The pandemic has proven the need for remote, customized learning and development solutions. Companies need to invest in the right kind of technology to ensure employees can easily access training materials and assessments no matter where they are working. This is especially important for companies that have remote or hybrid workplaces. The technology, of course, has to be functional, adaptable, and intuitive.
In a session at the 2021 HR Exchange Live: Corporate Learning event, Josh Mitchell, senior director of Sales at Open LMS, and Amy Tessitore, senior manager of Education and Engagement Services at Open LMS, shared their thoughts on the e-learning landscape and how you can effectively deploy a learning management system to improve the efficiency of workplace training.
Plan Your E-learning Ecosystem
Deciding what technology and tools you need to effectively train or upskill your team is vital. Nowadays, organizations are developing e-learning ecosystems, where learners can come to access all the various technology and tools available to them. Having the right offerings is not enough. You also have to organize them in a way that makes it a practical place of learning. The key is for companies to attain end-to-end e-learning solutions that include LMS support.
“With all the different technologies, it becomes important, from the learner’s perspective, that there be integration of different tools,” says Mitchell. “From where we sit in the market, we see the LMS as being the hub, the center of that e-learning ecosystem. It becomes really important then that the LMS itself facilitate different technology.”
In fact, 51% of respondents to a survey by HR Research Institute for its State of Learning and Engagement Solutions report said that their learning ecosystem is a learning management system. The other top categories included learning hub or portal at 40%, social learning at 30%, and virtual and/or augmented reality at 34%.
Some of the common obstacles to attaining e-learning nirvana include poor ability to integrate, which was the problem for 29% of respondents to the HR Research Institute. Twenty-eight percent said limited collaboration functionality was the biggest problem, and 27% said the system not being sufficiently customizable was the issue. You can overcome these obstacles by understanding your options and your organization’s unique needs.
When deciding on an LMS or other learning technology, there are important considerations:
Single Point of Access
You should seek a system that allows people to access all the technology and tools they need to complete training or upskilling in one place. There should be one place for learning and assessments that you can access anywhere and anytime, said Tessitore. The system should be able to respond to fully remote synchronous or asynchronous classes.
It can also serve as a support for face-to-face training with online resources that learners can use on their own time, said Tessitore. Having everything in one place also means that resources are easily accessible. Single point access also allows for easier integration with third party platforms and services.
“When people can check in and go through prep materials on their own, I’m more likely to get people in and doing the things,” said Tessitore.
Your LMS and anything in your e-learning ecosystem should operate well on mobile devices. The fact is that employees are on the go now, and everyone is attached to their phones, said Tessitore. So, if you want to broaden the reach of your L&D efforts, then making sure the content is accessible on mobile devices is a good first step.
This revolution in learning allows companies to create training that drives success. The traditional in-person classroom with a teacher at a chalkboard represents the past.
“Instead of me standing in front of a class and telling them what they need to know, I can present information in a variety of ways,” said Tessitore.
Learning management systems are meant to help self-driven people, who leverage their passion and make learning and work intertwine for the long term. In that way, the available e-learning ecosystems connect with learners.
“When people find meaning in the type of content that they have to digest for training,” said Tessitore, “they start to form connections with that content.”
An effective e-learning ecosystem with an LMS offers a number of ways to both learn what you need to know and assess your education. Quizzes and written video assessments are possibilities. Assessments are getting more sophisticated all the time. For instance, some LMS platforms allow people to record a skill, such as hand washing in healthcare, so someone else can view the video and provide critique and feedback.
In other cases, you might have statistics you can consider. Those who have to renew certifications on an annual basis can set up a yearly program. In addition, a one-stop place for learning allows employers to track participation. Ultimately, the LMS creates a predictable structure and patterns.
“Consistency promotes success, completion, and accessibility,” said Tessitore.
To make the most of your LMS, you have to ensure it includes expert-level support. This level of help will maximize the use of the tools and resources available to you. But it will also ensure functionality. Learning management systems allow you to improve the efficacy of materials and cut down costs of face-to-face programs.
E-learning ecosystems fit into the post-pandemic world because they allow organizations to pass on knowledge to employees, who are living and working across the globe, in different geographic regions and time zones.
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