December 2021
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TD Magazine

How to Build a Learning Ecosystem

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Pair talent, technology, content, and data for continuous learning and growth.

As turnover continues, more and more employers are left without the talent they need to be successful. One way they can stem the tide is to provide the development opportunities that employees crave. A learning ecosystem—which combines technology, content, data, people, and governance—can help.

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In "A Tech Guide to Learning Ecosystems," Becky Willis outlines the four primary technology components of a learning ecosystem—management, platform, content, and point solution—and offers guidance on how to select and evaluate the ecosystem components.

A learning management system is the most familiar management component of a learning ecosystem. As to the platform component, Willis writes: "Learning ecosystem platforms enable easy discovery, collaboration, management, and measurement of learning that is geared to a blend of digital, synchronous, internal, and external content."

When it comes to content, companies can obtain that from content aggregators and content libraries or through curation. And point solutions are tools such as learning record stores, digital adoption platforms, and modality-specific tools.

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After selecting the appropriate technology solution for the organization, it's time to implement a digital learning strategy, which requires collaboration with IT, HR, and other business team members. The strategy features a project plan, pilot, marketing and communication of the new change in L&D opportunities, and measurement and evaluation. Willis emphasizes that a successful strategy to drive engagement for the digital learning platform includes recruiting champions, creating groups, and actively curating relevant content.

These tips were adapted from the December 2021 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at td.org/TDatWork.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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