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.

Are books for learning?

BooksNot an entirely silly rhetorical question — in our work world of endless data aggregation and analysis, the reading of books remains a curiously solitary and hard-to-track enterprise.

It’s easy enough to hand someone a book. It’s easy enough to require a signature acknowledging receipt and even demand answers to a compliance question or two to check headline-level comprehension.

But it’s hard to do anything with a book approaching a deep and actionable, let alone shared understanding of the content without classes and clubs — meaning that costly in-person conversations in and around the act of reading are still what makes reading, at least the extended kind, real and useful.

But for the corporate world, the idea of reading as a purely personal pursuit may be changing. Three developments — e-book readers, the advent of technology-mediated social reading and the X API (nee Tin Can) — together make books cost-efficient, communal and reportable in new ways.

e-book readers are now ubiquitous and cheap. Even general-purpose iOS and Android tablets support the e-pub standard. New services like Zola make reading a compelling group exercise (it’s very cool). Established services like Lulu let any company build its own libraries for private, on-demand distribution. The X API means that the reading of a book can be recorded by chapter and task in any competency framework a company may need.

Books Redux.

Mooconomics

An excellent post from John Cochrane (The Grumpy Economist) on what works about online learning.

Read it here.

The flipped classroom discussion is particularly good and has implications for corporate training strategies.

Worth a look.

 

The revolution has begun

mEKP_logo_finalRecently we introduced a new product, mEKP. It’s different. mEKP gives you the power to carry gigabytes of technical documentation, learning, career and personal development support, licensing and certification records, podcasts, video and a whole lot more — all in your pocket.

It’s secure. It’s multi-platform. It is, as Brandon Hall says, disruptive. This particular revolution began quietly but make no mistake, it’s already making waves. Think of this scenario — 2,500 teachers in a poor country, each with a mEKP stick giving her or him a year’s worth of professional development training, daily lesson plans, class handouts, various kinds of support collateral — all without Internet connections to the schools.

Change happens. We think (we hope) we’re contributing to some good change in the world.

Click here for more.