Think about this when considering a new learning platform

Are you thinking about investing in a new learning platform? Maybe you think it’s time for your organization to “level up” the way you support your employees in their learning and development – but you’re not sure how to start? We’ve put together a few of the many tips we have for this process. Our advice is based on our experience from working with different types of organizations in their process of implementing, upgrading, or replacing their learning platforms. We know there can be many obstacles. However, according to our experience when learning and development groups embed themselves in the business, the business gains. In other words, when you help your employees develop and grow, the business grows. 

With this article, we hope to ease the way for you in your aspirations to enhance the learning and development experience and business outcome for your organization.

Set a long-term vision for learning

Start your process by deciding a long-term vision for learning in your organization. Think three to five years ahead and try to imagine ways that the new system or platform can support your employees and business.

How can you support users on the field? How can you help your employees embrace the platform and create engagement? What kind of features are needed? How can you create a culture of continuous learning? Do you want to include communications in the system?

By setting a long-term vision, you get a chance to think about new opportunities and possibilities for learning and knowledge sharing. Be bold, open and use your imagination. When you stick with your long-term vision for learning, you can avoid getting stuck in old habits. Use your vision to think of new ways of meeting your challenges.

Revamp or reinvent your content strategy

Think about how you can produce, distribute, and share content in a way that supports your long-term vision for learning. Who should create the content? How should it be created? Can you reuse existing courses and other material? If yes, how? How can you approach for instance classroom training and compliance training? 

You should also consider if and how you want to engage learners in content production and distribution. Do you want people to be able to share their knowledge? Is searchability important? Can you make use of tacit organizational knowledge? Tacit knowledge is unspoken knowledge that is gained from personal experience. It could be internal sales experience specific for your company’s offer, or experience based service competence and skills.

Explanatory overview of different types of learning content, such as user generated content, shared tacit knowledge and social learning

Consider different learning content types

There are many different types of learning content. The more traditional types, such as tailor-made courses, online learning libraries and other content on the world wide web are still valid and dominant. However, more and more platforms have features that enable users to generate and share content, and in this way new learning opportunities and the concept of social learning can be encouraged.

Your employees’ skills, competencies and knowledge are important assets for learning and business development in your organization. You should consider how to utilize their knowledge and skills in the best possible way by for instance letting everybody create content and share knowledge. Learning happens where your people are, and this can be reflected in your content strategy.  

Upcycle your existing content

If you are about to replace an existing learning management system with a new learning platform, consider what data you should migrate. Some data might be nice to have, some need to have. For instance, it could be necessary to migrate user results data for compliance training to follow legal requirements. Standard content formats such as SCORM modules are relatively easy to import from an existing system.

Let your long-term vision for learning play an important role in this process. Make sure any existing content that you decide to keep supports your long-term vision. Again, be bold and try to look into the future: How can you upcycle your content so that your learners can use it in new ways? Maybe some of your existing content is ready for a design make-over to make it responsive and thereby consumable on all platforms: Smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Also, consider shortening courses. Smaller modules often lead to higher learner engagement and it makes it easier for the users to find what they are looking for.

Get the right resources onboard

Enthusiasm is contagious. Make sure you engage the right people in your transformation process. In the beginning, the project sponsor, senior stakeholders, and someone with an overview of where your organization is headed are important participants. Going forward, make sure that the people that are leading this change process are motivated and prepared to be very active in the new system. If they are open and transparent in their ways of using the platform, this is an efficient way of encouraging others to also start exploring the platform themselves. Let these forerunners create short movies where they record themselves and introduce subjects, which they share with peers. Encourage them to be active in platform discussions and ask them to help with questions from other learners. When you involve learning platform enthusiasts and have them act as ambassadors, other learners will have role models to follow.

Have in mind that implementing a system and progressing your learning organization is an iterative process that continuously needs to be adapted and adopted. 

Reach out for help if you need it

At Minerva, we have worked with several organizations and businesses in their efforts to work more strategically with digital learning. We can help with advice and inspiration from the very early phase of deciding which platform to use, and we can help you with a full implementation of the platform in your organization.

Furthermore, Minerva can help with updating existing content, or planning and producing content for your new learning platform.

Get in touch with us here.

Get inspired by others

Other organizations and companies have been through similar processes when re-thinking, updating or even investing in new learning platforms. Many of them have done remarkable things within learning and development, achieved amazing measurable results while saving both money and efforts. We encourage your to learn from others. Here are some interesting and inspiring examples.