Often, we think of corporate online training as synonymous with employee development. Certainly, internal training is critical, especially in such learning areas as on-boarding, product training, leadership development, and closing the skills gap. But, companies are also creatively using online training to put external groups “in the know”, particularly partners/resellers/vendors and customers.
“According to i4cp surveys, improving employee productivity is one of the most important people-management issues, with almost 9 out of 10 participants predicting that the issue will grow in importance over the next decade.”
When designing and delivering online training programs, we often focus on the tools and the content independently. The management and administration tool of choice is often a Learning Management System (LMS). LMS’s provide us with enhanced capabilities and ease-of-use in creating course catalogs, launching courses, inviting and registering students, tracking progress, and assessments, among other features. Content design is often tackled separately from administration and program management.
“All children, except one, grow up.” J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan (1911)
As a manager, you want your employees to complete a given training course. And learn the material. And apply learning on the job. And contribute to the company’s bottom line. And enjoy the learning process.
I catch myself, sometimes, misusing the term “stakeholder”—or at least using it in an unnecessarily limiting way. I simply apply the term to those people who hold the purse strings for my initiatives. They receive the bulk of my sales, persuasion and negotiation efforts. And I think of these people as my sponsors, or “learning champions”.
Great news regarding the learning and development industry: the Learning Management System (LMS) “market is well over $2.5 billion and grew by over 21% this year.” The stats come via Josh Bersin, Founder and Principal at Bersin by Deloitte. “These are big numbers, especially since the market grew by only 13% the prior year.” Reasons for recent growth, cited by Bersin, include a targeted focus on reskilling employees and closing the skills gap, the ubiquity of learning content, recent advances in learning technology, and a growing need for supporting global learning needs.
Gamification concepts have been employed since the 1960’s, 1970’s or 1980’s, depending on whom you talk to and how you define the term. Others claim that gamification has been in use since 1912, when Cracker Jack® boxes began to include prizes. Whenever the term originated, “gamification” is certainly an important buzzword in business today. Though, perhaps it’s technically incorrect to call gamification a “buzzword” now, as the term made the Oxford English Dictionary’s shortlist of Word of the Year in 2011.
Social learning—or learning with and from others (with or without social media technology)—is a force to be reckoned with. But how do you entice your online training learners to participate to take learning to a higher level, and make it participatory and social?