Learning Digitalisation – 5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid
More and more organisations are currently undergoing a digital transformation process for L&D or looking to digitalise their learning activities. Whether the desired outcome will be fully digital or blended learning, companies should keep in mind a number of things. As with any change, good planning and strategy makes or breaks the initiative. We decided to help you in crafting the optimal strategy for digital learning. Hence, here are 5 common pitfalls to avoid with learning digitalisation.
1. Not re-engineering learning content for digital delivery
One of the first things where organisations try to cut corners is learning content. “Powerpoints, PDFs and text based manuals have worked for a long time. Why don’t we just upload them to the learning system?” Absolutely not. These mediums may work with active facilitation in a classroom setting, but they are just abysmal for digital delivery. A lot of it doesn’t scale to different screen sizes, and none of it has any interactivity. Digital learning cannot be passive, otherwise you’ll lose out a lot on effectiveness. The 21st century content needs to be full of two-way interactivity and use mediums like animations, simulations and video.
There are no fast wins here. Interactive content development does take time. But good strategic planning will get you started on the right track. And of course there are vendors you can engage as well.
2. Restricting accessibility with archaic platforms
In 2018, the world is mobile and so is our learning. Your employees want to learn anytime, anywhere, using the short segments of downtime they have during their days. However, even a fluid mobile learning experience is not enough. Nowadays learning environments need to work coherently and in-sync across all devices and platforms. Thus, an employee could e.g. start a course at office on his desktop, continue with mobile while commuting and finish off by watching videos on a TV at home.
Mobile and cross-platform functionality is an absolute necessity today. The good news is, thanks to mobile becoming a commodity, these types of platforms can be had at competitive prices! Thus, even small organisations can feasibly look into learning digitalisation without breaking the bank.
3. Neglecting the value of data and learning analytics
Learning data collection and learning analytics will be two of the biggest things impacting L&D for the foreseeable future. Thus one of the most important questions to answer is how do we measure learning in the future? One of the most important data specifications for the future of learning is the Experience API (xAPI). We strongly advise against committing to any learning platforms or content tools that do not support xAPI. (You may read more on the importance of xAPI here.)
Unfortunately, the way things work is that if a system is not originally built to collect or handle certain types of data, it may become virtually impossible to do so afterwards. Thus, it’s of utmost importance to do proper due diligence on the existing data capabilities and specifications.
4. Neglecting Learner User Experience
As mentioned, data capabilities are of utmost importance in learning digitalisation. However, the learning user experience is equally important. A great looking platform is not enough by itself. Engaging and interactive content is not enough by itself. Both of the aforementioned are not enough if you’re not providing true accessibility and freedom of learning. Therefore, it’s important to study and understand your learners – what are their preferences and how should their whole learning journey be facilitated as seamlessly as possible. The technologies, learning culture and practices need to be aligned.
5. “Black and White” mindset in learning digitalisation
Many companies, vendors especially, claim that learning digitalisation solves all L&D problems of the future. But of course it doesn’t. On the other hand, many trainers believe that you simply cannot facilitate certain topics digitally. History has proven both wrong many times. Hence, it’s important to understand the place, meaning and value of digital in the context of the whole L&D strategy. Furthermore, you should be liberal to experiment with different topics and different types of delivery. A carefully crafted blended learning approach can work wonders, using digital to support face-to-face and vice versa. Thus, it’s important to examine your training needs, experiment, and figure out what kind of solutions you can come up for individual topics.
Are you looking to digitalise your learning activities? If you need help with understanding systems and technology or producing engaging and interactive learning content, we are happy to help. Just contact us.