Among consumer websites, Facebook is king when it comes to personalization. Stories and posts appear in the Facebook feed based on an algorithm that hides and promotes stories for each user based on their interests. Users can influence this algorithm by updating their settings and by “liking” content they want to see or choosing to hide content they don’t.

This feed, and the algorithm that populates it has a huge effect on the Facebook experience. If you’ve ever unknowingly been sucked into Facebook, you can appreciate its power.

Degreed believes in the power of personalization. Engaging, personalized enterprise applications, that employees use because they want to and not because they have to, are the future.

Degreed has a personalized feed for learning content designed to target the development of each individual user. With the explosion of content, it’s getting harder than ever to weed through the noise to find the specific content you need, when you need it. The most efficient way to target someone’s development is to use technology to automate the delivery of content to each individual.

Based on user experience research and interviews, Degreed, like Facebook, continually improves its feed and algorithm. We are constantly looking at engagement and usage statistics and researching what hooks users to keep them coming back.

We’ve been refining and simplifying the user experience to make it easier to find relevant content users need and want to target their personal development. A year ago, action points were spread around the system. Now they are more centralized, simplifying the user experience.

What you’ll see today when you log into Degreed is one place to find all the learning you’re interested in. The feed will populate with 20 items by default, and an infinite scroll that will continually prompt the user with more suggestions. If you don’t like the suggestions at the top of your list, more learning content is just a scroll away.

The Degreed feed includes system-generated recommendations from any source, in a variety of formats including articles, videos, books, and courses. You’ll see content that has been recommended by peers and managers, popular items from your network, roles you are following, content from pathways you’re enrolled in, and items you’ve saved for later.

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Users can continue to personalize and influence the recommendations by using features in Degreed such as:

  • Adding your learning interests and career goals to your Degreed profile.
  • Enrolling in learning Pathways – focused on topics or skills you want to develop.
  • Joining groups of people with similar learning interests.
  • Saving learning items for later.
  • Following people.

Organizations can influence these recommendations as well by:

  • Adding content to your content management system.
  • Selecting preferred providers for your organization.
  • Customizing pathways for your organization and auto-enrolling employees in pathways.
  • Adding roles and skills specific to your organization.

Takeaways

Most L&D leaders want to use data to improve and personalize learning in their organization. Degreed provides the tools to make this possible.

Content is everywhere, but finding and delivering the right content at the moment of need for each individual is impossible to do on your own. Let Degreed do the work of finding and delivering all the relevant content so you can target the development for each employee.

To learn more about Degreed visit get.degreed.com.

 

 

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Purchasing an enterprise learning solution like Degreed, is a high-consequence decision most companies only make once every five to ten years, so how do you justify the purchase of something like Degreed to your CFO?

Here are four ways Degreed is a positive return on your investment:

1. Improves learning team productivity  

Degreed offers several tools for leader-led and automated curation. To see the complete list, visit 5 ways to curate learning with Degreed.

Degreed pathways, a curated collection of content from any source, can be built in as little as 20 minutes, or 8-12 hours for advanced competencies. This is a huge time saving when compared to the days and weeks it takes to build a custom course from scratch.

Don’t take our word for it. Tenaris uses Degreed’s curation tools and leverages subject matter experts to combine current content and add curated materials to create a broader learning experience.

And when Mastercard rolled out Skype for Business, instead of rolling out a custom course that would have taken 2 people at least a week to create, they curated a pathway in a matter of hours. If you apply this recipe to all of your generic learning needs, that gives your team a lot more time to spend creating custom content for topics that will move the needle in your business.

2. Improves end-user productivity

Content is everywhere and workers are overloaded. Continuous learning is now a requirement for today’s workforce to stay competitive, but who has the time?

We need simple, faster ways to find the content we need, when we need it. Degreed will save your employees time and energy searching for the learning they need to target their development. Degreed does this through personalized learning recommendations, and its ability to connect all the best learning experiences regardless of source or format. The best way to prove this point to your CFO is to demo Degreed’s universal search in action.

