Move to the Head of the Class: Online Class Software Can Help Employees Learn Retirement Savvy

One provider calls web conferencing an act of gathering people together an exposing them to content, rather than having people interact with information and then with each other about that information.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine, 42% of employees are stressed about having appropriate skills for their jobs. Their answer? For many, it may be to take matters into their own hands. Some may choose to possibly to follow Millenials into acquiring skills online. One survey found that nearly one third of Americans acquire new skills via online classes on their own time. That same Entrepreneur survey found that: “our research recently found that an astounding 95 percent of Millennials say lifelong learning and professional development are critical to their long-term success, and, remarkably, nearly half of those surveyed are willing to spend their own time and money on further training.” For some this may be as simple as acquiring certifications from well-known software, like SalesForce for those in marketing and sales or Relativity for anyone involved in litigation management. As we talked about in the article “The End of Algorithm Nation,” even entertainment, like podcasts, has been trending more towards education, or even edu-tainment.  This trend of online learning has honed information sharing platforms to peak form. Plan sponsors can use these platforms to help their employees learn how to be just as savvy at planning for retirement as at cranking out field reports in SalesForce.  

Before we start discussing the newest, latest, in online classroom technology, it might be helpful to discuss what exactly online classroom technology is. It isn’t web conferencing. Web conferencing allows people to connect from anywhere and share a screen. Online classrooms share that similar function, except that they enhance that environment. So how are they different? One provider calls web conferencing an act of gathering people together an exposing them to content, rather than having people interact with information and then with each other about the information. That act of interacting with information on a personal level may differentiate between training people and teaching people. When it comes to having employees understand important concepts in retirement and investing, teaching is essential.

The key to finding the best online classroom technology is to keep close to the idea, from E-Learning Industry, that: “Competitive edge depends on information and effective application of that information.” Within this framework, plan sponsors should consider whether they want to help employees have one-on-one tutoring or participate in an online classroom. For one-on-one tutoring, sponsors may want to consider Vedamo, which includes online whiteboard, breakout rooms, screen sharing, and media sharing. Vedamo also integrated into Canvas, Google for Education, Moodle, and Schoology LMSs. For classroom scenarios, Newrow offers virtual classes that are 100% web-based (no need for installations) and includes, in addition to digital blackboards, a content management system to share presentations and videos, screen sharing, cloud recording, breakout rooms, real-time notes, and live quizzes.

Cost may also be an important consideration for classroom teaching programs. Some programs are free and based on open source technology. That shared programming allows BigBlueButton to integrated into many companies existing learning management system. This program has an interactive whiteboard, multiple webcams that can broadcast at one time, and other features.  

Finally, finding an online classroom system that will work best for education on investment, one might look to a system like Tovuti Software. That software includes aspects of game-learning that have been shown to help employees learn investment principles. Tovuti’s software includes interactive content (including interactive video), live video conferencing, social communities, gamification, badges/certifications, and reports/analytics.

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