As the industry is adapting to a new breed of learning tools, including Chatbots, Virtual Reality and Learning Experience Platforms (LXP), a lot of focus is still on the functionality that these new tools bring, such as in a recent LXP RFP I’ve seen.
There is a risk in this approach, as we look at these tools as a building block on top of existing practices, we aren’t always stopping to reflect on how we’re delivering learning and development opportunities to our teams.
Another approach might be to look at the problems we are trying to solve in our organizations, the outcomes we are looking to achieve, and then exploring the different ways we can get there.
This may well be using the same tips and tricks we’ve done previously, such as linear online courses or synchronized learning (be it face to face or online) as each of these have their own place and time where they are beneficial.
However, only by reflecting on the why of a learning need can we fully explore how we can deliver the most beneficial learning experiences. Learning Experience Platforms can be a great tool to do this with.
That is why when approaching the standard blog post of “What to look for from a Learning Experience Platform”, I thought it best to actually think about the outcome focused benefits LXPs are bringing to organizations and the end users who will be using them.
Each platform may deliver these in a different way, but this is what is making LXPs different from the learning tools we’ve seen (and loved and/or hated) before.
The focus here is on creating engaged learning by empowering the end user to take autonomy over their learning.
So, whereas the traditional LMS leans towards making learning management easier for admins, you’re likely to see a simpler administration area.
Not necessarily a bad thing! These tools will help to keep you focussed on the learning aspect of the experience you are trying to create, keeping the end user’s needs in mind.
LXPs facilitate a harmony between the needs of the individual/L&D team/organization by providing a place for L&D teams to create great learning experiences, relating them to the context of the individual while also allowing for the connection to wider business objectives.
In Stream LXP (formerly Curatr) we use default Leadership soft skills as an exemplar of how you can utilise a common identified set of skills or behaviours to connect both what the business needs from their employees, such as great communication skills, to what individuals want to focus on with their development, like delivering engaging presentations.
I’m breaking my rule here about it not being about Features, but the way in which some Features are implemented is important. One of those features is recommendations. The importance here is relevance; ensuring useful content is highlighted to users, while maintaining their autonomy to decide if that will be useful to them.
Benefits of a Growth mindset approach can be utilized here, whereby the tools are not generalizing or stereotyping users and thereby limiting them, but providing useful highlights, keeping options open for them to go down their own rabbit hole.
LXPs hereby allow organizations to make the most of the learning experiences they have available to their employees; encouraging more engagement with them, such as through self-directed learning.
Josh Bersin explains this new trend as bringing learning into the “flow of work”. By connecting learners’ context to the learning experience, LXPs are bringing learning and work together.
The longer term aim here is that Learning is no longer a separate activity that people struggle to make time for.
The platform brings the context of learning to life, through relevance to their role or situation/aspirations, prompting them to reflect on what they’ve learned and encouraging them to embed the learning.
Reflections are at the heart here, becoming a standard part of the learning experience.
As they are not targeted at learning management, and thus don’t do the work of a LMS, until such time as L&D teams no longer feel they are required, LXPs will need to fit into the current learning landscape of the organization.
This can be successfully achieved through integrations with an existing LMS (perhaps for utilizing existing content) but also through connecting with CRM or HR systems to allow for shared data, for example, tracking performance of individuals…which leads us nicely onto…
Harnessing the power of xAPI, LXPs (as connectors of all the above) should offer enhanced learning data, providing valuable insights for L&D professionals to support their iterative improvement of learning experiences, as well as allowing for new approaches.
With the benefits of a standardized data set, xAPI allows impact to be tracked and observed through easy access to the data, for example, through combining learning data with sales and performance data from other systems. And with these insights highly effective LXPs should….
Highlight the Value of Learning
Which should lead to better engagement with learning experiences, thus driving a virtuous circle where employees feel valued that they are supported to grow with your organization, saving costs on staff turnover, time to competence etc.
Harnessed effectively, LXPs can bridge the gap between the old and new “world”, keeping up with pace of the increasingly influential digital revolution age and future proof not just the L&D departments of your organization but the overall growth and scale of organizations in this uncertain time.
If you want to see how the new Stream LXP (formerly Curatr) features can work for you and your organisation, including to help you create better engagement with your learning experiences, get in touch.