Tag Archives: corporate learning

Why is measuring training effectiveness important to team leaders?

Be it a well-established company or a start-up, investments in training employees is something one cannot afford to skip as it helps the organization grow and remain competitive. However, there is no one-size fit training program that suits all. Hence, it is important to consider various factors like the company objectives, size of the investment, type of audience, etc. to design a training program. But it does not end at designing a training program and executing it. It is important to understand the effects of the program and analyzing them to look up if the program was successful, isn’t it?

Let’s assume all companies in the world conduct training programs – online or offline and procure analytics in some form or shape. However, these analytics are at a broad level across organizations. To achieve the expected objectives, it is important to deep dive into the real problems. All of us have heard that learners must be pushed to take up the training programs at all points in time. And, hence companies are now catering to e-learning, micro-learning, game-based learning, AR, VR, interactivity, and engagement. These fancy mechanisms are new age developments and have cropped out of millennial generation problems.

However, pushing your learners is only going to take you so far. So, what is the real problem?

The real problem is the belief a learner has a training program and the value it adds to his career or personal growth whatsoever. You as a team lead can help your teams believe in the value-add of the training program. How will you do that?

In all companies, training programs are run and executed by team leads across their respective teams at a grassroots level. It hence becomes important for team leads to measure the ROI on these programs. Well, the investment here can be considered in time and efforts.

How do you measure the ROI of a training program?

We will look at the elements a team lead should look at while measuring the effectiveness of a training program.

The reaction of the employees As a team lead, it is important for you to understand the responses of your learners to the program. It helps you find out if the course content was easy and relevant to understand, identify and discuss strengths and weakness, view on the key takeaways and if the program was successful in matching the learners’ perception and expectations –

Have your learners learned It is crucial to identify if your learners have learned from the program which is one of the key objectives you have for the training program. You can analyse this by looking at test scores and course completion percentages, etc. These numbers help you identify the gaps in your learners’ understanding giving you a holistic picture of required improvements in your program –

Behavioral Patterns You can easily identify if your learners are using the knowledge, they have gained looking at their performance and attitude at work. Also, surveys and feedback from peers, supervisors, reporting managers of your learners will give you concrete data on your learners

These outcomes help you capture the results of your training program and answer the question of “Why a training program?” with actual data and facts. The results can include: Increased employee retention Increased productivity Higher employee engagement

Understanding the roadblock in the training programs your learners must go through is your responsibility as a team lead. Once you identify the roadblocks, you will be able to conduct your training program effectively and efficiently. This helps you line up with your business objectives with the program enabling you to achieve your goals and KRAs with a more logical approach.

By Shruti Shinde, Head- Enterprise Origination at QuoDeck

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How QuoDeck enables enterprises to deliver game-based learning

QuoDeck relies on using gaming as a natural behavior of the learner to drive enterprise learning.

Experience indeed is the best teacher. Having experienced their share of boring mandatory trainings in their 15-year-old careers, Kamalika Bhattacharya & Arijit Lahiri thought something needed to be done about the kind of training which was literally being forced down the throat of employees. While a lot of this learning is needed as it a functional understanding, but the way in which it is delivered does not evoke any sense of excitement or feeling from the employees that it is being done for their betterment.

But over the last few years, people have picked up mobile as the primary device through which they consume content. So while people were clamoring for more content through new age formats on Google or Wikipedia, but somehow enterprises could not get into that mind shift. Enterprise learning remained very boring, stale, and desktop oriented. Says Kamalika, 

“That is when we thought that there was a need for enterprises to adjust to the new millennial generation used to consuming on mobile, in interesting and interactive formats.”

When the duo started looking at millennials, they realized that apart from browsing on social media, a large chunk of their time is spent on online gaming. A lot of these games were simple games like Candy Crush, Angry Birds which fall in the category of hyper-casual gaming. The duo started looking at how to marry these thoughts together and that’s when QuoDeck was born in 2010. 

