The term “digital bootcamp” may evoke some preconceptions and images of a certain learning experience. Some of these digital bootcamp myths are misconceptions about what digital bootcamps are and aren’t. These myths may cause L&D managers to be hesitant to consider digital bootcamps as an alternative to in-person training or other training modalities.
- Myth #1: Digital bootcamps require time out of work for a dedicated period of time. Reality: While traditional in-person bootcamp programs call for learners to devote themselves to the bootcamp full-time for a period of days or weeks, digital bootcamps don’t require learners to travel physically to the program, so there is no mandate to complete the program in a single, uninterrupted block of time. Sessions of the digital bootcamp can be scheduled around the learner’s other daily obligations for work, school, and family time.
- Myth #2: Digital bootcamps require an investment in hardware and software for the learner’s platform. Reality: Digital bootcamps do not require individual learners to have their own hardware and software setup for a learning workstation. A digital bootcamp can provide a cloud-based, virtual environment for each learner so they can access all of the processing power and software tools they need via the online platform.
- Myth #3: Digital bootcamps are only suited for tech-savvy learners. Reality: Digital bootcamps often offer learners preparation time to get up-to-speed with the prerequisite skills and knowledge for the bootcamp program. In many skill areas, digital bootcamps are accessible to learners who have basic skills in using web browsers to access and navigate content.
- Myth #4: Digital bootcamps leave learners isolated and without support. Reality: Traditional in-person bootcamps have on-site instructors and in-person interaction between learners, which may seem to be a differentiation from digital bootcamps. However, well-designed digital bootcamps provide live virtual classrooms for interaction with instructors, direct online communication with teaching assistants, and social platforms for peer interaction amongst learners.
- Myth #5: Digital bootcamps can’t be scaled to enterprise workforces. Reality: Enterprises often seek to scale in-person training programs by contracting for in-house training sessions that allow for a rapid turnover of employee training batches. However, digital bootcamps scale differently and, in some ways, more efficiently than in-person training does. Digital bootcamps can be deployed to everyone in the enterprise who needs training, via the internet.
Where in-person training may be limited by how much of the workforce can be diverted from work into training at any one time, the enterprise can direct all of the workforce into digital bootcamps at once, if it wishes, without disrupting production. The limitation on the number of employees that can go through the digital bootcamp at one time is based on the training capacity negotiated between the enterprise and the bootcamp provider.
- Myth #6: Digital bootcamps have low completion rates. Reality: Massive online open courses (MOOCs) are the original model for online training courses, and these have proven to have poor completion rates (below 30 percent, and in many cases, below 10 percent). However, digital bootcamps are not MOOCs. Instead, digital bootcamps incorporate much more interaction and individualized attention to learners.
Well-designed digital bootcamps incorporate learner progress tracking and automated learner prompts to keep learners on the program’s timeline, along with learner success assessments to detect and respond to any learners that show signs of not understanding the material or demonstrating the skills being taught. A good digital bootcamp has completion rates above 80 percent, and often into the 90s.
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Clearly the myths surrounding digital bootcamps don’t reflect reality. On the contrary: digital bootcamps have many substantial advantages over traditional in-person bootcamps and training programs.
Visit our Corporate Training page for more information and to contact us about our corporate training solutions and these engagement models. You can read our complete white paper, How L&D Professionals Are Using Digital Bootcamps To Build Teams Of Tomorrow.