In his recent posting Janne Hietala announced the release of Valamis 2.0, putting emphasis on informal learning and great learning experiences. He also introduced the term Learning eXperience Solution (LXS). I will open up the idea a little bit more here.
1. Learning is everywhere – no more school please
Think for a while of your personal knowhow. What it really is and where have you learned all that? The answers may not be that obvious. The fact is that only a fraction of our knowhow comes from traditional formal training. Most of learning is something else than classrooms or events and merely something like absorbing knowledge and skills from various sources and by doing things. Supporting this process as well as just bringing it to light is the central idea of a Learning eXperience Solution (LXS).
2. Know how the others learn - crowdsourcing beats the old way
Learning is everywhere, but do others know where and how are we learning? Imagine if you as an individual, a team member or a leader would be better aware how the others get their knowledge and skills. Would it be great if it were possible to share the best sources, methods or learning benchmarks? Let the people contribute and introduce their most efficient source of learning. You cannot lose this bet.
3 Know what the others know - uncover and unleash individual skills
People do different kind of things besides their core job tasks. Someone actively coaches her or his colleagues, the other one writes intriguing blogs, the third one is an NGO active or a volunteer sports coach, a music teacher and so on. These activities are seldom recognized. We need new ways to encourage, reveal and also reward them, very likely resulting in increasing innovativeness at the workplaces.
4 Prevent the eighth waste
Unused human potential is often regarded as the eighth type of “deadly wastes” in context of Lean. Organizations tend to ignore or overlook the capabilities lying beneath the organizational roles or official expertise. We need to engage and reward people to actively solve problems and share, further develop and test their ideas. Learning experience solutions certainly have to play their part in continuous improvement.
5 Manage your history - records for lifelong learning
Referring back to the first point, I had to update my CV just recently and felt unsure how to present and prove the relevant part of my knowhow. Yes, my work history was there as well as references, training certificates and so on, but those were unstructured, in various formats and contexts and partly just within my head. Maybe it is because of my bad self-organizing, but a lifelong Learning Record Store would have been a huge help.
6 Share your past and present - open learning for efficient job markets
What if I had a solution where I could not just store but also share my formal and informal learning history and references? What, when, where and with whom I’ve learned, done, tried, experienced, passed with approval et cetera? Since I did not have an LRS or open badges, I just had to dig in my historical sediments such as papers, files or LinkedIn records. I think that kind of work will look ridiculously backward in a very short period of time.
7 Finally upgrade the 17th century methods & tools
According to folklore, good eLearning contents have been there since 1960s. I remember a demo from mid-1990s where an auditorium full of students spontaneously applauded (extremely rare in Finland) to simple but very illustrative animations, visualizing signal processing maths. I was thinking, impressed, that education must be revolutionized in a few years. I could not have been more wrong. We just kept on ignoring and un-utilizing the available techniques and tools. Respectively, learning management systems have been imitating concepts dating back to centuries ago. Many of the concepts are still fine, but maybe it is time to introduce also something new?
The cost and availability of e.g. simulations, learning games, versatile online courses etc. are becoming more and more favorable. Learning experience solutions enable combining top pedagogics and learning contents from various sources supported by leading edge technologies. Just pick your mobile device and start playing…
8 Business analytics
An awkward silence easily breaks if someone dares to ask for a manager how profitable their investments in training and education are. True, many HR development benefits are indirect but I’m tempted to think that, say, taking sales courses should increase sales and quality training must result in better quality. Typically, however, we’ll only have to believe that our recent training efforts are paying off. And even if we see some positive outcome, we don’t know whether the actual learning has been taking place totally somewhere else. The idea of learning & business analytics enabled by xAPI is to gather data reliable and valid enough to analyze causes and effects in varying time frames. For managers, learning experience solutions mean improved decision-making when the emphasis is on performance instead of training efforts.
9 Happy users get integrated services – Liferay is a perfect LXS platform
Learning is everywhere. Learning is outside the classroom. Learning is much about trying or playing. Learning cannot be completely scheduled for preplanned events. In the same vein, learning environments aren’t anymore something where you’ll separately navigate, log in and work on preplanned tasks outside your daily context.
Instead, when you log in your desktop for your daily work, you simultaneously will have access to the learning contents you need independent on the content provider or content type. In an LXS, information and social networks are on hand personalized, within single sign-on and front-end.
10 Good old save money argument
Saving money spent on training, space or traveling is still a valid argument for eLearning. Being more industry compliant with organized human development and certification program is still true. But even more important is to have motivated people who learn and do things better by their free will. In addition to ending up to lists like this, there will be positive financial impacts as well.
More about our idea of a Learning eXperience Solution can be found at www.valamislearning.com. Valamis LXS on Liferay is available at www.liferay.com/marketplace