Approaches to Learning Experience Design in 2020

The digital learning landscape has taken off over the past few years, in more ways than one. Not only are more HR departments using an online learning system to support their L&D activities, but with 84% confirming they use at least some form of a learning management systems (LMS) to supercharge their efforts, the number of options and tools that are available to support eLearning has also expanded. This explosion of the LMS market has provided HR professionals with more opportunities than ever to deliver dynamic education and training to constituents. The industry now presents corporations and educational institutions with more than 800 choices when shopping for an LMS. Overall, many have reached feature parity, meaning they offer essentially the same range of functions. However, depending on how you leverage them, certain solutions can provide a much more engaging experience for your learners and more streamlined processes for instructors. With all this expansion, it's no wonder the way digital learning environments are built has become a huge consideration for so many organizations and learning developers. That's where utilizing strategies such as learning experience design (LXD) becomes important. As an approach, Learning Experience Design, or LX Design, puts the learner's experience first, structuring modules and larger architectural features of an LMS to make it easier for users to navigate resources within online courses and sessions. This is done in a variety of ways, from increased feedback and more frequent assessment to attempts at intuitive design and ease-of-use features. If you're thinking about improving user experience within your LMS, here are a few of the innovations and new approaches that help better engage learners with dynamic, convenient, user-focused training and education.

Creating Intuitive Experiences with Learner Insight

Ease of use and quality of content are two of the biggest factors that determine the success of a given course, and a flexible LMS with customization and integration capabilities can help you achieve that. Users tend to favor environments where they can interact with the material that follow design best practices and feedback from the system directs them to content and courses that are most relevant to their specific role or needs. With the ability to track and report on user behavior and formal and informal learning data, you’re able to provide a personalized training experience that learners will find valuable to their professional development. You can also recognize and recommend specific concepts or practices they can improve upon.

Building a Content Model Tailored to Your Learners

Machine learning, AI, and individual learning plans power today's feature-rich LMS builds, providing instructional personnel and end users both with courses, resources, and other tools that help raise engagement and serve more relevant content. This helps with both onboarding and continual learning throughout the entirety of the employee lifecycle, as new users have an easier path to follow when approaching training materials. It also helps with consistent engagement, because an LMS with a strong content model behind it is more responsive to the needs of users. With the wide range of content that can be incorporated into the LMS for a best-of-breed content strategy, from gamified content to microlearning and much more, creating more flexible and engaging programs that meet the unique needs of your learners as they evolve becomes even easier for learning managers. Additionally, learning plans can be crafted that align with your learner’s role, location, career goals, and other factors. When your content is hyper relevant to your learners, they are more likely to be engaged and retain the information presented.

Utilizing Additional LMS Support

Flexibility and the use of additional support have become important factors for new LMS builds, especially with clients looking to preserve content and plug-ins that serve them well. With the increased parity between platforms, emphasis on interoperability and the development of best-in-breed plug-ins and media integration experiences, and diversification in marketplace options, more and more L&D departments are consulting with eLearning experts to find the most useful and cost-effective options rather than relying on their own research. The complexity of choosing and configuring an LMS to fit the UX design needs of a particular organization has increased exponentially in just a few short years as demand for these platforms has risen sharply, especially with regard to customized platforms that are built to be easily upgraded as new features and external apps are developed. Working with a Certified LMS partner can help you maximize learning initiatives, leverage expert consultation and directly support the development of your learning solution. When support is knowledgeable and responsive, it helps you address issues like outages and upgrades more smoothly, because the service provider is tasked with ensuring your system is up-to-date, secure, and will continue to meet the needs of your company and industry. With continuous support, your eLearning partner should be able to keep you up to date on the latest advancements in the market, allowing you to implement cutting edge tools and strategies that can empower you to maximize your learning outcomes.

Leverage Flexibility and Interoperability to Future-Proof Your eLearning Program

The same tools that make it easier for learners to succeed and for designers to create and serve quality educational content also make it easier for organizations to streamline their experience without creating a lot of extra in-house administrative work. Using an xAPI-enabled Learning Record Store (LRS), you can collect a 360-degree view of both formal and informal learning data in order to improve performance outcomes and positively impact the training experience. Furthermore, incorporating a Learning Experience Platform (LXP) provides a Netflix-like experience within the LMS by aggregating content from various internal and external resources based on employee role, activities, or more. With a broader range of content, learner engagement increases, as well as retention of your most important lessons. This is a great tool that places a particular focus on learning experience. Being able to integrate additional tools and content with your LMS allows you to take advantage of the latest and greatest in the eLearning marketplace, effectively future-proofing your eLearning ecosystem as well as your investment. The LMS options in today's market that use strong LX design principles understand the value of a user-centered L&D strategy. Again, a few ways to incorporate these principles include:

  • Insights and prompts to users to reinforce positive behaviors and encourage friendly competition among team members with certifications, badges, and gamified learning.
  • Easy-to-navigate menus with contextual options and prompts to contact support if they cannot find what they need.
  • Multi-modal content that engages learners in an activity while appealing to multiple learning styles.
  • Varied assessments that provide feedback about different areas of mastery in the course's learning objectives.
  • Versatile design that works on multiple devices, providing users with more opportunity to interact with learning content on a variety of devices (including mobile) as it is most convenient for them.

The Next Steps in Purchasing or Upgrading Your LMS

With only around 16% of HR professionals holding a strong belief in the effectiveness of their current LMS design and content and only an additional 31% holding a moderately strong belief in it, the data from L&D professionals is clear that most organizations have a lot of room for improvement in their LX design approach. That's where these new approaches can help not only improve your ability to serve quality content, but learning experience design can also improve the engagement and user investment in outcomes that are necessary in order to have a strong learning culture in any organization. Effectively implementing Learning Experience Design principles can seem challenging, but with a trusted partner in eLearning, you can help ensure the success of your L&D programs while empowering your learners and driving your business forward. Learn more about the Moodle™, Moodle™ Workplace, and Totara LMS solutions. Request a demonstration to see our fully-managed LMS solutions in action.

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