How to Use Learning Analytics? 3 Value-add Cases

How to use learning analytics?

How to Use Learning Analytics? 3 Value-add Cases

As corporations become more data-driven in their decision making, learning & development has to follow suit. To make better decisions, you naturally need to collect a lot more learning data. But that alone isn’t enough. You also need capabilities to analyse the data to understand what it means. While there’s a lot of ambiguity about corporate training analytics and some organisations intentionally try to make it sound extremely difficult, it’s not entirely true. To clear out some of that ambiguity, here are 3 different use cases for learning analytics that are applicable for organisations of all sizes.

1. How to use learning analytics to increase engagement?

One of the bottleneck issues in corporate learning today is engagement. It’s not always an easy task to put out learning experiences that resonate with the learners and keep them engaged. Naturally, your content has to be of good quality, and you should likely use a fair bit of interactivity. But once all that is said and done, you should unleash the analytics.

Through learning content analytics, we can get a much better understanding of our users. We can see what are the pieces of content that are used the most or the least. We can also get an understanding of ‘when’ and ‘where’ learners tend to drop off, which then enables to start figuring out ‘why’. Furthermore, we can drill down to each interaction between the learner and content/instructors/other learners to really understand what is working and what is not. All of this (and a fair bit more!) enables us to constantly develop our learning experiences based on real information instead of gut-feels and opinions. And when we can make our content to be more relevant and to-the-point, a lot of the engagement tends to come naturally.

2. How to use learning analytics to personalise learning experiences?

Our professional learners – the employees – come with various skills, degrees of experience, education and backgrounds. As they certainly don’t represent a one-size sample, we shouldn’t be putting them through one-size-fits-all learning experience either. As organisations have understood this, the hype around personalised learning has grown significantly over the past few years. But it’s not just hype, there’s real value to personalisation that learning analytics can help us to unlock.

First of all, learning analytics help us to understand the different individuals and groups of learners in our organisation. By being able to drill down all the way to the level of individual’s interactions, we can understand our learners’ needs and challenges much better. This enables us to cater to their various strengths, diverse learning history and varying interests. Instead of providing a simple one-size-fits-all learning experience, we can use this information to design personalised learning paths for different groups or even up to an individual level. These learning paths can branch out and reconnect based on difficulty of content, experience, current job and various other factors. The learning experience thus becomes a spider’s web instead of a straight line, and you’ll be able to catch much more of your learners.

3. How to use learning analytics to prove the impact of learning?

Proving the impact or the ROI of learning is something that L&D professionals often struggle with. One of the reasons for struggle is not using learning analytics. For learning results in terms of knowledge acquisition, a data-driven approach beats out the traditional multiple choice testing or feedback forms by a long shot. Furthermore, it enables a much more formative way of assessment, thanks all the data points collected and available.

But simple knowledge acquisition isn’t simply enough to demonstrate corporate learning impact. After all, what’s the learning good for if no one applies it? Thus, it’s imperative that we combine learning analytics with performance metrics and indicators. By doing this, we’ll get a lot closer to real learning results. E.g. how did the sales training affect the sales staff routines, behaviours and performance? How much of the risky behaviour did the compliance training help to eliminate? Is our training on team management actually resulting in teams being managed better? By enabling this level of analytics, you can answer a lot more questions. Furthermore, you can also start asking questions that you were not even aware of.

In our work, learning analytics and data-driven approaches play a big part. While technology plays a big part, there’s obviously more to it. For instance, you want to be sure that you’re setting your corporate learning objectives to enable this. If you’re looking to move into more data-driven learning strategies or understand your training impact better, we can probably help you. Just reach out to us here.

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Understanding Corporate Learning Technology Needs

Corporate learning technology needs

Understanding Corporate Learning Technology Needs

Whenever organisations start looking into implementing learning technologies, they should carefully examine what is needed. Unfortunately, we often encounter organisations who choose technology based on “best practices” and seemingly for “keeping up with the Joneses”, rather than carefully analysing and understanding their own organisation, employees and stakeholders. To help to clear the clutter, here’s a rundown of the different types of learning technology implementations and what fuels them.

