Two unstoppable forces have converged, and learning management systems are rising to meet a new challenge.
The first force is the vast body of learning activities available to anyone with an internet connection. If you want to learn a skill, there is almost a 100% probability you will find training on the internet. There is a sea of written guides and video lessons on how to do anything from changing a light bulb to starting a global business.
Companies are taking advantage of this practical resource, and LMS vendors are moving to provide the tools to manage it. Training managers are becoming content curators as they struggle to gain quality control over the flood of resources.
The second force is your highly engaged top performers. They didn’t become your top performers by waiting for you to train them. When they need to solve a problem, they find and share the answer. Then they need a new skill, they learn and teach it.
Social Learning is Mainstream
This social learning is maturing and becoming a major factor in learning organizations. If you guide the process, you can create a high-performing learning organization, driven by your people.
Fifteen years ago the process was the same, but the content was not organized and preserved. Individual employees used the information, but it disappeared when they left the organization.
Now it is up to training managers to get control of the stream of content and for LMS vendors to give them the tools to do it. Training and e-learning guru Josh Bersin sees this trend as a disruptive force as vendors work to catch up with the demand for content curation tools. We already see leading vendors providing the means to manage the torrent of content. SumTotal’s Talent Expansion is geared toward employee self-development, and Workday’s new Workday Learning will natively handle employee-provided content.
Make Content Curation an LMS Requirement
Knowledge sharing and content curation are the future. When you are evaluating learning management systems, curation tools should be an absolute requirement. Here are features your LMS should provide:
- The ability to build a custom taxonomy of learning resources
- Tools to target diverse audiences with specific content
- Keyword filters to screen out inappropriate content
- Search tools to identify and remove duplicate content
- Content versioning
- A simple submission process so employees can share content or request purchase and training
- Approval workflow so training managers can control and curate content
Organizations who manage this trend well will be the leaders of the future.