Here our Lead Consultant, David Patterson, advises on the importance of taking care when selecting elearning content to meet your needs.
Recently I was struck by a finding from Knowledge Pool (part of Capita) titled The Digital Opportunity (with a sub title Striking the digital learning balance for better learning experiences), which is a substantive and well-researched piece, which had some findings that particularly interested me:
“34% of L&D leaders report that the level of complexity in learning technologies is now one of their organisation’s biggest challenges within L&D” . Well, I get that and here at Learning Light we spend a lot of time and effort looking at new learning technologies and advising organisations on the best solution. We work on LMS specifications and with selecting elearning content and I am not too surprised by that finding.
However, this one really did hit me hard: 36% of L&D leaders cite difficulties in finding a suitable technology partner as a barrier to digitalisation of learning within the organisation.
There is a trend that I would argue that is contributing to this above all else: the trend by elearning content aggregators to overwhelm; who see massive choice and breadth of offer as the way forward.
A true learning technology partner is going to work closely with their client and ensure that the digital learning content is absolutely optimised to that organisation’s needs, values, cultures and more.
To be clear – just aggregating a bucket of content from some old and dirty content warehouse is not the way forward.
Let’s just look at a few of the issues you face with using content aggregation solutions, as too often the effect of selecting a large library of elearning from a poor quality content warehouse with multiple vendors is not great:
Consistency – if you are looking for a coherent message an all you can eat aggregation solution is not going to give you that……it is going to leave you to do a lot of sorting. There is a lot to be said for a single vendor solution.
The confusion of excessive choice………… this says it all really. You do not need conflicting or contradictory content that will confuse your workforce. You need content that has been curated to meet your requirements. Buying these large libraries can actually drive down engagement levels, not increase them.
A small and well-chosen library will be cheaper to operate and make it easier for a learner to find what they are looking for, delivering engagement.
Some questions to ask yourself when looking for a content library that is off the shelf and the aggregation model looks attractive:
Why pay for more than you need? Why pay for duplication? Why indeed?
Will the content you buy be updated and maintained by the aggregator?
Who will actually support the content if you have issues with it working in your LMS? ….probably not the aggregator, so check.
Am I paying too much for the privilege of a single point of contact and contract?
Select the content you require with care – look for coherence over quantity.
If you do want to use a content aggregator choose with care (there are some good ones out there that prize quality above quantity)
Be clear in what you require in your plans to digitise your business, as another surprising finding in the Capita research noted above is that 27% of responders felt that they had become too oriented on digital delivery and 14% felt they were too focused on digital when it comes to content. Less is really becoming more.
We haven’t got to how you should go about selecting the right learning content – we’ll save that for another post. This is all about understanding your goals and getting the mindset and approach right.
Learning Light operates www.e-learningcentre.co.uk as a choose, pay and go solution for a library of content delivered directly through an LMS aimed at micro-businesses, we do not sell large libraries of content as all you can eat bundles.
However, as an elearning consultancy, we can absolutely support you in finding the best elearning vendor for your needs.
Please contact us here at Learning Light if you’d like to discuss.