long-term development. This is seen both in recruitment policies, because the emphasis is on people who have the ability to learn on their own, and in the subsequent development policy, as well.
To this effect, more and more companies invest in trainings and in courses for employees depending on their learning and development needs. In terms of foreign languages, our field of activity, the interest of companies is increasingly growing. Because developing a company abroad is much easier now than it was 10 years ago, and the ability of employees to communicate in accordance with certain cultural standards, to understand and be understood is vital. Thus, many Romanian companies have started to prioritize foreign language courses for employees and shall continue to do so, with an increasingly accelerated focus on digitalization and expansion.
Agile Learning. The new way of learning
Agile learning is a learning method based on the “agile” concept initially used in the IT field. This concept refers to the implementation of some projects in small steps in order to discover possible errors, but also in order to advance faster through frequent consultations between the teams working on that project.
After 18 years of activity in the field of foreign language courses, we have realized that what happened classically in a classroom shall no longer be able to happen for a very long time.
On the one hand, it is about the new generation of employees that, in 10 years, shall become the majority on the market. They are young people who were born at the same time with technology and who prefer to consume information at their own pace, when they have time. This made us think about what our courses shall look like in 10 years and that’s how we came to the concept of agile learning. It involves a hybrid learning mode, based on individual learning and weekly sessions with a trainer. It is actually a combination of technology, human interaction and personalized content. In this way, students can access information, according to a learning schedule, when time allows, and they have weekly discussions with our trainers who monitor their activity to fix less understood information, while celebrating the steps taken and small victories.
Out of our internal research, this way of learning has a 57 percent higher efficiency than classic courses because everyone can adapt their learning program according to their time, their needs and their understanding.
The impact of agile learning on the foreign language courses
Agile foreign language courses are addressed to companies that want to increase their level of performance by improving their employees’ communication skills. The service we offer is only B2B and aims to generate real benefits in business. We are oriented towards results as are our clients and we know that, in the end, they will want to see in numbers the results of the collaboration with us. And we are ready to offer them very detailed activity reports that prove the usefulness of the investment they have made.
The agile concept works very well with other learning techniques because they complement each other. For example, the student already has a database when he / she comes into contact with our trainer. The trainer assesses the level and fixes the things that were not understood. It is an important time saver. Employees are not taken out of work very much, which allows them to do their daily work and, also, learn.
57% higher yield than classic courses
The difference of investment between the agile learning and the classic courses is not a major one, but the efficiency is substantially on the side of the Agile learning program. This way of learning has a 57% higher yield than classic courses, by giving participants the chance to learn at their own pace, but always guided. Basically, new generations prefer to learn while heading to work, on the subway, in short breaks, and this program gives them all the flexibility they need.
The way we work will fundamentally change. And so the way we learn
From our experience so far, I can say that it is viewed very well. Now, more than before, companies have realized that, in a very short time, the classic way of working shall fundamentally change, and employees shall have to be prepared with a new set of skills that shall allow them to carry on the company’s activity. Thus, numerous companies have started investing in employees’ development courses, and foreign language courses are among the first options.
Technology is the future of learning
I think that, if now it is a trend that some look at with skepticism, in the next 5 years it shall become something normal. More and more companies shall realize that this is a very efficient way to prepare their teams for the future and I think it shall become an absolutely normal activity in any company.
I also believe that this concept shall be improved depending on the evolution of technology. For example, I strongly believe in the power of AR and VR, and in our field, especially now, that we can no longer meet, this technology would really bring a plus because you have the opportunity to travel virtually or do an exercise that includes some other senses besides the visual one, such as the auditory or tactile sense. Involving these senses, which we do not normally use in learning, can greatly increase the information holding degree because when a learning process appeals to emotions, the learner retains the information better.