You are your learners: What can your organisation gain from learner insights?
After the learning, it's all about the insight, says Libby Webb.
In the post-Digital Revolution era, more and more organisations are using online learning as part of their formal training process. Adopting a more learner-centred approach, workplace learning is becoming less about transfer of knowledge, and more about the development of role-related skills that can be utilised in daily tasks.
Additionally, more and more elearning companies are implementing gamification and social principles to their LMSs, meaning that learners have a voice throughout their learning experience, providing a constant stream of feedback and reflection concerning their journey, every step of the way.
Now, organisations have access - through their Learning Record Stores [LRS] - to extensive data regarding every aspect of their learners’ journeys [including, completion times, learner retention and learner engagement] that can be easily analysed to improve the learning opportunities, activities and content available to their employees.
Yet, we find ourselves asking: how many organisations are effectively using this data to make continued, informed decisions about their learning design? Surely, if organisations are unable to learn themselves through this process then, is there really any point in collecting all this data?
Why should you gather learning insights?
Elearning can gather large data sets, particularly through the xAPI format, and the data that your learners produce can demonstrate the value of your training, bridging the gap between the assumptions made about what you think learners want and, informed, data-driven decisions about what they actually need.
Ultimately, training is an investment and, your learners' insights are proof of the success of that investment.
Before online learning came along, formal training in the workplace was time consuming and, difficult to track the progress of each employee. A key benefit of elearning opportunities is the ability to measure and prove the effectiveness of your training.
Ultimately, training is an investment and, your learners' insights are proof of the success of that investment. By considering the feedback your learners provide, you can continue to supply engaging, thought-provoking and relevant training that your employees will actually want to participate in.
What will you learn?
By tracking and analysing both the data collected through your LRS concerning how learners are performing in your courses, as well as the feedback learners are providing along the way, you can learn a lot about the success of your training design and the success of your learners too.
What skills have they moved from 'beginner' to 'more advanced' in? Where have they replicated their training in their actual role? How have learners impacted the journeys of their colleagues?
Speaking with our own product managers, we have compiled a list of just a few of the many things they believe you can gain from your learners insights.
How to build a more effective learning delivery programme:
By using the collected data that focuses on social activity among learners, the development of knowledge/skill from easier to more difficult learning outcomes and, the feedback features built into the course for assessment and communication you can improve:
- Course design to better suit learner preference
- Personalisation and adaptability
- Timing of course components in relation to learners' habits
The impact your learning is having on learners:
Using the data your learning record store holds on each of your learners, you can measure the performance of each individual. With this data you will then be able to improve:
- Learner retention
- Completion rates
- Learner engagement
- Facilitation quality
With this information, you can then establish the gaps in your employees skill-set and the learning material available to them. This will enable you to create new material that will help them close these gaps, seeing them becoming more advanced in skills pertinent to their individual role.
The impact of social interaction on your learners:
Most major LMSs host social interaction features which enable learners to connect with their colleagues. Learners can then collaborate with one another on certain learning activities, for example, problem-based learning activities.
As an organisation, using these social functions enables you to track what learners are saying/doing, understanding how your employees are helping one another/enhancing the learning experience of their colleagues.
Through social interaction you can also see where there is a shared knowledge among the company and, perhaps, were certain skills might be lacking across the entire organisation.
The impact of learning on your ROI:
Training is an investment into the growth of your workforce and, the insights you gather concerning your learning data not only demonstrate the success of this investment but, also indicates which of your courses is having a positive and direct impact on your Return on Investment.
By comparing insights about a specific course [for example, course completion rates, assessment results, learner engagement etc], learning insights can evidence when a new course contributed to an improved ROI over a previous iteration. This means you can continue to improve upon your learning design, seeing your ROI increase every time.
And, there you have it. Those are just a few significant reasons why your learner’s insights are key to a continued success with the learning you offer and thus, an overall growth in professional and organisational development across your organisation.
In taking the time to consider these insights, in implementing user feedback for your learner’s next levels or courses, your employees will continue to engage well with their learning material, knowing they are having a distinct influence on the beneficial material you provide.
About the author
Libby Webb is a content writer for HT2 Labs
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