2 Factors That Affect How We Deliver Learning Experiences

Next Generation Learning Infrastructure: How We Deliver Learning Experiences

We don’t have to look any further than to our peers in marketing to understand the transformation L&D is experiencing. It wasn’t long ago that the John Wannamaker wrote “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half”. This iconic quote summed up the marketing industry’s grasp of ROI and measure of effectiveness. Of course, Google, later Facebook, and now sophisticated tools like Hubspot and Marketo—with their detailed metrics and sophisticated data analytics—allow marketers to know cost per click, customer acquisition cost, conversion rates, and more. This level of data allows marketers to strategically allocate their resources to get the biggest bang for their buck.

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While most Learning and Development departments are still trying to figure out which half of their training programs makes an impact, the industry is entering a period of significant change that will result in a new level of transparency and sophistication in how we allocate resources and measure our impact. The transformation has already begun and is being driven by changes not only in how learning is delivered, but also in the data we’re collecting. Learning data today supports our decisions on what to train and tells us how effective the training we deploy actually is.

Changes in how we deliver learning experiences are being driven by two significant factors:

  1. The rise of software as a service (SaaS) solutions.
  2. The ability (and desire) to decouple experiences from the traditional LMS.

Let's have an analytical look at both factors.

1. The Proliferation Of Software As A Service (SaaS) Across The Industry

Almost all of the learning technologies we explore in Kineo’s guide Experiences: More Engaging With Purpose are delivered via SaaS models. Why? Because these types of sophisticated solutions require a robust backend that makes more sense for technology companies to support and maintain via this SaaS model. And more importantly because many of these solutions are either leveraging data to personalize the experience, and/or capturing data about user actions.

How significant is the growth in the use of learning technology? Data in Towards Maturity’s 2016-17 Benchmark Report illustrates the proliferation of learning technology. The average number of technologies used by and organization has doubled in 5 years.

2. We Finally Have The Ability To Decouple Ourselves From The LMS

The days of requiring learners to find the Learning Management System, log in to the system, search for a topic, and scan through the material to find the info they need are thankfully coming to an end. We’ve spent years measuring our success against “butts in seats”, tracking metrics like course registrations and completions. The unsaid message has been that if we can just get people to find the learning assets we’ve created, then, voila, they will learn!

Of course, most of us do this with a rumble in our stomach because we know “butts in seats” is fairly meaningless data. Today’s L&D teams are starting to put the focus more on getting people the information and resources they need where they need it. xAPI and other web services give us the ability to make this happen. Stated simply: We can now track performance and learning experiences outside of the LMS. We can look at what’s happening out in our systems and in the many places our employees go to find information and resources outside of the LMS.

Final Word

While both of these factors introduce risks that access to learning materials will become even more haphazard and we’ll lose our ability to track anything that’s happening, we need to embrace that these are important building blocks of L&D’s transformation. Modern L&D teams have begun to plan infrastructures that enable these factors to happen. They’re embracing SaaS solutions and finding ways to decouple content and experiences from the LMS.

If you want to know more about the need of a new learning infrastructure that is getting the most out of feedback and analytics and expanding the skills of your learning team, download the free eBook Next Generation Learning Infrastructure.

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