I’m constantly involved with keeping up on the latest trends in learning technologies and solutions. I’ve recently been reading more reports that question the traditional standalone LMS platform, and it’s gotten me thinking. How many in today’s business environment really understand the differences between their old traditional learning management system (LMS) and the newest social LMS platforms?
First, the traditional LMS model is a monolithic structure that acts as a giant repository of information being pushed out to the learner. Second, traditional LMS platforms are somewhat generic, and don’t take into account an organization’s unique learning needs. Third, these systems perpetuate the model of “going to” training – whether it’s ILT or e-learning, the old LMS model still requires a learner to sit for long periods of time and consume chunks of information that may or may not be received. And finally, these traditional systems obtain little if any feedback from the user; and those few that do, seldom integrate changes based on that feedback.
A well-designed social LMS on the other hand, allows for community building within the learning environment. It integrates coaches, subject matter experts, mentors and colleagues into the process of knowledge sharing. My recent research has also got me thinking about what makes a great Social LMS? And I don’t just mean what features are packed into the system. I mean what problems does it solve and how does it bring value to the organization using it?
- Does it provide a means to rate and prioritize the social learning interactions?
- Does it allow for evaluating the effectiveness of the social learning experience?
- Does it integrate with and enhance an organization’s existing system?
- Does it track the history and outcomes of the social learning process?
- Does it allow for open collaboration and knowledge sharing?
- Does it improve productivity?
- Does it make learning easier?
- Does it benefit the company, employees, business partners and customers?
These are all questions that should be asked when evaluating a social LMS platform. Forget the idea of implementing new technology simply because it’s available and a corporate decision-maker has read an article about it. That was last decade. Today’s organizations need to base their learning management decisions on practical application. What is the benefit to the users of the platform and what is the benefit to the company’s bottom line?
One such LMS I would recommend checking out is TOPYX® – it was built from the ground up with award-winning social learning tools to enhance the online learning and communication environment. You can see TOPYX for yourself by requesting a free, personal LMS demo.
Tools are now available to go far beyond the traditional LMS to support engagement and collaboration within your organization. Learning and training should no longer be performed under isolated conditions. There is tremendous value in bringing the best and brightest minds within your organization together.
What is your organization doing to leverage the power of social learning?
Jeffrey A. Roth
Vice President, Marketing and Communications