The shift in technology expectations has been manifested by a shift in personal perceptions of the role of technology. At the start, it was all about adapting to the technology, now technology needs to adapt to you.
Learning technology has been part of this evolution and its capabilities and theories have evolved as reflected in this article by Josh Bersin, “the Learning Experience Platform space has exploded to replace and compliment the LMS market”.
As the corporate world realises that while ERP systems or combined HR systems may be very attractive to the accountants, their learning management features either fail to support or negatively impact the learner experience. This leads to a lack of motivation, low engagement levels and ultimately poor performance.
Since these systems are often built on architecture that was not originally learning oriented, the experience of those administering the system and managing the learner interactions is quite often clunky and counter intuitive. To combat this, a new generation of learning platforms are at their heart learner focused and give administrators, trainers and managers freedom to create unique and meaningful learning programs to excite people to learn.
1. Focused on learning
Learning is something we do naturally, and we do it all the time. This should seem like an obvious requirement, but in a world dominated by ERP systems that try to do it all, it’s often forgotten. The next generation learning platform is a system that specialises in learning including social learning, they are as Josh Bersin states “more data-driven, and more experiential and productive for employees”.
Humans are learning machines, everything we experience is a learning event that either confirms and re-enforces previous learning or provides us with new knowledge, perspectives, skills, experiences and expectations. Learning Platforms go beyond just tracking eLearning SCORM content by having a built in Learning Record Store that tracks xAPI.
2. Learner experience
The user interface provides a seamless integration of the learning platform into people’s lives and the design of the platform mirrors their own device and media experience expectations. Much of this is underpinned by both the platform and interface design which combine to determine the usability.
A key factor in determining the success and usability of the interface is that the platform is responsive, intuitive and there is little or no training required in how to use it. This includes:
- Any role-based learning requirements are clearly displayed
- The learner is provided training that is relevant and specific to them
- There are never more than 2 clicks away from interacting with content
- Progress through courses or programs is displayed graphically and prominently
- Actively supports and encourages the learner with goals, trophies, points and social collaborations
- Users can expect the same full feature experience on all devices without having to download an app
3. Seamless integration
Globally organisations are seeing the benefits of creating ecosystems with best of breed platforms for specific requirements, that easily sync with other systems instead of having just one HR System or ERP that compromises functionality and has minimal strengths.
Learning Platforms are able to leverage the benefits provided by large ERP systems such as using API connections to integrate with HR systems, apps, enable Single Sign On (SSO). For example, the HR system can collect, manage and maintain people and job role records and the learning platform can use that information to automatically create learner records that reference the correct role-based learning for individuals.
4. Latest technology
One thing that the last decade has taught us is that technology is constantly in a state of flux. The platforms and programs that we use today will not be the same in a few years, or possibly even a couple of months. Because of this constant change, next generation learning platforms are built using architecture that are readily adaptable and can change and add capabilities quickly.
Many of the existing or incumbent Learning Management System’s are bolted together with additional layers on the existing old technology to add features that new learning platforms have natively. Take advantage of enhanced security capabilities enabled by a modern infrastructure and the set of features unique to these platforms that are truly exciting such as AI and suggested learning.
B Online Learning is at the forefront of this current evolution through its release of Birch Learning Platform. Birch has been designed from the ground up to do one thing well and that is to deliver an exceptional experience for learners, managers, trainers or administrators.
Birch makes learning feel natural again by removing barriers between the learner and the goals they wish to achieve, empowering the people in those roles through a seamless user experience, an intuitive design, the most capable and flexible technologies with continuous upgrade deployment and easy integration with other systems.