QuoDeck is a SaaS product catering to the enterprise learning market, using interactivity and games to engage enterprise learners and use that to capture data, which in turn gets used to improve the learner experience and effectiveness. The product relies on how to use gaming as a natural behavior of the learner to drive enterprise learning. 

When the duo started looking at millennials, they realized that apart from browsing on social media, a large chunk of their time is spent on online gaming. A lot of these games were simple games like Candy Crush, Angry Birds which fall in the category of hyper-casual gaming. The duo started looking at how to marry these thoughts together and that’s when QuoDeck was born in 2010. 

QuoDeck is a SaaS product catering to the enterprise learning market, using interactivity and games to engage enterprise learners and use that to capture data, which in turn gets used to improve the learner experience and effectiveness. The product relies on how to use gaming as a natural behavior of the learner to drive enterprise learning. 

How does Quodeck enable enterprises to deliver learning

Kamalika believes that the thing with LMS is that they tend to think of themselves as just a delivery vehicle. They don’t give much thought to what content they put in it. But QuoDeck cares as much about the content as much as the format in which it is delivered to the learner. The platform has a delivery app along with multiple products under the same room-such as an authoring tool, an entire game library-so all the tools are embedded in this platform. 

Organizations can easily upload their content in predefined templates and create content in a simple way on the platform. All enterprises have to do is enter content in text and the product platform renders it in beautiful formats for the mobile app. The DIY platform is also enabled with big data tracking. 

The platform allows enterprises to create a pull-based learning.

So from gamification to game-based learning to storyline based games which can be used to create an entire course, the platform goes on to offer simple hyper-casual games; documentation simulation which teaches people how to do documentation- a big requirement in insurance, banking, pharma, and retail; conversation simulations which teach people how to talk by simulating a chat with a customer, which is used a lot for sales training as well as customer service training. Moreover, the full-featured platform can address a small company of 30 people to a large company with thousands of people with a complex environment. 

35 companies, half a million learners

The product which was released in 2014, has seen steady adoption in the four years hence. Today, the platform boasts of almost half a million users on the platform across more than 35 companies including global clients as well. This number is expected to grow to 600000 over the next 3 months on the back of the current deployments in progress.  Unilever, Star India, eBay, SBI Life, Aditya Birla Group, Axis Bank, are some of the companies which are big clients of the subscription-based SaaS platform. 

Kamalika attributed this growth to the fact that the product spans an entire gamut of what you could do with gamification to simple gaming complex gaming to create a pull for learning. Companies like Reliance, Unilever, Aditya Birla use the platform to train their ecosystem advisors such as advisor network, distributor network as well as their salespeople. Thus the platform is being used to deliver a level of impact which actually drives business for them and not just for training them. So effectively, she believes that QuoDeck counts with pretty much every LMS out there. 

The future of game-based learning

A report by US-based learning technology market research firm Metaari states that the worldwide five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for Game-based Learning products and services is a robust 37.1% and revenues will more than quadruple to reach well over $17 Bn by 2023. While revenues will more than triple in all eight global buying segments surveyed in the report, over the forecast period, the corporate segment will see the maximum rise in demand, driven by the booming demand for pre-employment assessment and evaluation games.

Kamalika avers with this trend of the corporate segment poised to post the highest growth rate out of all eight segments. She adds that upwards of 50% of companies in the world are looking to change their existing learning systems. One of the main reasons they look to switch is because of the lack of interactivity and mobile capability in these systems. So gaming, mobile learning, social learning are the new trends which no enterprise can afford to stay away from given their audience has changed completely. Added to the fact that they are no more dealing with traditional learning problems anymore. With a globally scattered employee base, companies can no longer get their employees to sit in a classroom for learning. 

