How to Choose the Right Learning and Development Technology


Learning and development has boomed since the onset of the pandemic.

As workers made the shift to remote work, L&D leaders needed to rapidly reskill their workforces. In addition to this recent shift, longer-term trends, like continuing advances in artificial intelligence and technology, mean that learning and development professionals will continue to play prominent roles in their organizations in the years to come.

With great power comes great responsibility, as the saying goes. L&D professionals need to carefully weigh how to use new resources, especially when it comes to instituting new technologies. As many have pointed out, the newest available technology is not always the best. Sometimes, the very technology meant to enhance productivity ends up backfiring.

Rethinking Corporate Learning

Find out about some points to consider when choosing a new L&D technology:

One Size Does Not Fit All

Before you even begin to consider which L&D technology to choose, make sure that you are crystal clear on what your organization needs. While those needs might evolve in response to what current technology offers, it’s crucial to have a clear, preliminary understanding of what you need your new L&D technology to deliver.

Should It Be an App?

You might not need a phone app. It’s possible that employees will complete their training on a desktop or laptop. On the other hand, having an easily accessible mobile app can encourage microlearning, which can dramatically improve long-term retention and focus. The typical length (2 to 5 minutes a day) can fit easily into almost any workday. If it’s accessible in the palm of their hand, it will only increase the likelihood that they will stay engaged in the long term.

Does It Collect Data?

It’s possible that you have other means of assessing how much your employees are learning. If employees are preparing for an in-person assessment of some kind, then there might be no need to collect data. The same holds true if their performance at work depends upon the facility they acquire through their training.

However, L&D professionals have a stake in acquiring data that demonstrates that employees are both working through their assigned training and tangibly improving their skills. By showing stakeholders that, in fact, employees are improving their performance as a result of the training you instituted, you can better secure your place in future decision-making about new L&D initiatives and spending on L&D.

Should It Offer Individualized Learning?

Learning systems that presurvey employees can provide them with training that addresses their specific needs. Artificial intelligence can offer them adaptive learning, such as lessons that vary depending on their performance, much in the same way that the Netflix and YouTube algorithms offer new suggestions based on recent selections.

Does It Help Improve Communication Skills?

One of the most important skills for your employees to develop is the capacity to communicate and collaborate effectively. As automation renders more hard skills obsolete, human-centered skills will become more in-demand because A.I. is still a long way off from being able to reproduce them. For instance, would you trust A.I. to be your therapist or your child’s preschool teacher?

When you select a new L&D technology, think about the ways that it can facilitate team and peer learning, so your teams have the soft skills necessary to succeed in the occupations of tomorrow.

Does it Help Make Learning Fun?

Consider how your new technology could support gamification, the process of applying gaming designs and concepts to learning or training scenarios to make them more engaging and entertaining for the learner. If you decide to go this route, you’ll likely want to partner with game developers and refine the game in response to beta testing with your employees. Adding an element of competition, humor, or storytelling can also help engage your employees in learning and development in the long term.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

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