Learning about Learning Preferences

As a part of each SNG study, we take a close look not only at adoption rates and driving utilization – but also at preferred learning methods to bridge their skills gaps. It’s about individual users understanding which e-solutions will give them the biggest benefits and having the capacity to use those applications.

When individuals and households need to acquire knowledge, they turn to the resources they have at hand – and of course, the learning methods they prefer. It’s about moving businesses, organizations and households up the learning curve more effectively so that they realize the benefits from broadband and e-solutions as quickly and fully as possible.

Not surprisingly to our marketing department, among households “word of mouth” still scores high as a means for learning. But traditional methods are clearly taking a back seat to online learning – both informal (general surfing) and formal (webinars and online courses). Books, workshops, and classes all come after online methods (and word of mouth) as preferred learning methods. So it is clear that we have a bit of ‘chicken and the egg’ situation here as the question becomes – how does someone maximize their learning potential, without having online resources? The digital divide obviously goes hand-in-hand with a knowledge gap.

The same study revealed that 2 in 3 organizations plan to acquire at least two distinct skills sets over the next year – some through hiring, and some through training.

Here again we see a preference for online learning methods as self-directed methods of knowledge development, including online research and webinars, are the most likely to be used by the majority of organizations. In-person classroom training is the least likely method to be used.

So, when planning for broadband, also plan for learning. Not only is it important to understand where the awareness and skills gaps are, but also understanding the preferred modes of learning. An effective strategy for economic development through broadband requires this.

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