More so as the audience demographics changes to millennials, who live in a digital world, enterprises are starting to realize that very strongly that they will start to fall behind if they are not using digital means for disseminating learning. So they are moving from traditional learning to digital learning. This change is very much essayed by the fact that compared to 2010, when QuoDeck would have a hard time convincing companies of game-based learning, today it is no more a challenge.

Kamalika aptly concludes, “Moving away from traditional learning is more a question of companies coming out of their comfort zones. Gaming is no more as bad a word as it used to be anymore!”

By Shweta Modgil, Feature Writer with People Matters

This article was first published on People Matters

5-step guide to kick-starting your digital strategy for sales training


Digital learning is a shift that sales trainers need to get behind as quickly as possible. Designing a good digital strategy can make a big difference to whether your sales training program succeeds or not. Let’s talk about how to get started with implementing a great digital sales training strategy

Every sales trainer needs to have an effective digital strategy for reaching and training their workforce. In the sales segment, this is even more important, because every day that salespeople physically spend away from the field being trained, means another day that sales are not being done. So, reaching them through digital means can ensure that they are focused on what matters to the organization – generating business.

Most sales training follows a blend – a combination of classroom training, mentoring & coaching and digital learning. If you already have a mobile learning strategy in place, then your digital strategy can be delivered right into the hands of your learner. Earlier, the blend of 70:20:10 between these strategies was recommended, however, because modern audiences are much more digitally savvy, this blend has been moving more towards 50:20:30. This means 30% of your workforce’s learning hours will be spent on digital learning that you need to put out.

Is that a terrifying thought? It shouldn’t be! Let us take you through these simple 5 steps to kickstart your digital sales training strategy. 

  • Find a digital delivery platform – A good digital delivery platform is half the battle in your digital strategy. Look online and you can find some pretty exciting platforms that can help you rocket your digital strategy to the stratosphere. The criteria you need to be judging them on are the mobile experience they offer, how easy it is to update and put out your content and how data gets tracked. Check out Docebo, QuoDeck, Grovo, and Litmos.
  • Collate your existing content to get started – You don’t need to create content from scratch to launch your digital strategy. Get started with your presentations, documents, existing videos and even audio podcasts and put them out on your digital platform. You can create as you go along, but to begin with, your existing material should power your first month of learning, so that you can focus on driving consumption.
  • Launch with a mandatory program – The most important milestone when you launch your app is getting your learners to download it. It’s always a good idea to start with a mandatory test or course that your learners are required to go through. Remember to launch with content beyond your first course, so that if learners finish the course and want to go through something else, there is content for them to consume.
  • Fresh content every day – Make sure that you have something fresh to send out every day on your platform. Even if it just a quick 5-question quiz or a nugget of information in the form of a social post, make sure that there is activity on your platform every day. If you can keep this up long enough that your learners get into the habit of checking into the platform every day, you are home free.
  • Track data to understand what your learners like – Your digital platform can give you data on what your learners are consuming more of. Track the kind of courses or media that are most popular. You can figure this out by checking two data points – the amount of time spent and consumption levels across your learner base. If any of your learners like this kind of content and they spend a lot of time on it, it’s a good sign that you should do more of it.

Once you’ve kick-started your digital strategy, and gained some momentum, start leveraging your digital platform’s content creation tools to put out more interactive content like games and story-based courses.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

What is Micro-learning?

Micro-learning is learning presented as short and focused nuggets of content. Content can be in multiple forms including text, images, videos, etc. Micro-learning presents only as much content as required for learners to achieve a specific learning outcome. With today’s workforce comprising of Generation Z and millennials, it is particularly valuable in corporate learning.

Micro-learning solves learning problems that plague today’s workforce

The training that your learners experience, whether in the form of workshops, ILTs or online courses on your LMS, are mostly long-form. As a result, learner gratification usually happens only once on course/workshop completion. Also, because the attention span of the audience you talk to is short, as little as 5 minutes, their interest in long online courses often wavers causing understanding and retention to suffer.

