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 significantly in the last few years. An evolution that can be broadly summed as a shift from often complicated and hard-to-use Learning Management Systems (LMS) to simple and intuitive Learning Experience Platforms.
“The Learning Experience Platform space has exploded to replace and compliment the LMS market” Josh Bersin, HR industry analyst.
From hard-to-use systems to intuitive, holistic platforms
While many of the original technology systems were attractive to very specific business roles such as accountants, they failed to support or negatively impacted the wider experience of the learner and administrator. This lead to a lack of motivation, low engagement levels, and ultimately poor performance.
This was largely because the older systems were built on architecture that was not learning-oriented. It is clunky and counterintuitive.
To combat this, a new generation of learning platforms has emerged, that are at their heart learner-focused, giving administrators, trainers, and managers the freedom to create unique and meaningful learning programs that truly excite people to learn.
Four key features of next-generation learning platforms that excite people to learn
1. Focus on learning
Learning is something we do naturally, and we do it all the time. To focus on learning seems like an obvious requirement, but in a world dominated by systems that try to do it all, it’s often forgotten. The next-generation learning platform is a system that specialises in all aspects of 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 something we’ve already learnt or provides us with new knowledge, perspectives, skills, experiences, and expectations. Learning Platforms go beyond just tracking eLearning content with the capability to manage and report on all types of learning and assessment such as face-to-face, on-the-job or peer assessments and third-party learning e.g. Linkedin Learning.
2. Learner experience
The interface should provide a seamless integration of learning into people’s lives. The design of the platform should mirror the learner’s device and media experience expectations. Both the platform and interface design together determine how easy it is to use.
But how do you know if an interface is easy to use? The platform should be responsive, intuitive and there should be little or no training required on how to use it. More specifically, an easy-to-use interface should have the following attributes:
- Any role-based learning requirements are clearly displayed
- The learner is provided training that is relevant and specific to them
- They are never more than two 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
- Learners 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 that use different platforms for specific requirements (known in the tech world as best of breed platforms), that easily sync with other systems instead of having just one system that compromises functionality and has minimal strengths.
Learning platforms can leverage the benefits of large systems such as using API connections to integrate with HR systems, apps, and 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 even a couple of months.
Many of the existing learning management systems are bolted together with layers on top of the old technology to add features that new learning platforms have natively.
Because of this constant change, next-generation learning platforms are built using architecture that is readily adaptable and flexible and can add new capabilities quickly.
Say hello to Birch Learning Platform
B Online Learning is at the forefront of this current evolution through its release of Birch Learning Platform. Birch is a unique and innovative end to end solution that has been built from the ground up by learning experts.
Thanks to our long experience in delivering best-in-breed learning solutions, we’ve had the chance to learn from our clients, too. About valuing the administrator’s experience as well as the learner’s. About the role of flexibility and scalability for long-term value. About what works (and what doesn’t) when you truly want to excite people to learn.
Birch is designed for everyone – learners, administrators, managers, and trainers. It’s easy and intuitive, simple to set up and maintain and best of all, it adapts to your organisation’s unique environment. So learning is truly exciting and comes naturally.