E-learning is more present than ever in today’s business training environment. With a significant part of their staff still working from home or in a hybrid model, companies continue to adapt their training to the needs of the modern employee who can no longer engage in in-person learning as the go-to training method.
In this context, learning management systems (LMSs) have seen widespread adoption. And that’s not all, as the LMS as we know it is now changing, as well, becoming increasingly complex and efficient thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics, among others. The LMS of the future is what industry specialists call an intelligent learning platform for business (ILP). Learn more about what an ILP does and how it can benefit organizations.
Defining the intelligent learning platform for businesses
An intelligent learning platform is a digital learning system that provides innovative capabilities, such as:
- Predicting learner behavior
- Offering personalized learning recommendations
- Providing real-time analytics
- Incorporating a variety of learning materials from different sources
An ILP is a mix of two types of established learning technologies – LMSs and learning experience platforms (LXPs). Let’s take a look at each of them.
An LMS is a learning hub where users can create, manage and access online courses. These platforms also offer a comprehensive solution for learner evaluation and engagement. Business LMSs also provide support and a large variety of LMS reports L&D specialists and organization leaders can leverage to maximize the results of their training programs. Compliance and e-commerce are also must-have features.
An LXP is a learner-centric learning platform that works as a content delivery system. The main focus of learning experience platforms is to understand learners’ interests and deliver suitable content.
Among the main features that distinguish LXPs, you will find usage-based content recommendations, skills-based tagging, AI analytics, content indexing features, and content pathing. An LXP relies on an algorithm to recommend courses based on users’ searches and their activity on the platform.
The best of both worlds: LMS and LXP
An ILP brings together the best LMS and LXP features by allowing users to create and manage content, assess learners, and automatically provide the best recommendations. These stretch beyond the content an organization produces in-house and can include thousands of resources from third-party content providers such as LinkedIn Learning.
The benefits of an intelligent learning platform for businesses
Complementing traditional LMS features, ILPs offer a dynamic, user-centered learning experience. Here are the main advantages.
There are many reasons why corporate training often fails and one of the major ones is that companies stick to an old-fashioned standardized approach. The lack of learning personalization can be detrimental to training efficiency and employee productivity.
In the US, companies spend around 50 billion dollars on training payroll yearly. However, many organizations still struggle to improve their training programs’ ROI, partially due to a lack of flexibility in meeting employees’ real needs.
For example, 49 percent of employees prefer to engage in training only when necessary. Mandatory courses can be perceived as a waste of time instead of a growth opportunity. Moreover, since adaptability is one of the top soft skills companies look for in new hires, they should also prioritize increased flexibility.
With an ILP, trainers maintain the lead role by creating, assigning courses, evaluating learners and providing feedback. However, employees can also act as mentors and coaches for each other. ILPs encourage learners with similar skills and interests to form learning communities.
They benefit from help from other learners who have the same goals and have mastered certain competencies. Trainers can create groups and communities of users with similar goals and aptitudes and enhance communication and knowledge dissemination.
More diverse training resources
One of the main advantages of an ILP is that it allows organizations to leverage both internal and external resources. Usually, LMSs focus on courses created within a company by its L&D department, offering little or no links to third-party content. Instead, ILPs also connect learners with third-party content.
Paired with the personalized recommendations system, more diverse content ensures that each learner receives the best training materials that will help them level up their professional skills.
Easy goal monitoring
ILPs allow trainers to access real-time analytics. Hence, they have a clear overview of each learner and course performance. This is what makes these systems highly efficient in terms of goal monitoring.
There are different types of goals that trainers can add to an intelligent learning platform for business. For example, an employee might choose “I want to become a Senior Graphic Designer.” This goal is associated with certain competencies, such as learning how to use certain graphic design software.
Also, employees can set learning goals for themselves, complete different courses related to them and go through an evaluation process in the ILP.
Trainers can easily monitor employee progress from their dashboard and offer encouragement or help. Learners can also see where they are and how many courses they must complete before reaching their goals.
What are the features of an intelligent learning platform for businesses?
The ILP is the perfect combination of LMSs and LXPs, so it only makes sense to have both trainer and learner-centric features. Most importantly, they contribute to an enhanced skill development system that features:
Goals and recommendations
Intelligent learning platforms for businesses help users advance in their careers through personalized recommendations. They work similarly to Netflix recommendations, based on interests and previous training performance.
The system allows you to set professional goals and provides the most suitable courses and resources that will help you reach them. Along with a clear overview of goals, learners and their trainers will also see their progress in real-time. At-a-glance charts can tell you in a second what score you’ve managed to achieve for each goal.
This intuitive system, paired with the platform’s AI capabilities, makes it easy for instructors to conduct a knowledge gap analysis. Therefore, they can see which employees lag behind in their training and need reinforcement to meet their goals. Also, this helps prevent training failure by offering each person the content they need, alongside prompt intervention when learners need some help to meet their goals.
A wealth of third-party content
With an intelligent learning platform, employees will be able to enjoy all the quality content developed by their company’s L&D team. At the same time, they will have access to third-party resources. Content from providers such as Udemy, LinkedIn Learning and Go1 will be within easy reach as they are integrated into the ILP.
Moreover, intelligent platforms also allow companies to publish content catalogs and share them with other organizations. Hence, organizations can monetize some of their training content and boost their brand awareness at the same time.
Employees still need a human touch when engaging in learning. To meet this need, ILPs infuse their goals systems with social features that enable you to build learning communities.
For example, employees with similar goals can join a group where they share resources and engage in meaningful discussions about their aspirations. Those who have already managed to master a career goal (e.g., becoming a team leader) can act as mentors for learners at the beginning of their journey.
For their effort, these learners can get awards within the ILP. For example, extra points will count towards completing a course/goal or a badge upon answering a colleague’s question on a forum. Therefore, these Q&A forums are gamified and more engaging as a result.
The future of training looks bright with AI-infused systems such as MATRIX offered by CYPHER LEARNING. These tools rely on powerful analytics to interpret learner behavior and provide content recommendations tailored to each profile. Their complex goal setting and tracking system allow employees to set and achieve professional objectives with the help of robust training programs. Additional features such as third-party resources and social learning add more value to support skill development.
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Ioana Solea has been working as an ESL and Italian language corporate trainer for over 11 years. However, her biggest passion is blogging. She covers different topics, from training and e-learning tools to online marketing.