Intel’s Director of Digital Platform for Learning, Tim Quinlan, did just that. He told the audience at Degreed’s LENS a story of how he justified the purchase of Degreed to his CFO. “When she asked me how we calculate ROI for this thing, I asked her the same thing. I said, “Tell me something you’re interested in learning about.”

She said raspberry pi, a microcontroller. Tim’s response was “try to find it in our current system.” First, Intel’s CFO tried searching in the LMS, and didn’t find anything. Next, she tried searching in Google, which returned some ads and a product review. Then she tried Degreed. Degreed’s universal search returned several items, including a video introduction to Raspberry Pi from Lynda. And because Degreed offers single sign on, she could access the Lynda video with one click. The Degreed search saved her several minutes to find the learning she was interested in. Now multiply the minutes saved, by the number of searches done each week by each employee, by 100,000 people at Intel, which results in some serious time savings.

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3. Reduces IT overhead  

A special interest to the CFO, Degreed helps reduce IT overhead in several ways. Degreed offers a fast, simple implementation process in the cloud, and can reduce IT costs associated with ongoing maintenance and future learning implementations. These days, learning happens all over the place. If you’re part of a large organization you probably have at least one LMS, perhaps multiple. You likely have content from multiple content providers. You might also have Sharepoint or other custom portals to help employees find all of these resources.

Degreed can simplify all of this with one unified access point with integrations to all the learning in your organization and remove the need for custom portals.

One Degreed customer had 200 custom learning portals, which was becoming increasingly difficult for IT to manage, and cost prohibitive. By purchasing Degreed, they were able to offer employees one central location for all learning and significantly reduce IT costs. And because Degreed is a Saas solution with a simple, streamlined implementation process, it is a much easier platform to administer and maintain.

4. Streamlines vendor management

Are you spending a ton of money on content to find it only being used by a fraction of employees? Are you spending a ton of IT resources to onboard new content providers? Degreed already has integrations with most of the top content providers, streamlining the implementation hurdles of incorporating new content vendors into your organization’s learning ecosystem, while reducing the burden on your IT staff.

Degreed’s ongoing monitoring of content usage can assist you in future licensing decisions – allowing your org, and the CFO, to get the best bang for your content buck. From within Degreed, you can see analytics across all content providers (both internal and external), and you can see not only what people are taking, but also what subjects they are searching for. Now, when you go to make a content purchase or create a custom course, you are empowered to make better decisions and purchase the content that employees actually need and are using for their jobs. And you can always leverage the large selection of free and low-cost learning available in Degreed out-of-the-box.

Takeaways

These are just a few tips to help make the case with your CFO. There are a lot of other reasons to buy Degreed, including, improved employee engagement and user experience, better learning culture, more insights into learning, and a better tool for onboarding, sales enablement, leadership development, and more. If you have other tips, we’d love to hear them.

To learn more about Degreed, visit get.degreed.com/business

Technology is seeing a major shift towards open platforms that can connect. This is referred to as a “Platform Strategy,” defined as the ability to create value by connecting interdependent systems, content, or people.

When you purchase a technology solution with a platform strategy, you aren’t dependent on just one solution or tool. You can leverage multiple providers, and pick and choose the best of breed for all your needs. These platform solutions offer pluggable APIs to make the connection between systems seamless.

Starting at the basics, API stands for Application Program Interface. Simply, it allows one software application to talk to another software application. APIs are an important part of a platform strategy because it’s an automated way for two systems to share information without a large IT investment or significant custom code. APIs have made the modern web experience possible. Have you noticed how Facebook and Google maps are connected to everything? That’s made possible by the open APIs these platforms offer.

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Other great examples of successful platform strategies include Microsoft Sharepoint, Salesforce, and iPhone and Android smartphones.

