Personalization and adaptive content: The silent disco of elearning?
November 22, 2023
Over the summer, I had the pleasure of attending Nottingham’s Splendour festival with a jovial bunch of Learning Poolers. As often happens with Learning Pool social occasions, we ended up in the silent disco, which was no easy feat, with a queue spilling out of the entrance and halfway around the tent. This got me thinking, what is it about silent discos that makes them so popular, (aside from being located in the only covered area of a festival site on a rainy Saturday) and what does this have to do with elearning?
For anyone unaware, a silent disco entails donning a pair of headphones which typically have a switch allowing you to choose between two or more channels controlled by different DJs, often playing different genres of music. The concept appears to have originated in the early 90s as the answer to noise pollution and curfews, but while this is certainly a bonus, it has since become a staple at festivals and student unions. The silent discos’ continued prevalence in recent years suggests their popularity goes beyond just the gimmick or novelty factor.
For me, the crux of the silent disco’s popularity lies in choice, and the ability to personalize your experience. Bored of Mr Brightside? Don’t want to throw shapes to ABBA? Whilst at a regular event this might mean three minutes of boredom and awkward two-stepping, a silent disco allows you to switch the channel to a song more to your taste. You also have volume controls and can remove your headphones at any point to have a conversation, without straining your vocal chords.
The silent disco recognizes and respects that we all have different musical tastes and preferences, and empowers partygoers to tailor their experience. Similarly, we all have different preferences when it comes to learning, as well as different levels of experience and development goals, so it follows that organizations should aim for a degree of personalization in L&D initiatives too. That is not to say that employees should necessarily be given completely free reign. Silent discos are usually run by experienced DJs curating the music, as L&D professionals may write and curate content and resources to create learning programs.
Silent disco headsets are also usually equipped with lights that correspond to the channel each person is listening to. This gives the DJs real-time feedback on the tastes and preferences of the crowd, allowing them to adjust what they play to hopefully attract more listeners. Again we can take some lessons from this. For best results, L&D technologies and professionals should not only allow learners a degree of freedom and choice in their learning, they should also seek to actively adapt to trends in learner behavior, for example, AI content recommendations tailored to individual learners or manually updating course content based on user feedback.
You might be thinking this all sounds a bit complicated. And sure, organizing a silent disco has a few more considerations than just hitting play on a CD player, just as adding personalization and adaptivity to digital learning requires more effort than creating a one-size-fits-all module, but ultimately, it’s going to be much more rewarding. Ready to turn your L&D department into a silent disco? Find out how Learning Pool can help.
Learning Experience Platform
Learning Pool Platform has a number of features that allow for personalization and adaptiveness, including:
- Personalized content recommendations based on user profiles and activity, from across the platform itself, or from the wider web with the integration of Anders Pink AI software,
- Deep search capabilities that make it easy for learners to find useful content and add it to their personal playlists,
- An automated campaign tool that can provide timely nudges, reflection prompts, and spaced practice knowledge checks based on an individual’s activity on the platform or within a course,
- xAPI data tracking and data visualization dashboards can help you identify trends and challenges, enabling you to make targeted improvements to content.
Learning Pool Adaptive Content
We use adaptive intelligence to tailor unique learner journeys for individuals based on their prior experience and their success or failure in answering realistic, scenario-based questions. If learners answer initial questions correctly, they can fast-track through a course reducing their overall seat time. Learners that do not successfully answer questions are presented with additional, remedial scenarios until they achieve success. Detailed learner analytics that can identify organization-wide vulnerabilities (e.g. if many learners fail the same scenario question).
Learning Pool has recently launched AI Conversations, a groundbreaking generative AI tool that allows employees to practice challenging workplace conversations with AI-generated characters.
The tool leverages OpenAI’s GPT4 to provide users with convincing, conversational responses consistent with the traits of a given character, as well as detailed, personalized feedback to help them improve their communication and management skills.
We have curated a series of off-the-shelf AI scenarios designed around performance management, but can also offer custom scenarios in which the context, characters and assessment framework can be configured to your liking.
Adaptive Content for Compliance captures data on each learner’s course interactions and adapts the experience to reflect their needs in real-time. Find out more.
Got a learning problem to solve?
Get in touch to discover how we can help