Changing the Conversation: Philosophical Shifts in the Corporate Learning Space

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When we use the term “Learning Management System,” it sounds like we’re talking about a technology that supports the process of learning but not necessarily the effectiveness of it. Today, administrators in the corporate space aren’t just looking to implement a traditional LMS solution – that’s considered the “safe” option. They want a platform that engages users, supports the achievement of both learner and organizational outcomes, and helps foster an enhanced learning culture.

A paradigm shift is happening. The Desire2Learn clients we’ve seen thrive have successfully adjusted their internal philosophy to emphasize the enablement of learning, and not just the management of it.

We’re working to create solutions that encourage organizations to change that conversation. Now, the real question – how do they do that?

Let’s start by reconsidering a corporate learning solutions’ infrastructure in the three fundamental ways.

Focus on functionality, not features.

A market for LMS technologies has existed for years, and – over time – those solutions have developed an extensive scope of features that go well beyond a focus on just learning. The easiest way to assess these options is by comparing the mountain of functionality provided by each system and choosing a vendor who “checks the most boxes.” Unfortunately, while this can help an organization select a solution that is feature-rich and very capable, their choice won’t necessarily reflect their unique needs.

When the conversation is changed to focus on what makes a learning solution effective, the focus shifts from implementing features to considering a learning organization’s strategic challenges. Checking boxes takes a back seat– identifying a comprehensive solution that better enables the end user becomes the new priority. Outcomes can then be tied directly to overall business objectives, positively impacting the organization as a whole.

Identify benefits to the learner, not the administrator.

The features and benefits of a particular LMS have traditionally been aligned with a system or learner management perspective. Considering a technology’s appeal and usability from the learner’s perspective, however, is necessary to create a unique experience for the end user. Overall strategic functionality can then be brought into the conversation: with this approach, learners can be directed to activities with enhanced purpose, meaning, and relevancy.

Create a highly personalized, engaging experience, and avoid the “one-size-fits-all” approach.

Today’s technology is personal. It’s an extension of ourselves that we use to communicate, organize, analyze, and support in our daily lives. Learners, like anyone, relate to what’s personal. Considering learning solutions from a users’ perspective is a place to start, but providing functionality that enables them to engage in collaborative discussion and share content with their peers – all in a way that satisfies and reflects their unique needs – is the final step.

In our experience, increased engagement leads to the increased achievement of learning objectives. Selecting a solution that enables the delivery of a personal experience helps ensure those goals are met while also contributing to the creation of an interactive and engaged user community.

Taking a new approach isn’t always easy, but the shift happening in the corporate learning space has inspired Desire2Learn to think in different ways. Click here to view a recording of a recent webinar reflecting this topic, “Reach your Channel Partners and Employees with Anytime, Anywhere Access to Content.” In the session, we discuss how an organization can change its content delivery methods to ensure their employees and extended teams stay up to date.