With the help of micro-learning nuggets, you can attack both these problems. These provide gratification in shorter intervals and prevent learner demotivation. Also, since their length is usually kept below 5 minutes, learner attention does not waver either.

Benefits offered by micro-learning

Apart from just solving problems for the learner community, micro-learning offers multiple benefits to individuals who own learning or training of teams.

a. Just-in-time learning

Micro-learning can be accessed on mobile phones, LMS permitting, without using up too much data. With content being available on their handiest device, your learners can access it on-demand. These micro-learning online courses can thus act as ready reckoners and prove helpful on the job.

b. Autonomy

Millennials needs more autonomy than any other generation. Allowing them to consume relevant content, as and when they choose to, drives motivation as well as interest. Additionally, this gives them the feeling that they can chart their own learning paths. Learners thus apply their learning in their daily lives and often look for content that they can consume. This reduces the pressure on learning managers as content does not need to be pushed as much as earlier.

c. Varied forms of learning

Micro-learning principles demand concise and to-the-point information nuggets with focused and compact objectives. Using various forms such as games, videos, infographics, eLearning and m-learning, it can help create specific content with effective training outputs. Along with this, micro-learning content also helps achieve content interactivity and learner engagement.

d. Advantageous for small teams

Micro-learning offers key advantages to small teams, groups or departments. Given their small size, setting up a micro-learning mobile app is easy and affordable. This can be used for achieving smaller but important milestones that a department may have set for itself.

When should you use micro-learning?

It is important to consider two aspects while applying micro-learning strategies – business aspect and learner needs.

Here are some things to consider while using micro-learning:

a. What technology will you use?

Micro-learning’s success largely depends on how easy it is to access. If a learner cannot easily and quickly find content that she is looking for, it is likely that they will not spend any effort to access it again. Not all LMSes handle micro-learning well. It is important that your LMS deploys these courses easily and tag the learners to help them find what they need. The LMS needs to be accessible on mobile as well.

b. Who are your learners?

It is crucial that you know your learner profile before you design a micro-learning course. While micro-learning can be effective across all generations, younger learners or learners who are more technologically savvy may be more comfortable using these than those who do not use digital devices frequently.

To conclude, micro-learning is the best learning strategy for the Gen Z and millennial workforce. Not only can it be engaging and effective, with the right approach to creation, it can be entertaining too.

By Shruti Shinde, Head- Enterprise Origination at QuoDeck

How to use games to market your learning program?

One of the major challenges HR and L&D professionals face is getting the employees to get interested in the learning programs. Games or rather game-based learning can help here. This article will focus on how a company can market its so-called boring learning programs and make them interesting.

Using Games To Market Your Learning Program

Getting your employees interested in your learning program is a herculean task. You won’t find a lot of people coming up to you and asking about your next eLearning course. Why should anyone? It’s not the next iPhone. Or the next Avengers movie.

So, the solution here is not just creating the most engaging course ever, but also making it sound like it is as interesting as the next iPhone or the next Avengers movie.

Now imagine these 2 scenarios:

Scenario 1: You’re standing in a meeting room and you say this—Raise your hands if you want to go through my next eLearning course!

Scenario 2: You’re standing in a meeting room and you say this—Raise your hands if you want to play my next learning game!

Which announcement would generate more curiosity? A game would definitely have the upper hand. As a planet, we play 3 billion hours of games every week. Why not use this to transform your training program into the next iPhone!

Games As A Medium For Marketing

Games have been used for marketing for years now. Go to the Play Store and search for ‘Justice League games’ and you will know what I am talking about. Games are exciting, competitive, and provide an immersive experience.

The first thing you should do is move to game-based learning. Stop thinking about your course in terms of a presentation with images and tabs. Think of it as a game, where the learner must find the hidden treasure or kill the demon, and the learning content will help him achieve this objective. Add a storyline and let the assessments appear in the form of learning games. Now you have an engaging and exciting game-based learning course ready. Is that all? Target achieved? Not at all. This is just the beginning.

