On Demand Learning: Top 3 Pitfalls You Should Avoid

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On Demand Learning: Top 3 Pitfalls You Should Avoid

Let’s begin by taking a short 10 second challenge to list out all the websites, apps, courses and providers that provide opportunities to upskill! Ready, Let’s go! 10 … 9 … 8 …… Done? Well, let’s look back at our list and take a look at how many of them offer on-demand learning. Chances are, some or most of them do not offer on-demand learning.

On-demand learning is rare as it is, so when we manage to find one that offers this option, it’s as if we found a ton of gold among piles of rocks! But hold your horses there cowboy, because some of these on-demand learning providers may have certain downsides and pitfalls that we would definitely not want to fall into! So before you fall into any, let’s take a moment to see what are some of the things we should be aware of and avoid before it’s too late!

On Demand Learning: Top 3 Pitfalls You Should Avoid!

  1. Anywhere & Anytime is great, but anyone? Not so much 
  2. Should I use a lemon seed, or an orange seed to plant an apple tree?
  3. Great… just need to do 5000 things before I can use this!


Anytime, anywhere is great, but anyone? Not so much


On-demand learning has the benefit of learning anytime and anywhere with just a touch of a finger. However, it is important to identify the institute or person that created the course or uploaded the course in the first place, lest you end up like a close friend of mine. He went to take up a few courses in programming and coding as he felt that was a good direction to head into. He decided to go for a few courses to enhance his knowledge on one particular programming language first.However, as time went on, he went from being confident and proud to being confused and unsure. He would often get confused as the courses he took seemed to be contradicting despite teaching the same topic and exact same programming language.


That was when he felt something was not right so he stopped. Turns out there was something wrong, as the platform he had chosen did not need any approval for anyone to upload their courses! He wasted both his money and hours upon hours of information that has to be relearnt! After doing a background search on providers, he managed to find one that has an approval process and goes through an extensive quality check before course uploads. With his permission, the sharing of his traumatic experience can hopefully prevent you from making the same mistakes as he did! Excited as you might be, don’t forget to check your instructors and platforms credentials!


Should I use lemon seeds or orange seeds to grow an apple tree?


You might be wondering? Bryan, how on earth can we grow an apple tree out of either of those seeds? You’re right, we definitely can’t, because it’s not relevant towards what we want in the first place! That my friends, would be the second potential pitfall in on-demand learning. The idea that you can learn anything online is interesting, but the result or relevancy of what you have learnt may not necessarily guide you or help you take one step closer to getting that dream job or living your dream life! Take myself for example, I would fall into the fallacy where I would believe as long as I am learning and it is helpful, there are only benefits and no drawbacks!


Well, now I am here looking at one of my certificates and thinking, how is this certificate going to help me now? I realized that I never included that certificate nor that knowledge in any of my CVs or resumes, nor do I mention them at work. Sure I managed to gain knowledge on a certain area, but what use would it be if it couldn’t be used anywhere! On-demand learning can definitely provide tons of useful courses to upskill and learn, but it is also important for us to consider whether the on-demand learning provider offers some form of analysis to curate or suggest courses that would be both beneficial to learn and useful for your future!


Great … just need to do 5000 things before I can use this!


The 5000 things may be an exaggeration but the implications are definitely real. Most courses that are certified and have instructors with amazing credentials would usually be very specialized in their fields or specialized market and industry. If you are ever in those industries, that means you’ve hit the jackpot, but for those that are in a similar yet different industry, what you may have learned may not be completely applicable!


A friend of mine who finished his course in the UK came back only to adopt 20% of what he learnt there back here in our country. He spent tons of money to find a way to enhance his family business and to digitalize the business to multiply his sales. Unfortunately, when he started to apply this knowledge, he realized that most of what he has learnt and what he has studied was very much tailored to the UK and western market rather than an Asian market. Of course it was in the same industry, however the specific strategies and modes to approach them had to be adjusted into an asian context before it can be applied in this market!


It is then an important element to check the relevancy of the course as well. A course taught by an amazing instructor would be helpful but if the content was not localized to your setting in the first place, then you’d have to spend extra time on top of the resources you invested in the courses to readjust and tweak to your specific scenario. To prevent your on-demand learning experience to be one that wastes part of your time, always be wary of the credentials, the relevance as well as the localization aspect of the course! It could potentially help save your resources and speed up your upskilling process too!


Beyond being aware of the top pitfalls in on-demand learning, we need to then research and study on the different providers to choose from. That my friends is a whole other can of worms for us to explore. Fortunately, if you are busy and just don’t have the resources to filter through, we got amazing news for you as we are launching our very own SHRA E-learning Platform. It comes with a career and skill gap analysis to guide you through which courses to take to get that dream job you want! So stay tuned to our launching! If you’d like to check out our other programs, feel free to click here.


Written by Bryan Law Chu Zheng,

SHRA Corporate Trainer


Bryan is a member of the SHRA trainer team. He is a major in Psychology with a retail background. He has a deep passion for human interaction and personal development.

You can catch him dancing or playing the uke on a lazy Sunday afternoon. 


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