This is a guest blog post from Steve Odart, joint-CEO and founder of Alfresco partner Ixxus, who has 28 years experience in the publishing and media industry. Steve will be leading a corporate learning webinar, How to Unlock the Power of Your Learning Content on Thursday 22 October, where he will be addressing all of the issues raised here. So what does he perceive as the problems with corporate learning? Over to Steve…
The Learning & Development (L&D) sector is constantly evolving, due to advances in the technology and tools available, a deeper understanding of pedagogic strategy and how individuals learn, and growth in competitive disruptors such as social learning tools and MOOCs (massive open online courses).
Not only that, but the importance of corporate learning is being seen as increasingly business critical, with more than 85% citing learning as “important” or “very important”, up 21% from last year. Despite this, more companies than ever report that they feel unprepared to meet this challenge (Global Human Capital Trends, 2015).
Here are five big issues in corporate learning that staff shouldn’t still be complaining about in 2015, but are:
- Learning content is unengaging
By far the biggest grievance from users about digital learning are that it is boring, irrelevant, ineffective, or has unclear outcomes (LearningPlatform, 2014). When it comes to corporate training, engagement and retention are key to ensuring a positive outcome and a productive team.
“Personalized learning” and “adaptive learning” are the watchwords in learning at the moment, utilizing new technologies to make learning more tailored to the individual and their specific learning journey. Bringing in social elements, rich media experiences and gamifying learning are other ways to make your learning content more diverse and engaging. With so many offers available, there’s little excuse for organizations to only offer staff monolithic, linear courses which cater to just one learning style and approach.
- Staff can’t find the training they need when they need it
The first step to ensuring that employees are engaged in training is to make sure they can actually find what they need when they need it. 68% of employees think the overwhelming volume of information makes it difficult to keep track of useful information; a further 34% cite a lack of effective tools (such as search) as a barrier (Deloitte, 2015).
Much of the problem is that the monolithic courses of most LMS platforms only allow users to read, learn and explore content in a linear way. To give learning content true discoverability, more and more L&D departments are moving toward storing content in a more granular, discoverable way (such as XML or HTML5). As well as making it easier to search, filter and discover content at the micro level of each Learning Object, this also opens up a wealth of new capabilities: reuse of existing learning objects, repackaging into different delivery channels and formats (whether print, app, LMS, PDF, EPUB3), and creation of custom products which are tailored at a local or even individual level.
- A new user base brings new user demands
50% of today’s workforce is made up of millennials, and expectations have changed and are evolving at a remarkable rate. Expectations of training platforms are the same as other digital platforms; on-demand, multi-device access and cross-platform consistency. They expect social integration, collaborative learning and a personalised experience. Ensuring that content and delivery methods are flexible, agile and interoperable is essential for future-proofing your capabilities.
- Instructional designers work inefficiently and in isolation
Despite huge changes in how learning is created and consumed, the status quo often remains with one instructional designer, working alone, authoring the entirety of a training course. This makes the process highly manual and inefficient; lack of discoverability makes it hard to tell which materials already exist; and effort can be duplicated.
- Content goes out of date quickly
In a fast changing world, learning content quickly goes out of date. Even if you keep on top of it, it can be difficult for both instructional designers and learners to identify latest versions. These avoidable errors lead to misinformed staff, issues around compliance and problems scaling knowledge – and can ultimately damage your company and its reputation.
So what can you do?
Investing in technology that will allow you to link, track and analyse content, while streamlining and automating associated processes, helps to ensure that your learning materials are accurate, up-to-date and relevant.
By authoring and assembling at a more granular level, instructional designers can work collaboratively (by assigning certain tasks to certain authors and then assembling together into finished product), but tracking and reuse of learning objects also becomes a reality.
In our upcoming corporate learning webinar, How to Unlock the Power of Your Learning Content, we will explore how to tackle these challenges by changing our approach to learning content to make it flexible, agile and adaptive. We will also look at how Alfresco can be used as a learning content management system to support and enable your corporate training strategy.
We’ll see you there!