In my last blog, I had referred to an article by Marc Rosenberg, in his series Marc My Words, in the Learning Solutions Magazine titled, “In Learning and Performance Ecosystems, the Whole Is Greater Than the Sum of the Parts”.
Marc has talked about six components of the learning ecosystem, which I divided into two categories –
- E-learning curriculum and
- Learning Management System.
I spoke about eLearning curriculum in the earlier blog, and in this one I would like to share my thoughts about how a Learning Management System can facilitate the other 3 components of the learning ecosystem.
When we develop an eLearning curriculum for different divisions of an organization, we have a repository of eLearning modules that can combined together in different ways to suit the learning needs of diverse employees across the organization. We manage knowledge creatively to provide performance support and ensure proper talent management.
This can be done only through structured learning in the form of courses hosted on a Learning Management System. How these courses are designed and collated depends on the learning needs of a particular target segment and the training workflow of the organization. Today’s LMSs are geared in such a way that they can be adapted to the specific needs of the organization, instead of adhering to a default ‘one format fits all’ structure.
Integrate classroom as well as eLearning into the LMS
All face to face training programs, virtual sessions, online training resources and eLearning courses can be managed within the LMS. LMS is not just for hosting courses but can be effectively used for managing all training related activities, tracking learner progress and evaluating the effectiveness of the training program. Administrators can get handy reports and user data information that can be used to understand which courses are popular and which are not. It helps in understand the rationale behind this trend and make amendments.
LMS can be the central point from where the learning initiatives of the organization are coordinated.
With choice of different learning paths
You can have multiple learning paths for employees based on their knowledge levels and need. Modules can be in a sequential manner or can cater to those who want quick information for immediate use. You could also have an option where employees just take the assessment to evaluate their knowledge and then decide which path to adopt for the course. Content assets such as audio, videos and job-aids could also be part of the learning paths under a single course. To learn more about LMS features that can be used for content management check out part 1 and part 2 of this blog.
Collaborative tools and access to experts
LMS can include collaborative tools such as blogs, discussion forums, chat functionalities, wikis, and even social media platforms such as LinkedIn groups, Facebook etc. that can be used to communicate with employees across the world. Additionally, they can also communicate with experts within the company easily if case there is a need for immediate consultation of. Employees can also pose a question on the discussion forum and seek advice or suggestions to an issue or a problem and get real-time feedback or answers. All this is possible with the help of collaborative tools in the Learning Management system. This is useful to enthuse and create a buzz internally about learning and training. It can also be used to announce new courses, resources and job aids uploaded on to the LMS for the benefit of the employees.
Thus, it is important that L & D departments think beyond just conducted training programs. They need to think of providing a holistic learning environment by building what Marc Rosenberg rightly calls as a Learning and Performance Ecosystem.