Think Like A Marketer

Stop thinking about your course as a learning manager and start thinking like a marketer. You’re no longer marketing a course, but an exciting game. Get your marketing department involved as well. How would you go about it? Plan your marketing campaigns in 2 phases:

Phase I – Pre-Launch Campaigns

Teaser Campaigns

Start with a teaser campaign with catchy copy, like ‘The Lost Treasure. Coming soon!’. Send out emailers or put out posters with cryptic messaging. Plan this for a week or two before your course launch and start attracting eyeballs. Make sure you use game-related visuals or theme to put this out. They have to connect back to your game so your audience can relate to it when you reveal your course.

Trailer Videos

Have you seen these short videos featuring the characters from the popular game—Clash of Clans? Here’s one of them. These entertain you and generate curiosity about the game. Create short videos like this and share with your employees. These will help you with the much-needed virality. You don’t have to create rich animated videos like this, but you can create simple ones. There are a lot of tools out there which can help you get these created or one of your training partners can help you with this.

Quiz Contest Using Learning Game

A lot of products offer samples to provide a first-hand experience to the customers. It is one of the most effective strategies. Create a quick learning game which you have used in your course and plan out a quiz contest using the same. Reward the top players with vouchers or certificates to encourage word-of-mouth publicity. Plan this as a trailer and inform your players to watch out for the larger game.

Phase II – Post-Launch Campaigns

Leaderboards And Rewards

Once your learners start playing your course, monitor it, and look out for the early adopters. These are the first ones to access your course. Reward them for this feat. Do create a leaderboard featuring the top 5 or 10 players. Share this within the organization to recognize the top players.

Giveaways

Have you ever bought a happy meal from McDonald’s? Remember the free toy which you got? It is one of the major reasons why people buy a happy meal. Giveaways have a huge recall value and do encourage virality. See if you could plan for a small giveaway, like a keychain or coaster which features one of the characters from the game.

Remember, just because you have put a lot of effort to create the best eLearning course, does not mean others would be interested in it as well. You have to communicate it in a way which your audience would find it interesting. So, put your marketing hat on and get started!

By Deepak Gawas, Head- Partnerships at QuoDeck

(This article was initially published on elearningindustry.com)

3 types of games for Corporate e-Learning

There are many games available based on the eLearning objective of the organization. The 3 most effective games are

Simulation:

The complexity of these games varies widely. You can set up an entire business ecosystem with competitors, lenders, shareholders and customers, simulation of customer negotiation & Objection handling or in simulating Lab results for R&R.

Virtual/Augmented Reality:

While these are applicable to all companies, they become a necessity in manufacturing, Oil & Gas, Defense etc., where the cost of physical training is very expensive.

Casual Games:

These are best suited for organizations, where product, compliance and regulatory training must be imparted continuously. These games have a high ROI due to their simplicity, low cost of deployment, ease of embedding new content and use of existing infrastructure such as desktop/mobile devices

By  Venkataraman Ananthakrishnan, Head- Online and Global Business at QuoDeck

3 tips for effective gamification in your organization

Gamification is one of the most effective ways of imparting learning to your employees. Standard gamification features include setting up a game like structure, creating leaderboards, offering rewards, badges & certificates, and making it mobile. The following key tenets are routinely overlooked, when using gamification, leading to suboptimal results.

  • Create an interesting storyline: There is a reason why the best games, apart from having great visuals, have the most interesting storylines. Take your audience through a journey, get them excited to move to the next level.  Design all your courses, assessments, and rewards based on the storyline. If you can add mystery and adventure to the fray, you have a winner!
  • Provide a mix of individual and team competition: Most gamified learning journeys offer only one of the two. As social beings, people love competing in groups and helping each other. However, the need to shine as individuals remains. Design assessments that reward top teams and top performers.
  • Decide the deliverable of the gamification: This cannot be emphasized enough. Do you want your employees to have fun, compete or create buzz? Is learning more important or competition? These need to be considered while gamifying your eLearning course.
By  Venkataraman Ananthakrishnan, Head- Online and Global Business at QuoDeck

Why engagement is a critical ingredient in successful sales training?

