Learning and development in organizations are going through a major shift considering all the disruptions that business world is experiencing and all the skills that employees need to develop to stay relevant. Unlike earlier years, learning opportunities in the organization are one of the crucial factors considered by employees before accepting a job offer. Learning and training sessions are no longer quarterly or yearly board-room meet-ups, they are more advanced and involve assessments and interactions with ample knowledge resources and opportunities to learn skills that are beyond their scope of work. Whether you are an organization deploying a learning platform for employees or an employee wanting to choose learning programs for skill growth, it is important to select the right platform depending on the consumption patterns and preferences. With increased options for integrating learning and training, organizations and individuals must choose programs that are suitable according to their work schedule and lifestyle and preference for different content formats to consume information.
To ensure that the learning platform being implemented is the right one, organizations can follow the techniques given below to assess the suitability of the platform:
Identify the needs and the audience
Identifying the learning purpose and the audience who is willing to engage on the learning platform is a must. The technology integration of the platform must suit the audience's understanding of the complex, new age technology.
From gamification, virtual reality to social components, many trends are becoming a part of new learning and development systems. Organizations must figure out the trends that will improve the overall learning experience for their employees. It is not necessary to inculcate all the latest trends, but there’s no harm in leveraging them to enhance the user experience and provide a great learning ecosystem.
With the advent of technology, there are many options available that are customizable as per organizations requirement. Though all the options will look good, it is essential to conduct ample research to identify the right platform based on the requirements and usage. Conducting an internal survey to assess the needs of learners before researching about platforms is an essential prerequisite.
Even if the deal appears good enough, conduct demo sessions for learners and then make a decision depending on their feedback. There might certain biases/shortcomings that won’t be detected unless we use the platform in real time.
After conducting research comes the time to selecting a learning platform. Following are some of the factors that organizations and individuals must look at while choosing the right learning platform.
Apt Content Format
Whether you are a fan of videos or reading articles or prefer listening to podcasts while driving to work, it is imperative to choose content based on your ability to grasp the information in various formats. Organizations must survey deploying a learning platform for their employees. In fact, it’s always better to provide the same information in different formats and leave the choice to users. It is important to evaluate whether the audience prefers a short or long format content and choose the platform accordingly.
The learning platform must have performance metrics systems to give employees and the employers a fair idea of the new skills that the employee is learning. Tangible results will not only help managers to gauge the progress of employees but will also the employees to set defined goals for themselves and assess their performance. Assessments promote self-driven learning where it is essential for the learner to achieve the set goals on his own.
Ease of use
Along with precise and curated information learning platforms must possess technological features that grant ease of use. Technical features such file transfer facilities, video conferencing feature or other engagement gateways to interact with fellow learners are some of the factors that must be taken into consideration while selecting a learning platform. Not only availability but the accessibility and simplicity of user interface must be aligned with audiences preferences and understanding.
Device Agnostic/Compatibility on various devices
Bring your own Device, i.e., BYOD is a new trend making rounds in the organization these days. It offers content that is built specifically for use on mobile phones. Employees prefer to have access to multiple work-related stuff on their devices as it gives them the autonomy to operate from anywhere and anytime. Therefore, they’ll mostly prefer to learn on their own device as they’ll be able to access it anywhere and anytime and learn according to their schedule and suitability. Considering that there is a wide range of devices used by people, the content on the learning platform must be accessible and legible on various devices.
Deciding on the learning platform for both organizations and the employees can be quite a ride given the number of options these days. The key is to choose a platform that provides a curated and tailored experience to the learners and brings out the best in them by increasing their potential.