LMS: Evolution or Extinction: 8 Trends that Change Everything (PART 1 OF 8)

Trend #1: Informal and Social Learning
(Part 1 of 8)

Informal and social learning within organizations around the world continue to fuel discussions about the relevance of the Learning Management System (LMS) in today’s corporate learning, performance and workforce support programs for both internal and external learners. Has the LMS become a dinosaur? T-Rex image

It is estimated that at least 75% of learning is informal — through collaboration, communities of practice, user-generated content (including user-created video), or learning at the point of need.

Meanwhile, social learning and collaboration tools enhance both formal and informal learning programs by improving learner engagement and drive greater knowledge retention.

High-performing organizations take a social learning approach that merges formal and informal learning. They strive to not only meet formal training requirements, but to also provide a platform that encourages the exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge across the enterprise.

Such a platform could be a wiki that supports both open-access communities and restricted-access communities. Employees can then publish and share information and knowledge with other professionals, especially because the communities are often related in terms of knowledge or expertise.

No matter what platform or software tool you decide to deploy in your organization, the technology is always secondary to formulating a learning strategy and experience that is well suited to members of your organization.

What to consider for your LMS in terms of informal and social learning:
– Ease of integration with corporate social networks
– Syndicated search and expertise locator
– Gamification options and capabilities
– Performance support (“the 5 moments of need”)

Important questions to ask yourself before choosing a path are:
Am I looking for a “socialized” LMS application or for an LMS as the social platform of choice?
Which choice will help evolve our learning strategy to meet our current and future needs?

This is the first of an eight-part series on LMS: Evolution or Extinction — 8 Trends that Change Everything.