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Can You Build the Perfect Learner Experience?

If you’ve been considering implementing or upgrading the workplace training scheme within your organization, we anticipate that there are a few things you’d like to ensure when taking the plunge.

  1. That the investment is worth the money spent.
  2. That learners will be motivated and encouraged to participate.
  3. And that learners will apply their new knowledge and skills in the workplace.

The emergence of the first LMS in the late 1990s saw training opportunities being offered to large-scale workforces across the globe. Predominantly compliance-focused, this training typically enabled employees to adhere to correct procedures during the working day – i.e. to comply with health and safety regulations.

But entering the 21st Century, the Digital Transformation and the vast advancement of technology has seen the face of elearning change rapidly. From social and personalized learning to virtual and augmented reality, the possibilities for L&D are endless.

Over the last year, we’ve observed the advancement of the Learning Experience Platform (LXP), a learner-centric Learning & Development platform that facilitated the move from compliance training to continuing professional development (CPD).

Using the LXP, organizations are now able to offer bespoke professional development training at a scale which allows each individual learner to focus on their own learning outcomes and goals, address and develop the gaps in their skillset and refind their practice.

Learning Management to Learning Experience 

As the focus shifts from the LMS to the LXP, the main thing you need to know about the Learning Experience Platform (and the clue is in the name) is that it centers on ‘learner experience’, with its core functions and features allowing each user to participate in a completely different (and individually relevant) learning journey to that of their colleagues.

If we refer back to the three things we’re anticipating you’ll want to know when upgrading to the LXP, all three are pretty much dependent on the learner experience and how your employees respond to the L&D opportunities available to them.

But with all the gadgets in the world, with artificial intelligence (AI) and smart recommendations, can the perfect learner experience be constructed?

Defining Learner Experience 

From elearning (online, software-driven) to social and experiential learning to traditional classroom-based learning, most learner experiences are unique and can come in all different shapes and sizes.

From the materials uses and the courses studied to how the concepts and knowledge are explored and practiced in different contexts/situations, the learner experience is largely dependent on the learner.

After all, L&D shouldn’t necessarily take the ‘one size fits all approach’ and what works for one learner might not suit another.

Elements of a Great Learner Experience

So, can we build the perfect learner experience? Well, the jury’s still out on that one but what we are aware of is a few key elements that go towards creating a truly great learner experience. Take a look below:

It’s fun and easy to use 

If an LMS or LXP is cumbersome, unmanageable or otherwise challenging to use then it simply shouldn’t be used in the first place.

We’ve said it numerous times before – learners will use any excuse in the book to avoid fitting learning into the flow of work and you don’t want a confusing UI or a badly built course to be the reason your employees aren’t engaging.

And as for making it fun, gamification, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) (among others) can all be built into your LXP for a truly immersive learning experience. Those with a competitive streak will do anything to get ahead of the leader boards, and systems like these are generally much more appealing and engaging for users, helping them to learn faster.

It incorporates social interaction 

There’s a lot of weight behind the benefits of social interaction for L&D purposes.

Just as we learn with our peers at school, the addition of social learning elements in your platform enables employees to communicate, collaborate and share viable learning content.

It is also great practice within the working environment when colleagues are expected to cooperate in meetings, for projects and other work-related tasks.

It uses a combination of learning methods 

As mentioned above, what works for one learner won’t always work for another. By introducing a combination of learning methods (for example self-directed learning, goal-based learning or micro-learning) we anticipate there being something that works for everyone.

Learners are also more likely to retain information through a variety of learning experiences, rather than consistently participating in the same, tiresome routine.

It incorporates personalized learning 

Personalized learning is another trend we saw really come into action in 2018. By implementing a smart recommendation system into your LMS or LXP, your users learning experiences can become much more tailored to their own needs.

Learning content is recommended to the user and is wholly dependent on their learning goals, their job role, the content they’ve previously consumed and various other variables. The algorithm also learns alongside the user so that each new recommendation is more relevant than the last.

So, the moral of the story? For L&D professionals and Instructional Designers, the focus should be on building truly worthwhile learning journeys that are of benefit to the user and soon begin to demonstrate the organizational impact your investment on training is having.

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