The different types of learning technology implementations

This type classification is based on the concept by Donald H Taylor.

Learning technology implementations can be divided into 4 different types based on the needs, goals and motivations.

  1. Updating organisational infrastructure
  2. Increasing L&D efficiency
  3. Increasing learning effectiveness
  4. Facilitating organisational change

Now, let’s look at all of these in more detail and try to understand some of the underlying corporate learning technology needs.

1. Updating organisational infrastructure

The first type of learning technology implementations focuses on supporting the business as usual. Needs related to e.g. risk management, compliance and formal assessments often result in this type of implementation. While all important goals, the focus is often not learning itself.

2. Increasing L&D efficiency

The second type of implementations focuses on making learning more efficient. In practice, this generally means cost savings, increased scalability, reduced administrative burden and shorter time requirements to roll out learning activities. While most implementations seem to fall into this category, they may not necessarily address the real corporate learning needs or the efficacy of learning processes themselves.

3. Increasing learning effectiveness

The third type of implementations are probably the hardest ones to manage. The real effect of learning on performance is not easily measured by conventional means, making the returns harder to prove. However, a data-driven approach to corporate learning and proper learning analytics help tremendously. The return doesn’t have to be strictly financial either, although understanding the business impact does help a lot. Also, if you can demonstrate impacts on retention or time to competence, you’re more likely to get buy-in.

4. Facilitating organisational change

Finally, the fourth type of implementations is evidently the most impactful one to the organisation. Often, these are cases where organisations use learning to support a cultural change. If you’re struggling to measure learning effectiveness on its own, good luck measuring that in connection to organisational change. As a results, thanks to the sheer difficulty of tangible metrics, these implementations are initiated from the top. However, as the buy-in from the senior management is in place from the beginning, L&D might have a much smoother sailing!

Overall, every organisation has different corporate learning technology needs. Consequently, the implementations and their goals are going to be different as well. With this classification, you’re hopefully able to recognise where you and your project stand and act accordingly.

Are you implementing learning technologies but not achieving success? Or are you planning to but don’t know where to start? We at Learning Crafters can help, just contact us. We primarily manage and facilitate type 3 and 4 implementations, but are open to providing advise on other kinds of projects as well.

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How to Launch Learning Technology Projects Successfully?

How to Launch Learning Technology Projects Successfully

How to Launch Learning Technology Projects Successfully?

Learning technology implementations are quite complex projects, especially on a larger scale. In addition to all the technical and design work that goes into a project, you also need to manage and communicate with multiple stakeholder groups. While all phases of the implementation are important, and good stakeholder communication is imperative in every phase, the launch phase is the one L&D professionals tend to be the most anxious about. To help you in the process, here are some different ways to launch learning technology along with helpful tips.

A ‘Big Bang’ Launch for big projects

The big bang launch – a simultaneous organisation-wide rollout – is perhaps the “traditional” approach to launching learning technology. Before the launch, the implementation team works the technology to perfection. All content shall usually be available from the outset. Essentially, it’s about trying to build the perfect product, and only then launching it.

This type of approach may make sense for large organisation-wide implementations, in which there’s buy-in from the top executives. The big launch creates momentum which is detrimental in bringing all the employees on board.

However, this approach to launching learning technology is also a very high-risk one. There will be a lot of nay-sayers (as people, in general, are against change) who will use any flaws in the product to prove its uselessness. While you’re very unlikely to have a perfect product from the get-go, there are measures you can take to mitigate the risk. Firstly, it’s important to know your stakeholders thoroughly. Secondly, it’s important to ensure accessible and direct channels of feedback and support.

A ‘soft launch’ for learning tech may be more user-centric

Whereas in the big bang approach relies on a ready product to be delivered as-is, the soft launch method takes a bit more risk averse approach. In a soft launch, the learning technology is initially rolled out to a selected user group. When it comes to launching learning technology, organisations may often choose to soft launch the platform to the HR team or a particular department. While the approach is much more low-key, it’s also a lot less risky.

Similar to the big bang approach, communication and feedback are important. In fact, the fundamental idea of a soft launch is to gather user live user feedback, implement changes accordingly and ultimately, build the buy-in for the technology through that collaboration. And to gather feedback effectively, you should ideally get as diverse set of user reviews as possible. Thus, it might make more sense to incorporate users with various roles and functions into the initial soft launch.

