The corporate world is in a state of continuous flux and it has changed face tremendously in the last few decades. New technologies are creating new opportunities and the modern corporate world is fast realizing the merits of perennial learning. Training equips employees to be ready to take advantage of the opportunities at hand and do the job better.
Technology-aided learning is now the preferred route for most organizations to provide the opportunity of learning anytime and anywhere – as per the needs and convenience of the learner. To deliver and manage the process of learning, enterprise-wide Learning Management Systems are being implemented to help learners access and consume learning in a continuous manner.
There are a lot of factors that affect the popularity and success of an enterprise-wide LMS. One of the major factors affecting LMS success is an obvious one – the Content. No matter how you jazz-up the look and feel of a LMS, if it fails to deliver relevant content to the learners quickly and effectively, it will eventually fail to meet up with the expectations out of the learning initiative.
Learning and development managers realize that corporate learners are now open to the idea of continual workplace learning to increase their worth in the job market. They realize that it is imperative to provide relevant and varied content on the LMS, to increase its impact as well as align it to the needs of the learners. A very interesting study on the Trends of LMS content explores how most organizations are choosing LMS content – In-House vs. Third-Party Content: Which Is Best for Your LMS? The study has been developed by Software Advice and throws light on the route that most LMS managers take when providing learners with pertinent LMS content.
Here are some of our key takeaways from the findings:
- The survey reveals that a majority of LMS managers (73% of the respondents) use both in-house and third party content to cater to the increasing training needs of the learners. This provides a balance between job or company-specific trainings and generic trainings that can be consumed by different learner profiles. This is a learner-centric approach as creating in-house trainings is time-consuming and it also digs into the budgets due to high initial costs of developing training from scratch. By supplementing the LMS catalogue with third-party content, a varied range of courses can be made available to the learners. Most modern learners prefer to have a lot of content to choose from and they can take control of their learning. So, a blend of both in-house and third party content keeps the learning initiative alive and successful.
- With growing training needs, third party content will continue to flourish and companies will continue to prefer ready-to-implement content from reliable sources. With this in mind, e-learning developers should keep in mind the prevalent grouses that most L&D managers have from third-party content. For one, there is very little niche content available readily from external resources. Generic courses are readily available, but a lot of industry or job specific trainings are not available readily. Though some courses will have to be made specifically as and when the need arises, third-party content developers could profit from expanding their range in terms of subject matter of the courses available. By roping in different industry experts, they can create courses which can benefit a range of organizations within the industry. Also, most organizations concur that third party content cannot be configured or branded as per the needs of the organization. By creating generic courses, but leaving room for customization, e-learning developers can provide the choice to organizations who seek to make the content their own. Even if this choice would come at a price increase, it will be less than creating custom e-content from scratch and most L&D managers would choose to go this way.
- Finally, in terms of the type of content that is most prevalent and popular, there’s a clear winner – video-based content. Videos are an effective way of delivering information. It is easy on the eyes and is easy to retain as well. Creating videos does not have to be an expensive proposition. External resources like YouTube have a variety of free video-based learning videos that have been created by experts. With internet availability across user devices, including mobiles and tablets, videos can now be accessed for just-in time learning by a majority of learners. For organizations going the in-house way of video creation, there are also a variety of choices. Many organizations encourage learners to share images, video or audio and utilize them to create bite-sized learning. These learning videos are created by the collaborative efforts of the learners themselves, hence immensely relevant and effective. Alternatively, animation-based videos can also be created using readily available software, slashing the costs of developing videos with actual people/setting.
Content is the true hero of the LMS and will continue to be so. With a mix of custom content and stock courses, the needs of the modern corporate learners can be met and a corporate LMS can be an enterprise-wide success.