Second to effective training content, a centralized learning experience is an essential requirement for an effective learning program. You can design the best training assets, but if they're not well-organized and accessible, then your learners can't or won't use them.
Learning portals, learning management systems, and mobile apps can make training content more accessible—with the right design strategy, of course. But, how do you measure accessibility? It might not be intuitive, so here are a few metrics to keep in mind as you design for a centralized learning experience:
- higher rates of course completion
- shorter time between courses/assets
- higher content consumption after the initial course completion (for example, asset views, and downloads)
- Lower searches to asset downloads/course initiation.
Emerging training technologies have made these objectives easier to reach, but adding more tech to your training solution can also add a layer of complexity to your program deployment.
High-Tech Versus Low-Tech Methods
A high-end, integrated learning portal is a great option, but it isn't the right solution for every training challenge. In some cases, a low-tech solution is best.
The key to low-tech centralization is simplicity. Do you already have an internal page or platform that you can add to? Consider building a landing page on an internal site to display relevant courses and training assets. This may take a little bit of coding to get the assets to display properly, but it's an easy solution for putting your assets all in one place. You can also create a more cohesive experience if the course theme matches that of your internal site.
In contrast, learning technologies like mobile apps, learning management systems, and learning portals come with robust features and custom UI. The ability to capture data, analyze data, and integrate with other systems also makes it much easier to quantify content consumption and accessibility. Most importantly, you can design your training technology to fit your business processes. This is when high-end tech shines. Toray, for example, partnered with AllenComm to deploy a mobile performance support platform that searches content and categorizes assets. When a technician accesses training content, the platform can then suggest more material relevant to the learner.
However, training materials go beyond e-learning modules. A comprehensive learning ecosystem will consist of assets like:
- standard operating procedures (SOPs)
- frequently asked questions (FAQ)’s
- product specifications.
Training technology that simplifies asset management can be is critical to learning. It's often not enough to add assets to a folder. Platforms like Siteline make assets searchable—not just their titles but their content. If the training materials are indexed and categorized, then you can build relationships between training materials and suggest other documents that would be relevant. This adds a new dynamic to accessibility. Rather than learners pulling content based on a static site structure, you can push content based upon consumption data.
Whether your solution is high-tech or low-tech, there are training technology options that address the challenge of accessibility. By centralizing your training content, you can increase content consumption and affect learning outcomes.