These days, connecting your team to your learning should be extremely straightforward. The amount of technology at our fingertips allows for plenty of opportunities for wider reach and employee engagement. It’s a time when learning content should be readily available. But often, this is still not the case. With learning needing to be accessed in many ways, by many people, could using an elearning portal instead be a more simple, quicker solution for learning distribution?
What is an elearning portal?
First things first. Elearning portals are flexible, online learning locations, usually separate from the learning management environment. They typically offer a variety of learning content including elearning and bite-sized courses and resources. They typically support designated learning journeys or pathways and are used to support a variety of learning scenarios including pre-boarding and onboarding, partner and reseller training and even company compliance for remote and gig workers.
Why use an elearning portal?
When businesses start to establish clear training initiatives, they often seek out software or online tools or web platforms to support the distribution and tracking of this content. Many of these exist as learning management systems (LMS), which have been created solely for this purpose.
The role an LMS plays in the corporate learning landscape is extremely varied on a per-business basis, however, there are commonalities across them all which any organization with a learning strategy will seek, including:
- Learning distribution: the assigning and sharing of learning content
- Learning tracking: the observation and measurement of learning taken, what’s working, what’s not, why?
- Audience segmentation and personalization: different content to different people, depending on their needs, location, job role and more
An LMS can often meet these needs rather well, but there are also gaps in their reach and as a result, huge cohorts of audiences have the potential to get neglected. For example, contractors, suppliers and temporary or seasonal staff often won’t be provided with business email addresses, distinctly limiting their ability to access corporate training and learning content on an LMS.
Smart solutions which flex to your business needs
There are plenty of cases where an LMS will completely suit the needs of both business and learner, but many organizations are now finding that it’s not always a catch-all solution to their learning needs, and sometimes they need to look beyond the go-to software to a blend of technology solutions.
Learning portals are much less rigid and can really extend the reach for learning within an organization. They are usually cloud-based web applications that allow for much more widely available, easily accessed content by providing a simpler, quicker means of getting content to desired audiences. Generally speaking, their intended purpose is to alleviate the admin burden, whilst also reducing costs, improving accessibility and indeed, enhancing the usability of learning content.
Portals are ideal for businesses which are serving the needs of offsite workers and suppliers, or for running short, targeted campaigns within a self-contained environment. But their application extends way beyond this remit too.
Benefits of an elearning portal for enterprise organizations
For many L&D departments, getting great learning content in front of their learners is one of their biggest challenges. Admin and enrolment issues combined with high costs and underwhelming user experiences mean that learners are being left out or lost completely in a system which is supposed to serve them.
The alternative? A resources portal that allows integration of diverse information and resources without compromising on access or usability. Regardless of whether you are using a platform for compliance, onboarding, seasonal training and more. Here are some of the key benefits of an elearning portal.
Benefit 1: Share and distribute learning more quickly
Getting the right content, to the right people, at the right time is not always straightforward. Distributing elearning to large, dispersed workforces has its challenges due to its exclusive nature. But the open nature of learning portals bypasses any access friction for learners, meaning content can be shared and used much more quickly. It also ensures those that might normally be left out of an experience can be included through these contained learner journeys.
Through features such as self-registration, elearning portals provide critical access outside of the corporate network, allowing many great opportunities for learning to be delivered at the speed of need in many scenarios including:
- Pre-boarding: Before an employee starts, get them prepared and up to speed with a range of resources and knowledge specific to their job
- Gig workers and temporary staff: Those without a corporate email address who still service your organization can receive access to critical learning resources which you deem relevant
- Suppliers and partners: Keep partners and suppliers up-to-date with your products and services without having to invite them into your LMS
- Off-site workers: For those who don’t have easy access to the LMS, learning portals can provide them with important knowledge to help them do their job better
Elearning portals often remove a lot of the fuss involved in a learning management system – simply provide your different audiences with a URL, let them self-register and you’re all set. Easy!
Benefit 2: Simpler user experience
The simplicity of a learning portal means that teams can find relevant content easily within self-contained web portals, providing a simple user experience for both learning teams and the user. It also means you can be hugely targeted for specific needs, and get the right content to the right audience, super fast.
Conversely, L&D teams also have much easier ways to launch elearning content without having to ever upload it to another piece of software. Let us all breathe a unanimous sigh of relief for bypassing more admin!
Benefit 3: More cost-effective
In most cases, an elearning portal is also a much more cost-effective solution. Most learning management systems are priced within user brackets, meaning that the more employees you have, the more you spend. This is particularly troublesome for organizations with huge fluctuations in staff (for example, retailers who must hire seasonal workers) as costs can be unpredictable and, really, rather expensive.
Portals generally offer a straightforward pricing structure, which typically doesn’t hinge on user numbers. This simplifies budgets for many L&D departments, especially those which are growing or have shifts in staff numbers throughout the year.
But, which portal is right for me?
Ultimately, your internal requirements will dictate what you want and need from an elearning portal. There are a range of solutions in the market which will support a variety of contexts – so it’s important to take the time to consider what yours are. Some areas to consider include:
- Do you need to be able to track and monitor learner behavior within the portal?
- What’s most important to you? Speed of delivery? Ease of distribution? On-brand experiences for end-users?
- What will you be using your portal for?
- Is your LMS able to do what you need it to?
If functionality such as analytics and branded experiences are important to you, Elucidat’s new Learning Launchpad enables you to track every single learning experience – and ensure it is on-brand and relevant for different audience cohorts. Launchpad provides a new way to distribute content, enabling organizations to extend their reach and recognize the untapped potential delivering content to new audiences.
So if you’re interested in exploring how Elucidat’s elearning portal could help you provide seamless learning experiences for your leanrers, book a chat with one of our team members. We’d love to chat to you more!
- Elearning portals: Wider learning reach, quicker business impact - December 11, 2019
- Retail training: How to pick the right authoring tool - October 28, 2019