I’ve worked in online learning all my life. And for about as long as I remember, most of the work we were commissioned to do sucked.
Corporate online learning has this thing called E-learning (or elearning, or eLearning, depending where in the world you are based!). Either way, if you’ve ever worked in a medium or large sized corporation, you’ve probably seen it. And you know it’s E-learning because it looks like nothing else on the web.
Where the web is fluid, intuitive and autonomous, E-learning is like a dull storybook, complete with pop-out characters telling me what a good worker I’ve been for getting an obvious question right. It is the product of a quest for efficient bureaucracy. Shove as many people through some standard compliance course as fast and as cheap as possible.
Except that it isn’t that fast or that cheap. Typically it takes at least 6 months to design and deploy a new piece of E-learning and the average cost of an hour of content is well over $30,000.
And the Learning Management Systems (LMSs) on which a lot of E-learning resides are archaic pieces of software; nothing like the modern web.
What’s worse than this is that we know it’s pretty ineffective.
What workplaces need is not ‘standard people’. They need ‘exceptional people’. And so instead of trying to standardise people to all be the same, the L&D department should be inspiring people to think differently.
In a world of increasing interconnectedness, we don’t need to make one magical program that does it all. This is where we’ve failed so many times before. LMS’s suffer from horrendous feature-bloat that renders them unusable.
Today we can rely on Open Source API’s to bridge the gap between software. Look at what Slack has done by being a connector. They have redefined a next generation communication system. And so we will redefine the next generation learning ecosystem.
Learning is intensely personal, social and driven by feedback. Right now it’s rare that you get those experiences in online learning, let alone all three.
So that’s what we did at Learning Pool (formerly HT2 Labs): We developed a suite of three tools that make learning just that: personal, social and driven by data, which companies can use some, or all of dependent on their needs.
An Ecosystem for Exceptional People
Through our research we’ve developed a suite of three independent but interconnected programs that change the relationship organisations have with learning. Our research tells us that 3 major factors are important in learning experiences:
- It has to be Personal
- It has to be Social
- And it has to be backed by Data
This is what we do.
Making Learning Personal
Learning has to be personal to make exceptional people. It is a one-size-fits-one endeavour. But to make this work, we have to know your goal and we have to know your history. What you want to do and what you’ve previously done.
That’s why we built Red Panda, our personal goal planner and the starting point of our ecosystem. Red Panda helps you to set and meet goals, recommending content and ticking off progress automatically as you go.
To help build on your new inspiration and to kick-start learning, we know that sharing your ideas in a safe public setting, with your peers, is an absolutely vital part of the process.
Making Learning Social
Stream LXP (formerly Curatr) is our social learning tool, integrated with legacy LMS’s to tick the compliance boxes, but a completely separate interface and user experience, dedicated to simplicity and effectiveness in online learning.
Stream LXP (formerly Curatr) creates intuitive social experiences, using content curated from every major source of learning material you can lay your hands on. Learners use it to understand new concepts and apply them in the real-world. Administrators use it to create learning paths towards specific, measurable targets quickly and easily. And of course it links seamlessly with the recommendations from Red Panda.
Making Learning Measurable
All of this is underpinned by our exploitation of big learning data. Every action a user takes, whether it is on Red Panda, Stream LXP (formerly Curatr) or some other system, can be tracked and analysed by Learning Locker, our Open Source Learning Record Store.
We use the data in our warehouse to power personal recommendations, track progress against goals and to integrate with 3rd party systems, like predictive analytics. Massively scalable, secure and deployable on-site, Learning Locker is helping us to power our R&D activity through big learning data.
That’s our next generation learning ecosystem.
Personal. Social. Powered by Data
Our vision is to enable continuous learning as a fundamental part of working life and we invest our expertise in creating learning services that change people’s lives for the better, even if that’s just in a small way.
Our Ecosystem is already being used to help businesses reduce time to competency, improve student success, and continue professional education. If that’s something that you’d like to do more of in your organisation – we should talk!
Find out more about how our Next Generation Learning Ecosystem can work for your organisation.
Ben serves as CEO for Learning Pool LTD, with responsibility for the commercial, product and people functions based mostly in the UK, reporting to the Group CEO.
Previously, Ben served as Chief Product Officer for Learning Pool where he worked to help define and develop Learning Pool’s next generation of workplace digital learning platforms, with a focus on Learning Experience Platforms and the Learning Analytics space.
Before Learning Pool, Ben helped to build HT2 Labs from humble beginnings into a globally recognized innovator in workplace digital learning. Learning Pool completed an acquisition of HT2 Labs in June 2019.
Ben’s expertise is based in research, having previously completed his PhD researching the impact of gamification on adult social learning, Ben has authored and contributed chapters for many books, has two peer-reviewed academic papers and has presented at conferences around the world, including TEDx.