Your LMS is like a 2G network

As I thought of writing this blog – I asked myself – just providing plain facts about LMS (Learning management system) and new generation digital learning platforms, may be dull and boring. What should I relate the discussion to, so that it becomes interesting and you read my entire blog.

What’s one thing or one of few things, you love a lot or spend lot of time with – your mobile – Right?. So let me relate LMS vs Digital learning platforms discussion with mobile networks and your mobile usage preferences & experiences. What did you do with 2G networks, 10-12 years earlier – used it for voice and text messages – there was no Whatsapp, no FB, no videos, no Skype no Facetime. In a similar way, we at workplace have been using LMS – for courses (lot of text, diagrams, lengthy process documents etc.) – lengthy courses – right. We have been recording how much training a learner received, when did s/he do what. Who did not complete a course. In nutshell:

  1. Courses completed
  2. Training hours
  3. Assigned courses completed in given time
  4. Learning large chunks – full day or even longer training sessions

Did we relate these to business outcomes or did we very comprehensively measure ROI – can’t say with conviction. And these LMS were installed after spending lot of money (CAPEX). This was similar to paying a deposit of Rs. 5000+ to get a 2G connection and pay charges both for outgoing and incoming calls as well as monthly rental – for a “Vanilla” experience.

Let us move to high speed networks and new smartphones of today – everything revolves around data – you experience high definition videos, use several apps to book cabs, hotels, airline tickets, buy lot of stuff – all thru your smartphone – any time – anywhere – using any device. New generation digital learning platforms work exactly on these “Fundas”. Learn anything, anywhere, any content and on any device – this empowers you to learn, search, play with – anything – anyplace – anytime (even outside of normal working hours) and your own device – all with a goal to enhance your capabilities – which directly impact business. In nutshell:

  1. Resources are key to learning – not just courses
  2. Capabilities must relate to business impact
  3. Everyone learns from everyone – Collaboration is the key
  4. Learning small bytes – as small as a 3 minute video

The focus in telecom space has shifted from voice to data – in the same way, modern work place learning focuses on resources and communities you learn from. Communities of interest (like skill or role based) supported by digital platforms are very similar to whatsapp groups. Learning at new age work place has thus become completely learner centric, mobile & app enabled, its continuous (small bytes every day). BYOD (bring your own device) policies have further helped a learner to plan when to learn, how much to learn (each day), what to learn in her/his own device.

So I hope you now appreciate that learning function has evolved in the same way as telecom networks – thanks to digital, cloud based technologies and new thinking of making learning interesting and business focused.

Last point – this is icing on the cake. What if the new generation, learning platform (feature rich & super experience) comes to you at zero CAPEX (unlike LMS for which you had spent decent some of money – upfront) and you just pay as per your usage, every month and even pull the plug if you don’t want the service – isn’t it interesting.

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