The value of IOS and Android devices far surpasses the value of Blackberry devices in a large part because of the plethora of mobile apps that are available for iPhone and Android. Apple’s strategy wasn’t to make the iPhone a single tool that did everything. They created an open platform that allowed a large audience of contributors to build tools and content that could be added onto their system.

Degreed follows a similar strategy by connecting all the world’s best learning experiences — systems, content, and people — so they can all work better together.

Degreed accomplishes this by being agnostic when it comes to integrating with other tools and content providers. Degreed has a robust set of tools to leverage for integrations depending on the client’s specific technology landscape including xAPI, SCORM, CSV, API, SSO/SAML 2.0. To date, Degreed has successfully integrated with several different LMS providers, HR systems, and a long list of content providers.

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Degreed’s APIs allow you to easily integrate all of your organization’s internal learning content, from your LMS, or other tools. Federate Degreed’s user API allows you to keep your employee list in sync, and allows you to auto-enroll users in groups and pathways, and set default privacy settings.

Takeaways

The age of APIs means you no longer need one tool that tries to do it all. Instead, you are able to pick and choose the best of breed for all your needs. If you’re shopping for a corporate learning solution, make sure you ask your vendor if pluggable APIs are part of their platform. If the answer is no, you may want to consider looking for something new.

Degreed is changing the way organizations approach corporate learning investments by creating a unified learner experience. To learn more about Degreed, visit get.degreed.com

Today, learning content is everywhere. Degreed counts nearly 1,400 providers of live and online courses, videos, books, articles, blogs, podcasts, and more. Finding, curating, and personalizing the absolute best content from any source, in any format, has become a core responsibility for today’s L&D professional.

Degreed curates learning in 5 ways:  

  1. L&D and subject expert led curation (push learning)
  2. Machine curation (automated learning recommendations)
  3. Social curation (peer-to-peer collaboration)
  4. Personal curation (pull learning)
  5. Curation services (curation-as-a-service)

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L&D-led and SME-led curation

There is a lot of great content out there from a variety of sources. L&D no longer needs to build all learning content from scratch. With the rapid pace our industries are moving, it’s nearly impossible to keep up on every topic. Degreed’s Pathways give your L&D professionals and subject-experts a simple, yet powerful toolkit to search, structure and share existing learning resources (in any format, from any system, inside or outside your organization). Anyone with authoring rights can curate, collaborate and publish high-quality, blended learning experiences on any topic or skill – all in just minutes or hours, not days or weeks.

A Pathway is a collection of learning content that can be used for sharing knowledge on any topic. A pathway can include a combination of content from any source, including your organization’s proprietary content, (like courses from your LMS, content from Sharepoint sites, or internal wikis), eLearning courses from partners, online videos, articles, podcasts, events, books, or more.

A basic informal pathway can be built in as little as 20 minutes. Pathways on advanced competencies take an average of 8-12 hours for a learning strategist to design, develop, and polish, which is a huge time saving when compared to the days and weeks it takes to build a custom course from scratch.

Any user with the pathway authoring permission can create and share pathways with the rest of the organization, and add subject matter experts as collaborators. Building a pathway doesn’t require any special expertise or training. It’s done in Degreed with a simple drag and drop interface. Users can leverage the Degreed Button browser integration to add content to a pathway, without even visiting the Degreed site.

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To learn more about pathway authoring, visit: pathway authoring.

Machine Curation Personalized for Each User

Bersin by Deloitte reported that 88 percent of learning professionals believe employees don’t have or make time to engage with corporate learning. But our data suggests that people will invest time in learning if they get credit or if it leads to professional growth (Degreed). Degreed offers system generated recommendations, personalized for each employee, giving employees the learning they need for career growth, but don’t have time to search for on their own.