How about an incremental launch of learning technology?

A third potential alternative to launch learning technology is the incremental approach. You could view it as a bit similar to launching a beta-version of a product. The initial rollout doesn’t have all the features nor all the content. For learning technology implementations, the incremental progression of features comes somewhat more naturally. As we are using more cloud-based products, the vendors are also updating more frequently. Key features should of course be available from the start, but not giving out a too complex system at the launch might actually make it easier for the users to adopt it.

When it comes to content, the incremental approach requires a bit of careful management. Firstly, the progression and scheduling of content needs to be planned carefully, with the most critical learning activities taking priority. Secondly, you should make sure there’s something for all users. Inviting people to a platform with no content useful to them is a good way of disengaging the user base. Thirdly, you should ensure that the whole launch support a gradual change rather than disrupting existing workflows altogether, as that’s a fundamental ideology behind the incremental approach.

Overall, no matter which method of launching learning technology you choose, communication is the key. Feedback before, throughout and after the launch is important. Moreover, you should strive for a learner-centric approach to the development wherever possible. In the end, that’s the best guarantor of success.

Do you need help or advise in launching new learning technologies in the workplace? We can work with you as an implementation partner, guiding you through the implementation process. Just contact us.

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Learning Technology Implementations – 3 Mistakes to Avoid

Learning technology implementation - 3 pitfalls to avoid

Learning Technology Implementations – 3 Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to learning technology implementations, a lot can go wrong. If not careful, you might be investing a lot of time and resources into something that ultimately doesn’t work. Sometimes, it might be that the vendor has oversold you and fails to deliver. But equally often it might be due to lacklustre internal preparation for the project. Here are three common pitfalls to avoid when implementing learning technologies in the workplace.

1. Not choosing the right technology

The first step to get right in a learning technology implementation is the technology selection. Unfortunately, it’s also a step where a lot of organisations get it wrong. Sure, the market is a big one (you can choose from more than 5-700 different products) and it may be hard to navigate through the aggressive sales pitches of the vendors and to really understand the capabilities on offer. It’s also very easy to resort to systems that someone in the company has used before, but that type of thinking doesn’t really set you out for the long term.

So, when it comes to learning technology implementations, the first thing to understand is your own organisation. What’s the business problem you’re trying to solve with the technology? Who’s going to be using the solution? How? Once you’ve carefully defined the problem, it’s a lot easier to see the potential solutions among all the rest.

It’s important to get the technology right, but it’s also important to find the right expertise to support the project. Technology vendors may sometimes lack a holistic understanding of the use of learning technology, as they’re solely focused on pushing their own product out there. In such situations, it might make sense to bring in an outside learning consultant. The consultant can provide the much needed expertise in digital learning, which helps to get to actual learning results.

2. Believing in “build it and they will come”

The “build it and they will come” belief is one of the longer standing myths in learning technology implementations. However, the belief that once a system is out there, users will automatically engage with it is just utter nonsense.

In reality, you first of all have to know your users; how the technology can help them, save their time, make them more efficient and so on. Naturally, if you haven’t known this already, you might have ended up with a wrong technology altogether. Secondly, it’s important have engaging, interactive and interesting learning content (here, here and here are some tips for that). Thirdly, getting your employees or users to adopt a new system will take a good amount of internal marketing and communications.

3. Locking yourself into a vendor relationship

As mentioned, a lot of learning implementations fail – and many for reasons not even listed above. If a project fails and you’re not getting the results you want, you should probably look at cooperating with other providers. Thus, the worst disservice you can do to your own organisation is to lock yourself into a vendor relationship. Lengthy, often fixed contracts are obviously what the vendors prefer, and in exchange you may score a discount on the license fees. However, if you want to switch providers after a year of failed efforts but are committed to five years, you’re out of luck.

Thus, we would encourage companies to work with vendors who appreciate flexibility, and that their product might not always be the best. Cloud-based systems and software-as-a-service (SaaS) models are very commonplace nowadays. In fact, if vendors insist on long, fixed contracts, that should perhaps be a sign of caution. As in if the product is as good as they describe, a flexible SaaS solution would be more profitable for them as well.

