Making the right learning technology choices relies on really understanding your learners. Your learning technology should enable your content to stay “alive” over time, supporting your learners as their needs evolve. Ultimately, get this right and you’re going to increase learner engagement and drive improvements in business performance. Get it wrong, and you’ll be stuck with static content that’s difficult to update and clunky for end-users to navigate.
This is an adapted extract from the ebook “How to grow your training business faster, smarter and more profitably”. Download the ebook now.
Next generation learning technology
Do you want learners to use your learning content once as a means to an end, or do you want to create an environment they voluntarily come back to again and again? If the latter, then you need to consider the full user experience. If the former, think again… there are savvy providers out there planning to do to the training industry what Love Film did to Blockbuster, what Uber’s done to taxis and what Airbnb did to traditional travel accommodation. Creating a voluntary ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’ learning culture will help you survive, and even thrive, in the changing world of learning.
“Learners expect joined up experiences – not just standalone content.” Tweet this!
To keep learners hooked and engaged over time, assess your technology with these questions in mind:
#1. Does your learning technology offer flexible distribution and access?
First things first; the user experience needs to be simple and easy. Nobody will want to come back if it took them 10 minutes to get to what they needed last time. To achieve a simple experience, consider:
- How your content will be hosted and accessed?
- Can your learners access the learning on any device?
- Is your e-commerce built in so you can sell to customers on the spot?
- What capabilities does your LMS have?
#2. Can you facilitate curation?
Curating learning content you already have that’s relevant to your learner’s needs is a great way to keep your learning ‘alive’ and make sure there’s always something new each time learners come back.
We’d recommend taking a look at tools like Anders Pink, one example of a great online content curation tool that can be embedded into your learning. If you’re looking for inspiration, Filtered.com is a great example of a training provider that’s nailed learning content curation and personalization.
This elearning example embeds an Anders Pink feed to curate up-to-date content for the learner
#3. Are you set up to include social learning?
Content needn’t be the only draw; connections between learners and the opportunity to share and discuss ideas will also appeal. Social learning is on the rise. Think about how you can build a sense of connectedness with community forums, polls and social sharing into your learning. Explore use of tools such as social polling and collaboration and sharing tools to bring your learners closer together.
#4. Can your learning technology integrate reward mechanisms?
The ability to track and recognise progress can make your audience feel rewarded for coming back and learning more. Whether it’s on an individual basis or introducing a bit of competitive spirit between learners, the following learning technology features would help introduce reward mechanisms into the learner journey:
- Badges: gained for either completing chapters or modules, or achieving a particular score.
- Points: awarded for getting questions in an assessment right.
- Leaderboards or peer comparisons: to show individuals how they’re performing against their peers.
#5. Does your authoring software support growth?
A great authoring tool is often the unsung hero of effective digital learning. How you deliver your content is vital – which is why it’s important to choose the right LMS – but unless your learning content is accessible and engaging… it’s going to flop.
When it comes creating, cultivating and commercializing digital learning, there are some nightmares that come back time and time again to haunt elearning teams – from version control to dealing with translations.
Given that these issues often come down to limitations of technology, it’s not surprising that 48% of learning professionals want to change the tools they’re using (Brandon Hall 2016).
Smooth out these issues, and you’ll be rid of many of the headaches that come with delivering high-quality elearning, at scale.