  • Personalized Dashboard – The first thing a user sees when they log into Degreed or launch the mobile app are personalized recommendations, called Today’s Learning. Five items of personalized learning, delivered each day. The engine pulls from a variety of sources including, recommended items, popular items in the user’s network, experts the user is following, pathways the user is enrolled in, items the user has saved for later.
  • Personalized Browse – When searching for content, the user is first given default options similar to the Netflix browse experience, based on the user’s specific interests. Helping users find the content they wouldn’t normally find on their own.
  • Personalized Search – Search results are personalized for each user based on the groups they are a member of.
  • Organizations can influence the personalization engine by auto enrolling individuals in groups and pathways, and add learning categories to a user’s profile based on role, responsibilities, or skills required. The user can further personalize their experience in Degreed by joining groups with like minded learners, enrolling in pathways that interest them, and adding interests and career aspirations to their profile.

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To learn more about how Degreed platform creates a personalized experience for each user see: Why Personalization is the Best Way to Re-Engage the Corporate Learner

Social Curation

Formal classroom training is still an important part of how people learn, but these types of formal learning experiences happen on average once every 3-4 months. Informal, self-serve, and peer learning connect the dots in-between. 70% of people we surveyed learn from peers or by reading articles and blogs every week (Degreed).

Social collaboration is one of the best ways to engage corporate learners, and help employees stay on top of industry trends. Degreed gives you a complete set of intuitive tools to crowd-source and amplify all the learning and development already happening across (and beyond) your organization. Everyone – L&D professionals, line managers and individual employees – can easily add ratings, takeaways and comments to any content; share, recommend and discuss resources with individuals or their teams; and find, follow and collaborate with experts or groups. Users can see popular items in the groups they have joined, and across the organization.

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Personal Curation

Degreed empowers every user to curate their own, unique learning experience by building personal Pathways. Everyone with a Degreed account can easily discover, mix and match their own collections of their favorite learning and development content on-the-fly. This empowers the learner to drive their own learning and professional development on any topic they choose to learn. Degreed empowers learners to solve their own problems – browsing and searching to find relevant content to find quick answers. Once learners find what they need, they can save it for later or add it to a personal Pathway (even when they’re not on Degreed) using the Degreed Button browser integration or the Degreed mobile app.

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Content Services

And with Degreed, you never have to build a pathway from scratch. Degreed provides a large library of predefined pathways covering today’s hottest topics and competencies, and allows users to easily clone and customize these pathways. Degreed also provides a team of curation experts that specialize in analyzing and assisting with your content needs.

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Ready to get curating? Visit get.degreed.com

 

Every organization should promote equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. Today, this statement is obvious, uncontroversial, and broadly accepted. Workplace diversity is the right thing to do, and it’s linked to increased productivity and profits for the company. The fact that this evidence hasn’t eradicated workplace discrimination points to an issue that runs deeper within our company cultures.

Overt discrimination is rare these days. Most people don’t see themselves as prejudice. We assume that if discrimination is happening, it’s intentional and ‘it’s someone else, not me, doing it’. Yet there is a mountain of data to show discrimination in hiring is still widespread. Like all tough problems, this one is complicated.

Most discrimination these days is a subtle form of unintentional discrimination, known as implicit bias, or implicit social cognition. The unconscious and automatic judgments and decisions we make without realizing we are making them. And there’s the in-group bias which causes us to unconsciously prefer working with people who are similar to us. These unconscious impulses are shortcuts that helped our primal ancestors survive, but cause us to make errors in judgement today.

We like to believe that we make rational decisions, but 90% of our behavior is generated outside of consciousness. “Logic is often the last step in the process. The conscious intellectual brain steps in to produce a rational backstory to justify impulses generated in the murky corners of the unconscious mind.” -Janet Crawford, Neuroscience business expert

When you’re making decisions in hiring, and you get this gut feeling that this person just isn’t right, your conscious brain will step-in with a justification, picking apart the person’s qualifications or competencies or making one of these common justifications:

● She just isn’t ready for this role.
● He wasn’t the right fit for our company culture.
● She didn’t have the right attitude for the team.
● We want to make sure we hire the best person for the job, no matter what.
● This candidate isn’t bad, but we have another candidate that is perfect for the job in every way.