Overall, there a lot of ways a learning technology implementation can go wrong. Here are some of the usually overlooked ones. Hope they help you in your learning technology projects.

If you think you could use outside expertise in your learning technology implementation, we are happy to help. Our engagements cover both technology selections and digital learning advisory. Just contact us to set up a meeting.

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Corporate Learning Webinars – Are They Still “In”?

Corporate learning webinars - are they still in?

Corporate Learning Webinars – Are They Still “In”?

When the technology for live video streaming first took off, we saw webinars emerge as a concept. For learning, webinars were the first attempts to mimic face-to-face training in a digital environment. Ever since then, we’ve witnessed and incredible surge in popularity of video as learning content. But where does that leave us? Is there still a place for corporate learning webinars?

The problems with corporate learning webinars

Webinars are no longer the technological breakthrough they were back in the day. With the surge in content delivery technologies throughout the spectrum, we’ve become to notice a few problems with webinars.

The quality of video, and especially audio, are the first noticeable problem. With the advent of ever-better cameras and studio tools, we’ve grown accustomed to high quality videos, especially with long-form content. While we can utilise some of that tech for webinars, the challenge is the live aspect. For instance, the audio tracks are not edited (since it’s live!) and can thus become quite painful to listen, especially if the presenter’s microphone is not properly placed.

When it comes to corporate learning webinars, engagement is also a problem. Yes, the learners might be logged in to the session, but they space off just as easily. Overall, webinars are still quite a passive medium of engagement, where there’s limited interaction from the participants. As the learners are not interacting, they’re not retaining as much either. Furthermore, the benefit of instructor-led training should be the ability to interact with the trainer and fellow trainees; to ask questions and share opinions. That benefit doesn’t often realise in corporate learning webinars.

Solutions to the problems

Naturally, developments on technological fronts have, and continue to, enable us to solve some of these problems. Microphone technologies are becoming better and better, helping to filter out background noises and unwanted extras. Cameras have also improved tremendously, and many of them even have integrated live streaming capabilities.

While there has been progress with the hardware, the major developments have happened on the software side. First of all, webinar tools have become much more user friendly. Secondly, they have introduced a lot of possibilities for interactivity: live polls, live quizzes, chat rooms, whiteboards, document sharing and engagement monitoring are just a few examples. These have enabled us to bring the needed three levels of learning interactivity into the webinars. Thus, the audience is no longer a passive listener, but rather an active participant. For learning purposes, that makes a whole world of difference.

Should you still use corporate learning webinars? Is there a future?

Learning webinars may have that slightly outdated connotation. But if they work for you, there’s no reason to stop using them. However, do keep in mind some of the problems with webinars, and engage with your users (learners) to find out how they see your offering. If your webinars lack interactivity, you might consider delivering through some of the newer technologies on the market (we are happy to provide recommendations).

In the future, webinars will be challenged by the rise of other technologies suitable for instructor-led training, such as augmented reality. However, webinars will continue to provide the required scalability for the time these technologies are still developing. In terms of digital instructor-led training, live video is not the only solution though. Many organisations are trying out things such as instructor-led facilitation in online environments – with good results!

If you’d like recommendations for good webinar tools or help with refining your approach to digital ILT, we can help you. Just contact us to set up a meeting – even a virtual one!

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Extended Enterprise Learning – Expanding Training Beyond Own Employees

Extended enterprise learning - train your partners, customers and stakeholders

Extended Enterprise Learning – Expanding Training Beyond Own Employees

Another trend that we’re seeing in the training business is that all organisations are rapidly getting involved in the training business. The world where we were only responsible for our own employees is no longer there. Rather, organisations are nowadays also training their customers, partners, freelancers, resellers and sometimes even potential competitors! The term coined for these training activities going beyond the scope of employment is called extended enterprise learning.

So, let’s look at what organisations are doing in this space and also how extended enterprise learning may differ from the traditional in-house L&D.

Should you train your partners?