Building a performing sales team is the holy grail that all organizations chase – and it’s definitely not an easy task. But building lasting engagement is a critical ingredient that can separate a good sales training program from a bad one.

Sales is the lifeblood of most organizations, and a performing sales team is worth its weight in gold.

Building an effective sales training program is the holy grail that all sales trainers chase – and it’s definitely not an easy task. More often than not, what seems like an easy problem to solve, can be a multi-layered challenge within a changing business and technology environment.

It’s clear that there are no easy formulas that sales trainers can plug in to make their sales training programs effective. But it all starts with ensuring that sales people at least consume the learning. Without adoption, it is futile to worry about downstream metrics like effectiveness, retention and application.

Adoption has many layers, and is very similar to any modern marketing problem. If you think of learners as consumers or ‘app users’ in the modern mobile learning context, problems become a little more apparent.

Just like a consumer app faces uninstalls after an initial period of usage, most learning programs suffer because they focus on creating short-term engagement. A good onboarding course or a gamified learning program will create short-term engagement but will leave learners very little to come back to when they have finished consuming that piece of content.

Therefore, sales trainers typically see good initial usage of their programs, and very little engagement after that.

In a training context, even if this results in a good onboarding experience, it rarely results in ongoing consumption of sales training and communication, Therefore, after the initial onboarding program, when sales people are on the field and need to be trained on new product releases or to address problem areas, getting them back to the training app or platform is as big a problem as when you launch.

So, how can you keep them coming back again and again? Build engagement.

It may help to better understand the psyche of the modern learner to figure out how to create ongoing engagement. In the context of mobile learning, any training app is competing for mindshare with platforms such as Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. These are the apps that your users prefer to spend time on rather than consume learning. What is attractive about these apps, is that they serve up a constant stream of content for users to consume.

Learners will only flock to something which gives them equal engagement and freshness of content. Therefore, the chances of running a successful sales training program improve multi-fold by creating engagement and keeping up a high velocity of content. On average, putting out fresh content every day or alternate day is a good way to pique learner’s interest to see what you will come up next. If the overall quality of learning content you put out is interesting, you should see a upward trend in ongoing engagement levels among your users.

So, how does one do that without having to spent enormous amounts of money to create content? Here are a few tips.

Crowd source content

Most of the real wisdom on sales training comes from subject matter experts from within the organization. Leverage that by asking your internal subject matter experts to provide you with content that you can send out to your learners on a regular basis. A large kitty of content you can keep cycling through will ensure that your learners get to see something new every day or week. Use microlearning principles to nugget this content into bite-sized chunks and you can send out something every day. This will keep learners coming back for more. Ensure that your mobile app puts out push notifications so that learners know that fresh content is being populated every day.

Frequent quizzes and contests

Putting together an assessment is far easier than creating learning content from scratch. Create question banks that you can slice and dice into quick assessments. Create weekly contests and let learners visually see their performance through leader boards. The competitive element should naturally appeal to sales people. It does not matter if some questions are repeated from one quiz to the other. In fact, critical aspects or facts about your product should be repetitive to ensure retention, therefore, repeat those questions across multiple quizzes. These assessments can also help you identify gaps in knowledge and understanding.

Leverage social learning

Take a page out of the book of immensely successful social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and use social constructs to ensure content is always moving and fresh. Identify voices of authority among your sales team – for example, a veteran sales person respected by the team or an opinion leader. Ask them to put out micro-nuggets of content, such as an anecdote about their experience while selling. Ask them to post this content on the social learning section of your learning app. Drive engagement by boosting that post in the social network. This will encourage others to share more nuggets and drive repeat visits.

