Keeping Up with the Speed of Innovation in Your Learning Platform
It’s no secret that we are living in an age of constant technological development and the speed of innovation is only increasing.
The revolutionary changes being made to our phones, our watches, and even our home appliances have a significant impact on our daily lives and create a new standard of expectation for tech of all kinds. In training and development, the digital learning platform is one tool with which its speed of innovation continues to advance with the times.
Elearning has come a long way since the first “Stand Alone” systems of the 1980s and the evolution began with the Learning Management System (LMS). Instead of being operated by a single administrator, the modern LMS is now used by training professionals and new employees alike in a variety of different capacities. The expansion of its use has mandated the growth of its functionality, and learning environments will continue to evolve to accommodate the changing needs of businesses and organizations.
A study on LMS migration by Nipissing University illustrates just how many areas of your organization these updates touch:
With the surfacing of innovative technologies, revisions to current systems, and changing needs and abilities of instructors, future LMS transitions are predictable and therefore the speed of innovation can continue to progress. Each institution must adapt, using technologies and models of understanding, in this case, to reconcile teaching, research, IT, a changing environment, financial accountability, and managerial models.
The Importance of Employee Satisfaction with Your LMS
When learners enjoy their training experience, they become more engaged with the material and are more excited to put what they have learned into practice. Because employee satisfaction and retention are so tied to a company’s investment in training needs, properly leveraging your LMS can lead not only to a happier organization but also to better outcomes.
As instructional designers formulate new, innovative strategies to improve training methods, it is important to make sure you are utilizing the features of your LMS in a way that enhances the specific learning outcomes of your learners.
Thanks to persistent innovation in learning technology, there is no shortage of opportunities to incorporate new features, but it is wise to consider your training goals and how an update may impact different layers of your business or organization.
Utilizing LMS Features to Meet Your Specific Needs
LMS providers are always working to expand features and capabilities to meet a diverse array of training needs. It’s important not to just follow the hype, but instead to implement LMS upgrades that strategically fit your priorities.
Are you hoping to make the learning process more fun and engaging? New gamification features might be worth the update.
Would you like to make the training experience more collaborative? The development of social learning tools should stay on your radar.
As technology continues to advance, it is helpful to have guidance in making decisions about which new features to implement and how to do so effectively.
It’s All in the Details: Managing the Changes that Come with Innovation
There are plenty of benefits when it comes to staying current with LMS technology, but it can be difficult to know how to get the most out of the new functionality. It’s also important to recognize that updates involve more than the flip of a switch – updates may require a change management process. That’s why it’s helpful to have a team of experts who can ensure that your LMS updates go smoothly. Learning Pool has demonstrated expertise in updating our clients to the latest version while also working hand in hand to help them get the most out of the features and functionalities that will make the biggest impact.
Pivoting to the LXP
The ubiquity of modern technology means that learning activities can be tracked almost anywhere (with a little help from xAPI). The evolution of such technology has also driven the needs of learners to evolve, with organisations now requiring a new, more advanced version of their traditional LMS set-up to assist employees in discovering and engaging in relevant learning opportunities.
This is where the Learning Experience Platform comes in.
What is a Learning Experience Platform?
A relatively new concept, and term recently coined by leading industry analyst Josh Bersin, the Learning Experience Platform [LXP] is a fast-growing trend defined as a single point-of-access, composed of integrated technologies offering many capabilities for all your learner needs.
Building upon the foundations laid by the traditional LMS, the LXP looks to curate and aggregate content, creating learning/career pathways, skills development, and providing the user with personalized recommended content.
According to Bersin, the growing popularity of the LXP is partially due to its ability to engage employees that have grown tired of the traditional, administrator-driven LMS. The LXP also facilitates and encourages collaboration and knowledge sharing among learners, as well as capturing the learning that happens outside of formal settings. This means that learners are now being rewarded for the learning they have already been doing [e.g. on-the-job training].
