How Do You Choose a Learning Platform in 2023?

Picking a learning platform can be a daunting task at the best of times, which is made more difficult as the platform landscape is constantly shifting to meet new demands from our lifestyle and the economy. As times moves on so do the trends, therefore, we have put together some helpful tips so you can tell the fads from actual improvements. We will help you understand what factors you should be considering and how you can future proof your investment in a learning platform. We are going to look at what you should consider when looking for a new platform, how

the requirements of a learning platform have changed, and what to look for in AI

and how it is being developed.

Open-source platforms

To understand the new trends, we need to first discuss the origins. Open-source learning platforms, like Moodle, are still widely used globally. It’s where many companies began their e-learning journey. Open-source platforms have always had more ticks on the cons, not the pros side, and the recent need to switch to a virtual office space high pointed some of the shortcomings. Biggest concerns are regarding online security, an area where open-source platforms have not remained competitive. By its very nature, open source has its code open and visible to anyone, which poses serious security risks. The platform support is also community based, meaning that you have no dedicated support for this kind of platform. Limited features and updates are another big area that holds back open-source platforms, like support this is left to community members and new features are often left in an unfinished state. Furthermore, it’s a false hope that you will only need to program the platform once before you launch it, there are constant updates and improvements needed. Using an open-source platform means you are in charge of those updates, not the platform provider. Besides being apparently free of charge, open-source platforms are regularly chosen due to a lack of awareness or understanding of what options are available. So what are your other options?

What to look for?

Trying to Google this topic, returns seemingly endless options with no guidance to help you narrow your search. It is like Googling ‘what is the best mode of transport?’ without differentiating between navigating an ocean or a city. There needs to be further research carried out to understand what the platform is needed for. This needs to account for the features you require, with your budget and what the market has to offer. To further narrow your search, try to align your learning needs with a platform that is actively developing and supporting them. Is gamification important to you? Well, look for a platform that is actively supporting it and planning to develop it further in the future. There is no ‘glass slipper’ platform out there that will be the perfect fit. Talk to platform providers, ask what is on their roadmap and see

if they are developing the features that you are interested in.

Platform integration

Software technology has advanced in a way that means more tools have been seamlessly integrated with each other and e-learning should be no different. It should not be a jarring experience that the learner needs to spend the first few minutes every time working out how to navigate and understand. As you are no longer reliant on multiple different platforms and providers to run a company, employees are not having to learn several user interfaces to do separate tasks, this not only saves time, but increases proficiency while using them. This ‘ease of access’ way of thinking should be considered when deciding on a learning platform and thankfully, e-learning has advanced in a similar way. It used to be common practice to have trainings be flashy and stand out, these were gimmicks and added no value to the learning experience. Having similar interfaces and features leads to stronger engagement and an ease of access. The learners spend less time trying to work out how to use the training and more time focused on the material.

This seamless integration also allows a variety of tools to be implemented into e-learning material, for example, quizzes, branching scenarios, exercises, and video. This helps to make the experience more engaging and, by not being reliant on multiple software tools, you avoid compatibility issues. Gone are the days

of a Goldfish attention span being an insult, it is now something to aspire to,there is always something to distract us, text, apps, emails, work chats needing our attention, with this in mind trainings need to be short and to the point. Long clinical interactive documents used to pass as adequate e-learning courses, this has passed in favour of smaller bite-sized courses that are more engaging. An added benefit of this mindset is that not all trainings need to be long and should not require a lot of time and investment to create, as they will only be relevant in the short-term.

Internal vs. external content development

The ease of integration allows for courses to be produced quickly and efficiently internally. If you have time and resources for it, internal content development is beneficial for time sensitive content, like in the event of a new product launch.

In this case, you may need employees brought up to speed quickly, to get an overview of the changes and updates, but this training is only relevant short-term as it will become the standard moving forward. Although, there are situations where

the information is going to stay relevant much longer, but it may need a lot of updates. For subjects that require a deeper dive and will be relevant for a longer period, we always recommend turning to external professionals. This applies

to topics like ethical policies and codes of conduct, etc.

Further learning

When looking to future-proof your choice in a learning platform, Artificial Intelligence is becoming more and more relevant. The tasks that AI can undertake are increasing and it has already been integrated in many useful ways. Considering what you want from an AI perspective is important in helping you choose a learning platform. When it comes to job roles within a company they are often made up of several competencies, meaning that there will be multiple areas that employees need to be trained in. Similar to how platforms like Netflix operate, an AI can track what competencies are most relevant for a specific employee’s role and suggest e-learning trainings that are related. As mentioned earlier, distractions are ever increasing in today’s work environment and having an LMS that knows when to send recommendations at the right time is important. There is no point sending a training reminder during peak working hours or during a meeting, using this information will improve engagement. The monitoring of results before and after a training can produce useful data as well, you can improve engagement by knowing when to recommend courses. Also, there are multiple ways in which training results can be analysed, depending on specifics learning goals. For example, the engagement level of employees, training pass rate, and if there is an improvement in their performance after taking it. By using an AI this information can be more easily gather and understand. AI is going to become more integral to the learning process in the future as its capabilities expand and it will help to future proof your decision if you check that your learning platform choices are actively working on developing this area. This is another area where you should check that your roadmaps align, are they developing AI technology in a way in which you will find beneficial?

There is a lot of information to consider when choosing a learning platform, and it is not a decision to be made lightly. We would like to leave you with some questions to think about that should help you narrow your choice:

1. What features do you need?

2. What platforms offer this experience?

3. What is on their road map?

4. How is AI being developed, how can it be utilized?

If you would like more information on this topic, please visit our YouTube page

as it has a more in-depth analysis.
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