The Problem with Traditional Learning Platforms – A Learner’s Perspective

You’ve just wrapped up your annual review and there were some key development areas that were brought up for the second year in a row.  You know you need to focus on these areas in order to prepare for a promotion opportunity. Even still, you are pretty sure that you have exhausted all of the formal training that the company offers on the topic (if there was any in the first place), but you check the LMS one last time, unsuccessfully.  From there you go to the most trusted source of content you can think of… Google.  You find videos, workshops, and books on the topic and dive in.

What learning looks like today

This situation is not unique. With unlimited knowledge at our fingertips, this is how people in today’s world are gathering information and learning. With busy schedules and obligations, employees are learning in short and frequent bursts. When these need-to-know moments pop up, many people will also seek help from co-workers or leadership to answer questions.

Yet many companies are stuck using traditional learning platforms that do not support this new wave of learning by leveraging the information that is already available.

The limitations of the traditional LMS

The problem with the traditional LMS is that it’s mostly geared toward formal learning only.  They are not inherently capable of tracking and leveraging the informal learning content and activities people have grown accustomed to exploring on their own. Informal learning assets like a Google search, YouTube videos, or social learning opportunities can’t be structured within traditional LMS’s.  To take it one step further, most LMS’s are also unable to track learning content preferences, making it nearly impossible to maintain and develop highly effective formal learning curriculum.

The Differentiating Factor in Effective Learning Platforms

Learning platforms should allow for content to be sourced from anywhere, whether formal or informal, while also tracking individual consumption habits and measuring what they’ve learned. This creates a space not only for users to find resources they have a genuine interest in, but also for administrators to understand what content is working, and what’s not. After a little time, trends can be analyzed and ineffective content can be replaced with something better suited to the specific learner group.

Neglecting to adapt to learner needs and tendencies today will leave organizations completely out of touch with employee development. To see what a learner-experience based platform looks like, click here.

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