In Part One of this three-part series, I wrote about the value of driving the adoption of your learning program and that there are three keys to success in doing this: 1) the solution 2) the content 3) the learning ecosystem. Part One focused on the right LMS, so take a read if you haven’t yet. That will lead you here to Part Two, where I want to talk about the modern conundrum of content and how the fast-paced digital world has made old models obsolete.
As Litmos guest blogger, Clark Quinn, wrote in a recent post, The Push Toward Content Curation, “We’re seeing changes in learning needs faster than can be planned and prepared for (e.g. courses written for). And we’re seeing more ambiguous and unique situations. In short, the notion of creating and delivering learning to meet needs is becoming unfeasible.” He went on to summarize quite frankly, “...the courses you used to create may not be able to be finished before they’re out of date!”
What’s the New Model Alternative?
We’ve been talking a lot about content this year, since our acquisition of Learning Heroes (now Litmos Heroes) in June 2017. It’s been a match made in heaven, pairing their super compelling off-the-shelf content library with the Litmos LMS.
You need great content to drive learning program adoption. But what makes great content in today’s mobile, multi-screen world? The standards have changed (for the better) exponentially in even the last five or so years. I’d say there are at least six factors that combine to equal “great content” and I’ve listed them below. This is the kind of fuel you need to accelerate the vehicle of your LMS and elevate learner experience to one that is engaging, enriching, and effective.
- Awesome off-the-shelf content when possible. There will be some cases where you need to create your own courses, but in this day and age, it should be the exception. There are fantastic options for buying access to pre-built libraries, such as our own Litmos Heroes, where you can choose from hundreds of courses that are professionally designed and produced, and updated regularly.
- Exciting, interactive, and video-based. Don’t settle for boring learning. Again, as mentioned above, in this day and age, you don’t have to! Your learners deserve a positive learning experience that captivates their attention as they take in new information. Make sure any content you buy or create is designed to engage and possibly even entertain, as long as the entertainment factor doesn’t distract from the content’s effectiveness.
- Gamification ups your game. This could’ve been listed in the bullet above as a way to add excitement and interactivity, but it deserves its own bullet because it’s so important. You’ve heard a lot about gamification and game mechanics in the past few years, and yes, it’s much more than just a trend. It adds a valuable layer of engagement to the learning experience. Especially now that millennials represent the largest segment of the working population and they’ve grown up on online games, you will increase their commitment to training by gamifying the experience and adding an element of friendly competition to your programs.
- Always aim for mobility. If part of your L&D motto isn’t “mobile first,” it needs to be added to your mission asap. The reasons for doing so have been laid out every which way by analysts and vendors alike, so I won’t get into the details of how and why, but I think every progressive learning professional would agree that mobile is simply the way of the world and that’s not going to change. Your learners expect (rightfully so) to be able to train on-the-go.
- Served up bite-sized. You’re familiar with the concept of micro-learning, so I won’t belabor a point you already know. Suffice it to say, however, that yes, it’s still the thing to do. Among its benefits are better ease-of-management (i.e. you don’t need to replace huge chunks of content at once to update) and greater delivery flexibility (i.e. you can more easily adapt the bite-sized courses to formats such as mobile). Plus, it’s more appealing to most learners to tackle smaller pieces of training, rather than be tied down for long periods of time.
- Let learners upload. Great content shouldn’t be a one-way street where only admins can upload content to the LMS. Instead, make sure that your learners can upload videos, documents, and other content in response to course assignments and/or assessments.
Just as I did in Part One, I'll point you to this recently recorded webinar we did with Brandon Hall Group for tips on how to drive adoption for better learner outcomes. You'll get insights on how to build perceived value for your training programs by showing how they're easy and beneficial. You know firsthand the time, money, and energy required to create learning experiences that engage learners and improve business outcomes. This will save you the pain of releasing these programs into the wild only to have no one engage with them in a positive way. No one likes to feel that their efforts are wasted and the potential for their programs never realized.
Stay tuned for the final episode, Part Three of this series, when I'll focus on the learning ecosystem. Until then, keep learning...