Absolutely, say many organisations. For instance, most technology companies have training programs for their distributors and resellers. Furthermore, all companies are usually a part of some kind of a supply chain. A lot of companies are also working on extending the enterprise learning to the upstream of their supply chain (suppliers, vendors, etc.). Often this is compliance, but it can also be sustainability, operations or other things depending on the level of cooperation. These training activities generally build towards much better collaboration, as the parties will grow mutual understanding and shared goals.

How about training your customers?

So, providing extended enterprise learning to partners definitely makes sense, but how about customers? Moving from the upstream supply chain to the downstream, is there added value in providing learning for your clients?

Well, many organisations seem to think so. Again, technology companies have been spearheading the change and have built extensive and sometimes impressive customer support programs. They’ve understood that their success comes from the success of their customers. And it’s not just customer support. These organisations often offer certificates that the customers pay for to either support their own business or showcase their expertise. There’s a whole new revenue stream for you!

Recently, we’ve seen many traditional companies entering this space. E.g. utilities companies providing learning resources on leading a sustainable life. Or clothing retailers teaching customers about their products in the context of sustainability, social responsibility and social impact.

Can extended enterprise learning help freelancers, contract workers and temporary staff?

The nature of work is shifting dramatically. Contract work and freelancing is becoming more and more common. The gained flexibility seems to be working for both corporates and the individuals. However, due to their temporary nature, these workers don’t often get access to the same learning as the directly employed folks. The reasons could be compliance, security, physical distance or lack of infrastructure. Yet, these workers would need the training like any others.

In many cases, it’s the underlying learning technology that is at fault. “We can’t let outsiders access our corporate LMS” is a phrase we hear all too often. Many companies with that kind of real limitations or in most cases, emotional barriers have found a way to circumvent the problem. They’ve built or taken on a separate platform to deliver training to their extended enterprise learning audience.

How does extended enterprise learning differ from employee training?

Naturally, training new audiences differs in many ways from that of your own employees. The topics, content and approaches may be different. But one of the most important differentiators is motivation. Whereas employees have to tolerate a lacklustre learning experience, or otherwise they might be out of a job, external stakeholders don’t. Your partners or freelancers, let alone customers, are not going to engage in your learning if it’s not perceived as high quality. They have far better ways to spend their time and more important things to do. As such, relying on the biggest false myth of the learning industry – “build it and they will come” – quickly proves to be a futile strategy. Thus, if you really want to practice extended enterprise learning, you need to do it properly.

And that is not to say you can get away with providing poor quality learning experiences to your own employees. That’s going to have its long-term problems too!

Have you tried extended enterprise learning?Would you like to develop new revenue streams by using your organisation’s know-how and expertise? We can help you develop a great learning offering, just contact us.

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Learning Digitalisation – 5 Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Learning Digitalisation

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

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Why xAPI is the Most Important Thing in the Future of Learning?

xAPI

Why xAPI is the Most Important Thing in the Future of Learning?

The new interoperability standard and specification of eLearning, the Experience API (xAPI), is replacing SCORM. In today’s mobile world, where learning happens all the time and data is everywhere, it was necessary to develop a future framework for digital learning. Project TinCan not only achieved just that, it set out to fulfil the dreams of L&D and HR professionals with the Experience API. The specification enables us to capture vast amounts of data previously unavailable, run powerful analytics and link learning to business performance. In fact, xAPI is so powerful, that it will be the cornerstone future learning is built on, and here are just a few reasons why.

If you’re not familiar with the Experience API, you can read more about it here

xAPI enables us to track behaviours and interactions

Whereas SCORM enabled us to track test scores, completions and other basic factors, xAPI goes much deeper. With similar concept to e.g. Google Analytics, xAPI tracks interactions. This means that we can record every single click, comment, learning interaction and activity. This gives an immensely rich picture into how learning happens in the organisation. For the first time, learning professionals really know whether learning content works or not, i.e. do learners really use it. This makes content curation and decision making much easier. Learning professionals can also pinpoint the individuals or groups who require learning interventions. Furthermore, xAPI enables us to truly measure the ROI of learning in relation to all possible KPIs.

