Deepak Desai, Founder & CEO
Globalization has made language learning an imperative for organizations as they explore all avenues to transform the way they engage with customers. E-learning has emerged as the preferred mode for learning a language and digitalization has given a fillip to assimilation in the same. However, digital tools although have the capability to boost comprehension, the legacy way of human interaction still stands proven when it comes to application. Juxtaposing these two methodologies is an insurmountable problem as both are considered to be mutually exclusive. But as challenging as it sounds, it is the only way to drive tangible language learning outcomes.
Ardor Learning, headquartered in California with executives distributed around the world, is approaching these challenges head-on, enabling organizations and institutions to enhance the language skills of their employees and achieve better customer engagement and team collaboration. “Learning a language is an incredibly hard thing to do,” says Deepak Desai, Founder & CEO of Ardor Learning. “The training models that are out there right now are either legacy programs based on traditional textbook learning or are technology solutions developed without regard to the volumes of research and best practices for what really works.”
Being career professionals in the language training space, Desai and his colleagues are well-acquainted with the challenges of learning a new language as an adult, and the difficulties of dedicating oneself to such an endeavor in the midst of a business career or educational pursuit where language learning may not be the most important thing. In fact, Desai and his team grew frustrated with the focus on sales over results in the language training market, and it was their confidence in the possibility of a better solution that led to the start of Ardor Learning.
“What we are doing is unique,” says Desai. “We have the best content from the world’s most respected leader on the English language – Oxford University Press. We know this method of teaching works, and we have integrated it into a technology platform that has been custom-built for training career professionals.”
In designing and deploying its learning solutions, the company follows a three-pronged approach focusing on technology, content, and human interaction. The program starts with robust content integrated with sound technology and ‘Annabel’, an avatar that provides instruction, adds nuance and guides learners through the digital coursework. The company then adds human assistance in the form of a ‘Dynamizer’ who is assigned to the learner, monitoring progress and answering questions in a one-on-one setting. Clients can add teacher-led options such as private or group virtual classes, peer-to-peer chatroom sessions, and tutoring services that provide feedback and correction on milestone assessments. The result is a consultative and blended learning experience that closely integrates all three components.
A testimony to the efficacy of the consultative approach followed by Ardor Learning is the fact that in contrast to the average program completion rates of 20 per cent, the company has been able to achieve a completion rate as high as 80 per cent. This feat can be attributed to the effort it takes to understand the unique requirements of the organization, and by providing individual assistance to learners.
“There is always this tension between scalability and effectiveness when approaching eLearning,” says Desai. “On the one hand, purely digital solutions can be scaled up easily and cheaply. But the learning results suffer. What we are trying to do is provide a solution that can meet enterprise needs but doesn’t leave learners behind.”
Wherever needed, Ardor starts with benchmark testing, deploying an online test with optional oral component amongst a target group to assess who needs training the most. The client company can select a small cohort of learners and use pilot models to adjust the program components and to identify how to best integrate the program into their own institutional structure.
Every training program is complemented with DYNAMIZER service wherein personal learning coaches are assigned to the learners to monitor their progress and offer them additional tips and motivation. What makes the whole offering effective is the seamless integration of all the services on a single platform which learners can navigate through common dashboard, thus providing a streamlined experience to the learner.
Having made its mark in the marketplace by winning marquee deals, Ardor Learning is moving ahead aiming at strategic areas for growth within its internal structure, keeping its teams updated with new skill sets, and making sure that it has people deployed wherever its clients are.
“We are excited about the growth we are seeing in the market,” says Desai. “And we’re making sure our company and our team is strong to meet the growing demand for quality online training.”