LXP v LMS
Let’s look closer at what features and characteristics LXPs add to learning platforms:
Employee v Administrator Driven
When using a traditional LMS, typically learners have little to no control over the content they are exposed to. Instead, their learning experience is determined almost exclusively by trainers and administrators leaving learners with little freedom over the material and activities they pursue.
With the LXP learners receive personalized content recommendations based on their interests, goals and, the activities they’ve already completed – in addition to being able to add their own content to the course; selecting material they believe to the most relevant to their individual journey.
Impact v Compliance Focused
LMSs are frequently installed by organisations to help manage their compliance training. This could be health and safety training or, training for security, legal and regulatory purposes.
By prioritizing the development of the learner, allowing them to structure their learning journey around career goals and professional, learning in the workplace benefits both the employee and the organization.
This is because organizations can start to address the gaps in the skill set of their workforce and focus learning on enhancing the skills and knowledge of each employee.
With this approach, organizations can then measure the impact learning is having on organizational growth, helping them to prove ROI through learning, as well as make more informed decisions about the future of their learning design.
Aggregation v Curation
Using AI and Machine Learning, most LMSs enable the trainer or Instructional Designer to curate relevant and contextual content at the point of need.
However, the LMS is a closed system that doesn’t naturally assimilate learning resources from external providers. Only administrators have the ability to add content, making it more difficult and time-consuming to offer choice to learners throughout their learning journeys.
The LXP, on the other hand, is more open. Any URL can be added as a learning resource and, employees, managers, L&D professionals and other subject matter experts can contribute freely. Through the LXP, everyone can become curators so the selection for each learner quickly becomes more vast and diverse.
As with most consumer experiences now, your learners expect the personalized experience they associate with popular streaming websites such as Spotify and Netflix. With the ability for personalized content and smart recommendations, collaborative learning between learners and, the ability to reflect on an experience or activity, the LXP offers a much more targeted and unique learning journey for the individual.
Learning systems and beyond: A greater focus on ecosystems
With a greater focus on skills development and preparing workforces for the future, the need for a whole learning ecosystem became apparent. A learning ecosystem – or learning suite – encompasses all components that contribute to the learner’s overall experience and the organization’s strategy. That is people, content and technology.
According to industry analyst Josh Bersin, the learning ecosystem is a result of a shift in paradigm whereby employees autonomously integrate a continuous stream of learning content into their week. This is known as ‘learning in the flow of work’.
For Bersin, the learning ecosystem enables L&D teams to implement a learning strategy that serves every learner and every function in the organization. You oversee the entire learning ecosystem’s strategy, implement tools and processes, engage team members from every department, align learning content with business goals and learner needs, and own training KPIs.
Pivoting to a learning ecosystem enables learning teams to create experiences that are more agile, peer-driven and personalized. And from this, we then see an increase in technology integrations and layers that allow L&D teams to develop a learning platform with exactly the tools and techologies needed for their learning strategy. This includes:
- Skills mapping, assessment and development
- Content discovery
So, where are we going?
For 2023, L&D is hot on the tail of skills development. According to the World Economic Forum, more than half of all employees will require significant reskilling and upskilling by 2025. But according to Fosway’s Digital Realities Survey 2022, less than 20% of L&D leaders believe they are “effective at upskilling and reskilling, onboarding or business change.” The future of work is changing more rapidly than ever before, meaning job roles and functions are no longer so black and white. In most companies today employees have many roles and work on many projects. Each of these types of work requires “capabilities” and “skills.” Capabilities are the business-worded definitions of what drives success while skills are the granular areas of expertise that people need to perform well.
Previously, businesses would have looked to hire people to bridge these skills gaps, but that can prove difficult in this increasingly competitive job market requiring time and money, something many organizations find is in short supply.
Integrations with AI-powered skills technology can enable organizations to address their gaps in skills as soon as they appear by building dynamic upskilling and reskilling opportunities around individual skills profiles, real-time market data, and organizational objectives.
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