In exploring the HowNow learning platform to put together this review, we found a rare and exciting example of an LXP and LMS fully integrated to improve learner engagement and enablement.
It really is innovative and architected for the modern learner and the modern organisation.
As the LXP market keeps growing it is good to see ever more interesting products, and one of them I was able to take a detailed demo of was HowNow.
My view is that this LXP is going to be a real player in the market for a number of reasons.
LXP and LMS As One
Reason 1 is that HowNow is not trying to replace an LMS as it comes with a full feature LMS as part of its architecture. This quite simply bypasses the discussion around “do we need an LMS as well as an LXP?” when you can have one seamlessly integrated from the start.
So if you are happy to leave a legacy LMS behind and are interested in what an LXP can do, but nervous it cannot do all the “heavy lifting” of the LMS that still so many organisations want, then this is quite possibly the way to go.
Integration for learner engagement and enablement
Reason 2: The learning principles of HowNow are equally simple and to the point. This LXP is built around a learner engagement and learner enablement. So, what does this mean? Well, it is all about getting the right knowledge to the right person at the right time.
OK that sounds good, but let’s look a little deeper as to what this means in practice and more importantly, in learner performance: This is a sophisticated platform that can “surface” learning content anywhere in the organisation.
So HowNow integrates as a single point of access within the organisation’s digital toolkit and workflow to surface the right knowledge, at the right time, for the person in need of help, support or advice.
This is all about deep integration up and down the corporate tech stack. We hear more and more about learning integrated with Slack and Microsoft Teams, as well as the CRM, and HowNow is making this happen – and then some more.
Reason 3: Not surprisingly, HowNow is a long way down the road in using AI to curate learning and deliver the level of personalisation needed to make this solution work.
Let’s look at HowNow as a series of layers as we explore the platform further. We started with the concept of surfacing knowledge internally and in effect HowNow gives a company or organisation a single point of access.
The platform is capable of pulling content in by content aggregation and does so in real time from the web, so goodbye to those annoying broken links, yes to continual accuracy and the materials are organised in channels.
This is particularly interesting and useful as volatile content (any content that is subject to rapid change) is a real issue when following a curation strategy in an organisation.
Interestingly, if you want to integrate a MOOC, such as Coursera, that is possible with a plug in.
Autonomous curation is offered by HowNow and it is possible from LinkedIn Learning and Skillsoft.
Social and Expert Learning
Reason 4: Moving on to our next layer, HowNow offers a powerful tool set for team members to create and share content using links and announcements, which is designed to support an organisation in building a “work-based memory”.
Reason 5: The expert layer in HowNow is also welcome and useful, as a team member can quickly work out who the experts are in the organisation, and can align with them or collaborate with them – which is really neat.
Reason 6: The social learning is well thought through, and tightly aligns to organisational learning and performance in that engagement is prized (there is some gamification on board to support this), and great data visibility is provided.
Innovative Search Functionality for the Modern Workplace
Reason 7: HowNow offers powerful search, as well as personalised push, and content is organised using AI very effectively indeed. The channels used to hold content allow for different use cases and appear to reflect the modern organisation very effectively.
Some considerable expertise has gone into creating this content management architecture!
Indeed, considerable expertise has been invested in building HowNow, and one of the most innovative ideas in this highly innovative platform is the integration with Google Search within the organisation. So your knowledge, the corporate knowledge created or curated into HowNow, will show in the Google search results – but highlighted in green.
The recognition that banging a Google search string by an employee facing a problem or seeking information is somewhat beyond just an every day occurrence – more like an hourly occurrence – and one that is not going to change anytime soon. So HowNow has taken the challenge of the modern employee and worked with it.
Dynamic Learning Pathways Utilising Live Data
Reason 8: When considering learning pathways, HowNow has taken another innovative stance. If we recall that the LXP is aimed at skills development – HowNow takes (or scrapes) data from over 500,000 job posts per month to analyse (using AI) what the market is saying about skill needs and demands.
Individuals rate themselves on their level, skills and competencies for a role. Then the manager does the same to say “actually, I think you only have 3 out of the 5 skills needed“. The system can then benchmark this against the market data to give an overall score and list of relevant skills. It then provides personalised recommendations for the competencies that you, the individual learner, should seek to achieve.
Skills Development & Tracking
Reason 9: Plugging skills gaps.
A big focus for the platform is identifying and plugging skill gaps in real time and HowNow does this by integrating and curating internal and external resources to drive relevant recommendations to teams in order to plug each gap.
Compliance Learning Sorted
Reason 10: HowNow is equally happy managing compliance learning, and acts as a complete learning solution for the organisation. Not as exciting, but still the bread and butter of many L&D teams, and an integrated solution certainly makes a difference.
Reason 11: HowNow offers learning budget management features, with procurement management and invoicing management, so a nod to a TMS (Training Management System) here as well.
HowNow is a hugely impressive LXP-LMS that has been developed over 4 years and reflects the expertise that has architected this solution – given that the principles are ex Google and Apple…
So this is a truly leading-edge learning platform packed with innovation, and there are many more features to get a grip of that make the HowNow learning platform so exciting.
While the architecture of HowNow is hugely impressive, it is the focus on the modern learner that runs through the platform that is the most exciting: learner enablement and engagement meaning this is a learning platform that really can deliver the ultimate learning experience.
Visit the HowNow website to learn more about this excellent learning platform.
Lead eLearning Consultant
Our lead elearning consultant David Patterson is an expert in training technologies such as learning management systems, and in elearning best practices.
He has helped many public and private sector organisations across the UK, Europe and worldwide to create and deliver engaging, effective elearning.
David is joint author of several research papers including the highly acclaimed Learning Light reports on the UK elearning market.