Libby Webb offers the key elements needed to create a truly great learner experience.
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If you’ve been considering implementing or upgrading the workplace training scheme within your organisation, I imagine there are a few things you want to ensure when taking the plunge.
- That the investment is worth the money spent
- That learners will be motivated and encouraged to participate
- Those learners will apply their new knowledge in the workplace
The emergence of the first LMS in the late 1990s saw training opportunities being offered to large-scale workforces across the globe. Predominantly compliance-focused, this training typically enabled employees to adhere to correct procedures during the working day – i.e. to comply with health and safety regulations.
But entering the 21st century, the digital transformation and vast advancement of technology has seen the face of e-learning change rapidly. From social and personalised learning to virtual and augmented reality, the possibilities for L&D are endless.
Over the last year, we’ve observed the advancement of the learning experience platform (LXP); a learner-centric learning and development platform that facilitated the move from compliance training to continuing professional development (CPD).
Using the LXP, organisations are now able to offer bespoke professional development training at a scale which allows each individual learner to focus on their own learning outcomes and goals, address and develop on the gaps in their skillset, and refine their practice.
From social and personalised learning to virtual and augmented reality, the possibilities for L&D are endless
As we shift from LMS to LXP, the main thing you need to know about the learning experience platform – and the clue is in the name – is that it centres on ‘learner experience’, with its core functions and features allowing each user to participate in a completely different, and individually relevant, learning journey to that of their colleagues.
And if we refer back to the three things I’m sure you want to know when upgrading to the LXP, all three are pretty much dependent on the learner experience, and how your employees respond to the L&D opportunities available to them.
But with all the gadgets in the world, with artificial intelligence (AI) and personalised smart recommendations, can the ‘perfect’ learner experience be constructed?
Defining learner experience
From e-learning (online, software-driven), to social and experiential learning, to traditional classroom-based learning, most learner experiences are unique and come in all different shapes and sizes.
From the materials used and the courses studied, to how the concepts and knowledge are explored and practiced in different contexts/situations, the learner experience is largely dependent on the learner.
After all, learning and development shouldn’t necessarily take the one-size-fits-all approach, and what works for one learner might not suit another.
Elements of a great learner experience
So, can we build the perfect learner experience? The jury’s still out on that one, but what we are aware of is a few key elements that go towards creating a truly great learner experience. We’ve shared them with you below:
It’s fun and easy to use
If an LMS or LXP is cumbersome, unmanageable or otherwise challenging to use, then it simply shouldn’t be used in the first place.
We’ve called it numerous times – learners will use any excuse in the book to avoid fitting learning into the flow of work, but you don’t want a confusing user interface or a badly built course to be the reason your employees aren’t engaging.
And as for making it fun, gamification, VR and AR (among others) can all be built into your LXP for a truly immersive learning experience. Those with a competitive streak will do anything to get ahead of the leader boards, and systems like these are generally much more appealing and engaging for users, helping them to learn faster.
It incorporates social interaction
There’s a lot of weight behind the benefits of social interaction for L&D purposes.
Just as we learn with our peers at school, the addition of social learning elements in your platform enables employees to communicate, collaborate and sharing viable learning content.
It’s also great practice for the work environment when colleagues are expected to cooperate in meetings, for projects and other work-related tasks.
It uses a combination of learning methods
As mentioned above, what works for one learner won’t always work for another. By introducing a combination of learning methods such as Self-Directed Learning, Goal-Based Learning and micro-learning, we anticipate there being something that works for everyone.
Learners are also more likely to retain information through a variety of learning experiences, rather than consistently participating in the same, tiresome routine.
It incorporates personalised learning
Personalised learning is another trend we saw come into action in 2018. By implementing a smart recommendation system into your LMS or LXP, your user’s learning experience can become much more tailored to their own needs.
Learning content is recommended to the user and is wholly dependent on their learning goals, their job role, the content they’ve previously consumed and various other variables. The algorithm also learns with the learner, so that each new recommendation is more relevant than the last.
The moral of the story? For L&D professionals and instructional designers, the focus should be on building truly worthwhile learning journeys that are of benefit to the user, and soon begin to demonstrate the organisational impact your investment on training is having.