The Explosion Of Learning Tools And Rapid Changes In The Learning Technology Landscape
Over the years, the corporate training market has seen remarkable changes. In addition to its expansion, there has been an emergence of a lot of new learning management technology, learning experience platforms, content authoring tools, and integrated HR platforms for skill development and performance management—resulting in organizations being flooded with options. Identifying the right technology stack which can help meet their goals of skilling and upskilling their employee base has become crucial.
What Is A Learning Technology Stack?
An effective learning technology stack consists of a number of components, such as content management systems, Learning Management Systems, authoring tools, and analytics platforms. These components are used to create, deliver, and manage learning content. The challenge is to find the right combination of technology to develop and manage skills and to provide learning experiences that help in the acquisition and application of skills. From a core learning point of view, a technology stack should give learners the option to build their own learning and career pathways and help L&D track progress through analytics. Finding the right combination and technology integrations is crucial in this mandate.
Why Should Organizations Build And Invest In An Effective Learning Technology Stack?
An effective learning technology stack is important because it provides a number of benefits for organizations, including:
- Building capability and competency frameworks with learning strategies that can meet business goals.
- Designing an integrated and inclusive Employee Experience (EX) that integrates content from available learning platforms and portals within the organization and curates content from external sources without compromising the learning experience.
- Using technology frameworks to offer a seamless, flexible, highly accessible, mobile-first experience and help learning in the flow.
- Applying immersive learning technology that enables creating practice zones to help bridge the gap between training and on-the-job performance.
- Tracking and analysis. The learning technology stack also provides a platform for tracking and analyzing learner performance. This data can be used to identify areas for improvement and ensure that learning programs are effective.
- Enabling scalability. In addition, the learning technology stack enables organizations to scale up their learning programs. It can be used to create and deliver content to large numbers of learners, ensuring that everyone receives the same quality of learning experience.
- Personalizing learning. Finally, the learning technology stack can be used to create personalized learning experiences. It can be used to create content that is tailored to the needs of individual learners, ensuring that everyone receives the content that is most relevant to them. This also helps increase employee retention and reduce turnover.
Framework For Choosing The Right Learning Technology Stack
There are 6 key issues for L&D leaders to consider when choosing a learning technology stack.
It is important to consider the functionality of the learning technology stack. It should encompass learning strategies that support business goals. Ensure that the platform provides the features and tools that you need to create and deliver effective learning content. This might include immersive learning, content curation, and personalized learning journeys.
While some platforms may offer more features and benefits, it is important to consider the cost of the platform and ensure that it is within your budget.
It is important to consider the scalability of the learning technology stack. The platform should handle large numbers of learners and be scaled as needed. A learning technology stack should have practice zones to help bridge the gap between training and on-the-job performance.
It is important to consider the ease of integration that the platform offers with other systems that helps create an integrated learning experience. A learning technology stack provides a seamless, flexible, highly accessible, and mobile-first experience that facilitates learning in the flow of work for employees.
5. Technology-Enabled Collaboration
Collaborative learning cannot be the same for all training needs. Having a threaded discussion forum on the learning platform will not suffice. L&D needs to look at the most modern apps that can interface with tools like MS Teams and Zoom, which provide opportunities for close-to-real and focused sessions at the aptest time in a learner’s journey.
It is important to consider the level of support provided by the learning technology stack. Ensure that the platform has a reliable support team that is available to provide assistance when needed.
What Are The Types Of Platforms And Technology In Learning Technology Stacks?
Within a learning technology stack, there can be a number of components, including the following.
Data Analysis Tools And Technologies
With products like LRS that track and record xAPI statements, we can analyze user behavior in detail and identify who’s doing what, how well they are learning, and the impact of this activity on their engagement, growth, and overall business performance. As new delivery technologies like VR, AR, and real-time video learning become more prevalent, you’ll have a massive data set to analyze.
All of your curriculum, programs, courses, and learning objects can be scheduled, administered, tracked, and managed using Learning Management Systems (LMSs).
Content Delivery And Program Management
This involves a set of tools and technologies that establish how learning programs are structured, the role of instructors, how collaboration occurs, and what types of interactions, assignments, submissions, labs, practice, or simulations are required. PSTs, VR, microlearning, quizzes, platforms that enable coaching and mentoring, social learning, etc., are a few examples of tech found in this stage.
This is where the talent intelligence system (or skills taxonomy) fits in. Employees require a method to find, search, and discover the apt learning program for themselves—that is, the courses, programs, and resources they need. LXP offers the intelligence that organizes learning information into pathways and curricula and makes recommendations about it. You can leverage an LXP to design and oversee learning journeys and paths.
Learners can find, discover, or access learning right in the flow of work by using learning portals. You can allow users to log in to the LXP directly, organize the programs into a portal to build an online university or an operational academy, or even make the content available through your employee portal or talent marketplace.
How Do You Successfully Implement A Learning Technology Stack?
Once you’ve chosen the right learning technology stack for your organization, it is important to ensure that it is implemented successfully. Here are some tips for ensuring a successful implementation.
- Set clear goals. It is important to set clear goals for your learning technology stack. Setting clear goals will help ensure that the stack is used to its fullest potential.
- Create a plan. It is important to create a phase-wise plan to implement the learning technology stack. Assess the existing frameworks that are available and what more is needed based on the goals set.
- Establish processes. It is important to establish processes for using the learning technology stack. Establishing clear processes will help ensure that the stack is used efficiently and effectively.
- Train users. It is important to train users on how to use the learning technology stack. Providing training will help ensure that users are comfortable with the platform and understand how to use it effectively.
- Monitor performance. It is important to monitor the performance of the learning technology stack. Monitoring performance will help identify areas for improvement and ensure that the stack is used to achieve respective goals.
- Measure engagement and effectiveness. Administrators of a learning technology stack should see a marked increase in engagement and motivation, creating a collaborative learning environment where employees virtually gather to share, discuss, coach, and experiment.
What Are The Challenges Associated With A Learning Technology Stack?
While the learning technology stack can be an invaluable tool for organizations, it is not without its challenges. Here are some of the common challenges associated with it.
- Implementing a learning technology stack needs an organization-level mandate. It should be a decision taken at the top management level and may need some time to implement.
- The learning technology stack can be complex. It is important to ensure that users are adequately trained and that processes are established for using the stack.
- Integrating it with other systems can be challenging. It is important to ensure that the stack can be integrated with other systems and that data can be shared across systems. A learning technology stack needs to integrate with other HR platforms, creating a more connected workplace.
- Security is an important consideration when implementing a learning technology stack. It is important to ensure that the stack is secure and that data is protected.
- Maintenance can be time-consuming. It is important to ensure that the stack is regularly maintained and updated to ensure that it remains secure and effective.
A learning technology stack is a comprehensive system designed to facilitate employee learning, engagement, and a connected workplace. It enables:
- Building capability and competency frameworks with learning strategies that can meet business goals.
- Designing an integrated and inclusive Employee Experience that integrates people and systems.
- Using technology frameworks to give a seamless, flexible, highly accessible experience.
- Immersive learning technology to bridge the gap between training and on-the-job performance.
I hope this article provides the requisite insights to successfully build and invest in an effective learning technology stack by choosing the right types of platforms and technology that provide learning experiences and help in the acquisition and application of skills.
EI is an emotionally intelligent learning experience design company that partners with customers in their Digital Transformation journey.