Since the rise of the smartphone, demand for information has exploded worldwide. Most people have access to information at any time and from anywhere. A recent study by the University of California San Diego revealed that the average person today consumes three times the information than a typical person consumed in 1960! According to an IDC Research study, “the average worker spends about 2.5 hours per day, or roughly 30% of the workday, searching for information….60% [of company executives] felt that time constraints and lack of understanding of how to find information were preventing their employees from finding the information they needed.” What if you could curate the right content, timely information, and instruction needed into a centralized solution accessible by your employees? Today, you can.
Times are changing in the corporate world. More and more employees are now looking to their company or organization to provide the needed information to do their jobs effectively and evolve their processes. While a Learning Management System (LMS) can be an effective way to deliver training, it’s only as good as your ability and willingness to regularly re-evaluate and update training strategies and learning content.
What does this mean for your L&D team? OpenSesame found that course utilization increases a staggering 50% when content is relevant, useful, and updated. It also explains why 80% of Netflix users view content recommended BY Netflix.
Let’s examine five types of content used within an LMS to make courses more relevant, innovative, and easily upgradeable.
Off-the-shelf (OTS) courses can be purchased from a third party subject matter expert (SME) or developed in house. OTS providers are repositories of curated content, as you would see in a library. Companies can research the best content out there without creating it themselves, thus enabling them to quickly implement and deploy the best ideas and training topics to jump-start their eLearning process.
OTS courses are available in various micro-learning formats such as video, SCORM, and HTML5 tailored to different learning styles. Micro-learning simply means users can consume the content in short, bite-sized pieces of 5 to 10 minutes in length and is the recommended strategy in delivering courses to most users.
OTC courses can be a cost-effective way to deliver training due to the SME’s who create it and guarantee its efficacy. Not only that, but your organization needn’t worry about maintenance and updates to compliance-based learning/courses as the vendors typically manage that.
Integration with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) in the content marketplace
MOOC’s are FREE online courses available for anyone to enroll in. They provide an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills and deliver quality educational experiences at a scale an LMS may not offer. However, MOOCs can be easily integrated within an LMS to provide additional value to your organization and benefits employees by making training more straightforward and accessible.
Integrating MOOC’s can help to engage all of your stakeholders, including employees, partners, customers, or volunteers. It can be used for general or in-depth training and can provide greater personalization, interactivity, and quality learning experience for your learners.
Integrated course authoring tools
Choosing an LMS with integrated course authoring tools is an excellent option as it offers all the customer support you need while curating and creating your content. This is especially true of organizations with in-house trainers and SME’s who appreciate the speed and flexibility of developing new courses simply and quickly.
These benefits are not limited to “in-house” organizations, as any organization can make great use of integrated authoring tools because it gives them the ability to copy, edit, and publish existing courses with quicker turnaround times. Authoring tools also have the advantage of allowing quick updates and revisions per a learner’s needs while increasing the knowledge retention of key concepts and ideas.
Outsourced custom eLearning (Outsourced instructional designer)
Despite having their in-house teams of trainers and SME’s, some organizations still choose to outsource course creation to a freelance instructional designer to help take their teams’ load. In other words, why take the time to “re-create the wheel” when you can pay someone to do it for you. Instructional designers are skilled artisans who specialize in creating curated content that can plug and play in any LMS and are educated to develop courses that make it easy for any learner to follow along.
Videos can take on many different styles. They can be scripted, created, and shot in house, be recorded live, instructor-led training, a screen recording of an on-demand lesson, or even “embedded” video (video liked to external sources such as YouTube or Vimeo). Except for embedded video, all other styles are simply uploaded directly into the LMS for playback. When used effectively, such as in the micro-learning style, video-based training allows you to create video chapters or sessions that can be quickly consumed and keeps learners more captivated. By adding some interactivity via a quiz element in between or immediately after a video, you’re then able to assess the learners’ retention directly.
As you’ve read, the importance of eLearning content that is relevant, timely, easy to consume, and easily accessible online is not the exception; it’s the rule. The ability to determine the frequency and type of content made available rests entirely on your organization’s L&D planning and strategy. If you choose to invest in an LMS, the one you select should want to be involved in the careful re-evaluation of your current L&D strategy. That LMS should consider current employee knowledge and skill levels, onboarding objectives and planning, and the type of content you wish to use.
Don’t underestimate the importance and amount of time needed to develop compelling content while also revamping your L&D practices. Just slapping an LMS in place won’t solve your training issues. For eLearning to work in and for your organization, you must focus on your content roadmap because it will keep your learners engaged, involved, and want to come back for more.