xAPI can track all learning activities including informal and offline

Nowadays, learning is increasingly happening outside of the workplace and schools – outside monitored environments. For a long period of time, learning professionals have struggled to get a complete picture of the whole life-long learning journey of individuals. However, with xAPI that is possible. The technology can track all imaginable learning activities, whether they happen outside of the employer’s system or even completely offline. For instance, it can track websites and articles that employees read and engage with. Capturing learning data is no longer confined within the borders of the learning management system (LMS). Every single interaction anywhere can be communicated with xAPI to a learning records store, which acts as the database.

xAPI enables us to finally link learning and business performance

Finally, the greatest struggle of learning professionals has been identifying the business value of different learning activities. Establishing links between performance and learning has been guessing game since the beginning. However, xAPI is here to change also that. We can use it to pull data from all systems (think ERPs, CRMs, HRMs, PMSs). Hence, with the right use of analytics, we can monitor business performance in all imaginable metrics and track it against the learning that is happening in the organisation. Thus, we can pinpoint whether employees in the organisation apply the learning, i.e. is there a behavioural change. Furthermore, we can confidently assign dollar values to these behavioural impacts, and hence the learning activities as well. Measuring the ROI of learning goes from a guessing game to data-driven science. Hence, you can be comfortable knowing that you’re getting the most out of your limited resources in L&D.

Do you already use xAPI for advanced learning insights? Do you want to finally link your learning to business performance? If yes, contact us, and let’s transform your learning together. 

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3 Essentials Your Learning Systems Should Have

Learning Systems

3 Essentials Your Learning Systems Should Have

When it comes to digital learning effectiveness, our learning systems and their capabilities play an equally important role to interactive and engaging learning content. Many organisations have already adopted some modern learning content formats, like storyboards and videos. However, running even these types of modern engaging content on archaic systems is just ineffective and a waste of resources. To ensure you’re delivering eLearning at its full potential, here are today’s 3 essentials for learning systems.

Mobile Learning Interfaces are a must-have

Majority of content consumption nowadays happens on the mobile. Mobile learning provides the greatest flexibility and is also the preference of today’s learners. Therefore, a mobile interface on the learning system is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have. And the mobile experience is not limited to accessibility only. The mobile learning interface should have all the same functionalities than the desktop version. This can be achieved through apps or responsive web services, of which the latter are generally a better option. Mobile responsive web services enable better integration and more seamless multi-platform learning experiences.

You can read more about mobile learning here.

Learning systems need xAPI compatibility for proper analytics

The technological capabilities of capturing learning data have moved forward significantly with the rise of the Experience API (xAPI). This new standard of digital learning (replacing SCORM) enables us to capture and record learning activities both online and offline. Furthermore, it enables us to track the whole spectrum of learning – from formal to experimental. In fact, we should see the xAPI as the Google Analytics for learning systems. Instead of tracking pass/fail, test scores and completion, this interface enables us to track interactions. Essentially, we can track every single interaction the users make with learning materials, other learners and trainers. This provides a realm of possibilities for more data driven people strategies, content curation and assessment. Hence, we have the capabilities to abolish some of the dreaded formal testing. Also, we get access to real-time analytics for both the skills development and learning material effectiveness.

Digital Learning User Experience (UX) must be at the core

With today’s adept mobile users, a dated user experience is the fastest way to kill adoption of any learning systems. With all the change management and new learning we are going through, the last thing the end user wants to do is to go through training on how to use a system. Hence, systems need to be intuitive. Naturally, this requires a visually pleasing, but most importantly clean user interface (UI). We should guide users with visual queues instead of extensive text. Furthermore, everything should be accessible from any page with 1-2 clicks.

However, a nice UI is not enough. We need to ensure the UX and the user journey’s work on all levels. In practice, this means that learning content needs to be natively hosted in the system. Links to other platforms often kill engagement, and may also disable proper data flows. The need to download learning content to learners’ own devices is another buzz-kill. Firstly, we cannot track learning activities for downloaded files. Secondly, downloads mean that we need to use documents, files or PDFs – something you should never do with digital learning in 2018. Ideally, we could do everything in a single system without the need to switch around.

Are your learning systems up to date? We can help you to upgrade to the next generation of digital learning. Just contact us here

 

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