We all remember what it was like — sitting in a classroom all day, learning algebra we all swore we would never really need. But it turns out that the need for learning never really ends; and an effective learning management system can help your organization get the education it needs to complete its goals faster.
In our webinar, “Your Modern Mobile Platform: Learning, Mentoring and Leadership Development in One,” Andy Krzmarzick, GovLoop Vice President of Learning and Development, and Adam Johnston, GovLoop Product Manager, discussed ways continuing education for government employees is changing, and how GovLoop Learning can help your organization keep up.
In a recent study, 91% of organizations were looking for a way to reduce travel and out-of-office time for training, and 79% they were looking for greater participation in education course. Increasingly, virtual learning is solving those problems. Last year alone, Johnston said 50 thousand people participated in virtual training classes, up from 30 thousand in 2014, and demand for more digital education is still growing.
5 Trends in Learning and Government
As more and more training opportunities move to digital platforms, the way organizations access, measure engagement in, and conduct an educational course is also changing. Krzmarzick identified five trends that are the most prominent throughout those changes.
In the past, he said, education was regularly filtered — meaning an employee or citizen could only access a class through a human resource representative or other specific individual in a company. Now, with unfiltered access, employees can find classes and educational opportunities on their own. “They can really get access to information wherever they are, whenever they want,” Krzmarzick said.
Training courses employees are finding are also more tailored than those presented in the past. When education was less accessible, course descriptions might not have been as specific as necessary for organizations to know if they would actually teach what was needed. But now, tailored courses provide detailed descriptions aid learners in making the correct course selections.
Some of those tailored courses also flip the traditional class, followed by “homework” structure. Now instructors ask learners to complete work or to prepare for a class, allowing for more interaction between learners and instructors during in-person class time, instead of just lecturing. Often these classes also include follow-up collaboration once the course is finished.
Creating classes that blend online and in-person learning also present a problem for traditional measurements of engagement. In the past, SCORM offered ways to collect data on who was attending a course and what courses they were attending. Now that learning opportunities are presented by third parties, are conducted through webinars or conferences, or are informal trainings on the job. With new measuring tools like Experience API, your organization can track all types of learning and figure out which parts of a course were most impactful and engaging.
Finally, once learners finished a course in the past, they would be given a paper certificate to show completion. With online learning, handing out a paper certificate is still an option, but making online badges and rewards available is more appealing. Learners are then able to display their certifications online for others to see.
Making Online Learning Effective, Easy, Mobile and Modern
Virtual learning may solve budget and time issues for many companies, but using an outdated and complicated learning management system (LMS) to host courses might be deterring learners.
The first step to engaging learners is making sure they can find the courses they need. “The question that’s not often asked,” Johnston said, “is it easy to use. You shouldn’t need to get under the hood of the car to change the radio.”
In an effort to make any LMS more manageable, GovLoop offers a solution that can pair with most existing platforms to simplify user interfaces and administrator dashboards. Johnston said learning can be easier for everyone with clear calls to action for learners, easy-to-update course details and customizable layouts.
GovLoop Learning, Johnston said, also offers a combination of social and online learning. “It’s more than just and information transfer from the teacher to the person sitting in front of her,” he said, which encourages more engagement from learners and better results.
While GovLoop Learning is not meant to replace any LMS, Johnston said there are a wide variety of customizations available to make it usable with any existing software. For more information watch the on-demand webinar here, or view the slide presentation here.