- Udemy saw a jump in usage rates for its soft skill and technical training in the last 30 days, it said in an April 15 blog post. Its growth mindset course -- which teaches users a "willingness and resilience to deal with change" — grew by 231% in popularity. Its focus mastery class enjoyed a 146% spike in usage. And the popularity of its creativity course rose by 84%.
- Udemy's tech courses saw a surge in usage as well. Participation in TensorFlow, a course that teaches machine learning, AI and "deep learning," grew by 62%. Its chatbots and Microsoft Azure courses rose in popularity by 45% and 38%, respectively.
- Outliers also emerged. Users are "signing up en masse" for Udemy's Bitcoin and cryptocurrency courses. "Frankly," Udemy said, "we're not sure what to make of it."
Employers may be comforted by the news that some workers have sought to improve their focus and change management capabilities, among other skills, in response to the pandemic. After all, employers and other stakeholders had a similar reaction; Training initiatives were among the earlier responses to the novel coronavirus. Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed an executive order in late March that allowed for greater flexibility to train workers online for critical jobs "such as medical assisting and pharmaceutical technicians." And as employer after employer sent workers home to telework, organizations like CompTIA made related e-learning courses free.
The current circumstances may prompt individual employers to ramp up their own learning programs, or at least ensure employees still have access now that they're out of office. Employers will need to clearly outline learning objectives as they take their programs online and make their programming accessible to their newly remote workforce, sources previously told HR Dive.
And, as popular as video conferencing has become, it's important for L&D departments to remember learning can take place through other mediums as well. "[I]n the rush to get programs online, companies will be tempted to just distribute learning materials and online content and set up a series of video conferences," said Drew Remiker, senior instructional program manager at NovoEd. "High impact learning that produces real results requires more than this, especially considering employees may be burned out from video conferences with all of their meetings taking place in this format these days."