Use games and gaming

The planet spends around 30 billion hours a week playing games like Candy Crush and Angry Birds – this is natural behaviour. Play into this natural behaviour by giving them games to explore and play with. Having a ‘game arcade’ or library of games that they can try out just for ‘fun’ can be a great way to keep them coming back.

Quick authoring

This is the most obvious of them all. It is important to have your actual learning content out there, apart from the social and crowd-sourced aspects of this. Most learning platforms come with quick authoring and if yours doesn’t, you should find one. Quick authoring tools will allow you to create templatized micro-learning nuggets out of existing content. Ensuring that you have a constant pipeline of content being created will allow you to recycle over a period of time, once new learners enter the system.

Remember, learners should be treated more as app users, where the objective is to create engagement and pull, rather than use push methods to get them to consume learning. As soon as you see learning as a marketing problem, solutions start to appear more readily.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

Avoiding the LMS Overkill

“The world is full of people who will help you manufacture tornados in order to blow out a match”
Shaun Hick, Author

What LMS Overkill Is And Ways To Avoid It?

In a fast-changing world, organizations need to keep their teams up to speed with the latest trends and methods for each industry. This requirement for learning has spawned the multi-billion-dollar Learning Management System (LMS) industry. And, today, there are hundreds of LMSs to choose from, with a mind-boggling array of features. Which brings me to the all-important question: As a company looking to implement an LMS, how does one choose the most appropriate one?

Well, most LMSs would provide core features – User Management, Course Creation, and Basic Progress Analytics. What distinguishes one LMS from the other are the shiny advanced features they offer.

So, why not just go for the one with the largest number of features, or the one with the coolest features, or the one that the leader in your industry is using?

Because you might just end up with a system that is nightmarish to implement and, altogether, too complex for your audience to use. This is the concept of the LMS overkill, and most LMS providers, including us, have been guilty of it at some point or the other.

The truth is that given the size of the target base, experience with learning systems and the complexity of training to be administered, enterprises have different learning requirements at different points in time.

This is called the Enterprise Learning Life Cycle, which broadly maps into 5 stages:

Enterprise_Learning

The selection of the most appropriate LMS should ideally depend on where the company is in the Enterprise Learning Life Cycle.

1. Solo Stage Requirements

In the Solo Stage, a senior leader or trainer acts as a Subject Matter Expert and trains a select set of learners in the subject. The content is mostly from existing knowledge built over the years of practicing their trade. The onus of learning is on the learner with little focus on assessments or pushing adoption.

Stage Indicators

 Learning System Requirements

Learning_System_Requirements _LMS_QuoDeck

In the Solo Stage, there is no real need for a formal learning system unless the Subject Matter Expert is planning to translate his knowledge into something more permanent. In such a case, the only requirements they would have is a repository to store the learning content and a way to share the content.

Instead of an LMS, you should consider using Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox or a similar file sharing service at this stage. Alternatively, you could create a course on a MOOC like Coursera or Udemy to host and share your content.

2. Startup Learning Team Requirements

In the Startup Stage, the organization relies on its managers to train their own teams. This is typically the case when the organization is in the startup stage or is composed of small teams. The main learning objective for the learners is to get familiar with the company’s products and sales pitches. A lot of the learning happens on-the-job, and the quality of training depends on the quality of the managers.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Learning_system_requirements_lms_QuoDeck

In the Startup Stage, the requirement is for a low-cost system that can be handled by the manager himself. Most of the content that needs to be disseminated is already available as sales pitches and planning documents. The requirements, in this case, are a repository to store the content, a way to share it, a system to check whether the learners have viewed the content, a way to make the whole experience more engaging, some basic assessments and above all, a method to prevent download or onward-sharing of the often-proprietary content. In case the team operates in the field, you might also require mobile learning functionalities.

For this stage, you should try out a lite LMS like QuoDeck ExpressTalentLMS or ProProfs.

3. Standard Learning Team Requirements

In the Standard Stage, the organization takes on the responsibility to scale up all its employees. The organization typically has a dedicated HR team, who explore need gaps and plan and conduct learning sessions to plug them. Leading with classroom sessions, most organizations typically look to add in eLearning to standardize the content and dissemination approach as well as reduce costs.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

System_requirements_lms

The Standard Stage is when the company is most susceptible to LMS overkill. Given the mandate to acquire a new enterprise system, it is but natural for the team to go for the “best” instead of the “most appropriate”. LMSs tend to get evaluated on the number of features they offer, rather than what is really required by the organization.

Ideally, the focus should ideally be on creating high-quality interactive content on tools like Articulate and Captivate. The LMS is required largely for structured dissemination.

At this stage, it is preferable to go for a cloud-based mobile learning system with a lower technical learning curve. Ideal candidates for this are LMSs like CanvasDocebo, and Litmos.

4. Seasoned Learning Team Requirements

In the Seasoned Stage, the organization starts a decentralization process due to the increase in its scale of operations. Each team has dedicated HR managers who take on the responsibility to scale up the employees in their team. There is a central, dedicated learning team, who oversee and authorize learning activities.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Learning_requirements_lms

The Seasoned Stage is where the organization should look to acquire a full-fledged LMS. However, the key at this stage goes beyond the LMS features themselves. The ongoing learning management for the organization requires many offline processes which are the mainstay of the learning team.

Mapping of the organization, arranging them into cohorts and setting up aspects like escalation matrices, social networks, etc. require close coordination between the learning team, IT, and business units. Tracking of offline activities requires strong processes driving such activities and social learning requires tight moderation.

At this stage, it is advisable to go for a full-featured LMS like MoodleSabaBlackboard, QuoDeck Enterprise, CornerStone On Demand, etc.

5. Scaled Learning Team Requirements

In the Scaled Stage, the organization has learning as a business function. Beyond training its own employees, the learning team of the organization takes on the responsibility of training the employees of its company’s ecosystem (vendors, partners, distributors) and its consumers too.

Stage Indicators

Learning System Requirements

Requirements_lms_QuoDeck

In the Scaled Stage, the organization extends its enterprise LMS with multiple microlearning platforms. These platforms get deployed for differing purposes and are managed by the business teams once set up.

Advanced analytics become a significant component of learning management in this stage. Being a business function, learning at this stage becomes strongly MIS driven, with roll-up reports and integration with Business Intelligence systems.

This stage typically requires an on-premise deployment of a full-featured LMS as in the Seasoned Stage and multiple cloud-based micro-platforms as in the Startup Stage.

Conclusion

Given the hundreds of choices available when picking an LMS, it is undoubtedly difficult to be sure of the one you choose. Be careful that you do not end up investing in a system that is more expensive than what you need to afford, and one that offers features that sound impressive but in reality, add little tangible value to your specific needs. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and start simple.

And remember; ultimately, the LMS is just the technology. Your learning architecture, Instructional Design, content quality, and adoption drives are equally important in proving the difference between a successful implementation and an LMS overkill.

By Arijit Lahiri, Co-Founder of QuoDeck

This article was first published at eLearning Industry.com.

Fun and games to upgrade your skills

Arijit Lahiri and Kamalika Bhattacharya, who spent over a decade in organisations like ABN Amro Bank and Intellecap, saw learning department heads begging, bullying and even bribing their learners to stick to their learning agenda.
So they put on their marketing hats to understand what would catch learners’ attention. “Game-based learning pretty much screamed itself up,” says Bhattacharya. Games allow for more engaging learning experiences while also making the learner behaviour more measurable and analysable. Today, their company, QuoDeck (earlier Ptotem), uses board games, murder mysteries and treasure hunts as learning methods, and these have been used by organisations like PepsiCo, Unilever, Aditya Birla Group and Tata Group.

To read the full article, click here