But how do you correct behavior and attitudes that people aren’t even aware of?

Step 1
Admitting that we are guilty of implicit bias is step one. None of us are immune. Including those among us who believe we would never discriminate. Our brains are hard wired for cognitive biases. We can’t get rid of our biases, but being aware can help us identify when these biases may be affecting our decisions. Most organizations’ anti-discrimination efforts focus on the obvious and intentional forms of discrimination, because implicit bias is harder to identify, harder to prove, and less clearly defined in anti-discrimination laws. Failure to take action against implicit bias means your organization is likely guilty of the practice.

Step 2
Training and education for dealing with implicit bias. Use this training as an opportunity to promote a culture that embraces all types of diversity: gender, ethnicity, experience, education, and others as being a company strength.

Step 3
Include a system for checks and balances such as anonymous job applications and a diverse hiring panel. An example of how this can foster equality can be found in institutions who use a double-blind method to review scientific research. The number of women who get published at these institutions increases significantly when a double-blind method is used to review papers.

Step 4
Review the metrics for your organization and offer continued training and education for improvement. If your company demographics match the demographics of the local population, chances are you’ve been successful in lowering the impact that implicit biases can have on hiring decisions.

Diversity in Action
Companies that find it vital to promote equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace often make it a part of their core beliefs. One of Degreed’s core principles is equality. We seek equality—gender, ethnic, and otherwise—in our teams, practices and process. Our company has a goal that every team is 50/50 gender balanced and that every office reflect the diversity of the market where it operates. For more on our principles and what it’s like to work at Degreed check out our careers page.

What do Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, Tripadvisor, and eBay have in common? They are what Harvard Business Review refers to as network orchestrators.

Network orchestrators create value by connecting a network of peers; making things work together while solving the needs of the user in new and innovative ways.

Airbnb doesn’t own a single hotel, but they’ve created the technology that connects hosts with travelers and provide the tools to make the process as simple as possible. To accomplish this, Airbnb is an open system with a long list of integrations including: dozens of local payment systems, Facebook, Google maps, and mobile communication tools, all with a seamless user experience.

By doing this, Airbnb is revolutionizing the hotel industry. Uber is having the same effect on the transportation industry. This shift to open systems that can connect people and tools is happening across industries, and it’s coming to the learning industry as well.

 

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Lots of traditional (and new) learning solutions claim to be the one-stop shop for all learning, but today, the whole idea of a one-stop-shop for all learning doesn’t make sense, for organizations or for people. People today are literally learning all over the place – in live classrooms and online, on our own and via other people, and through content as well as experiences. This chart highlighting new research shows all the diverse places people spend their time learning.

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No one actually relies on just one provider or one medium for all their learning and development. To make learning effective, employers should pick and choose, mix and match, the best of all of it.

Your LMS likely contains some excellent custom courses and maybe lots of informal resources, too. You’re probably paying for great training programs from a handful of preferred providers, while new learning content pops up all the time, increasingly from non-traditional sources. In fact, there are thousands of  sources of content now, including podcasts, videos, books, and online articles. No matter how much content each one of these providers has, it won’t be the only place that people go for learning.

These days, learning happens all over the place with nothing to connect it all, until now. Degreed is connecting all the world’s best learning experiences – systems, content, and people – so they work better together. With Degreed you can:

  1. Connect your internal L&D solutions to the world’s largest collection of paid and open-source learning tools – 3M+ classes, courses, videos, articles, books, podcasts and more from 1,300+ providers, plus any other content partners your organization values.
  2. Connect employees to the content they need, when they need it, with playlists of personalized recommendations, goals, and groups.
  3. Connect employees with experts and peers both inside and outside your organization.
  4. Connect employees to more choices for learning with FlexED, the first flexible spending account for learning.
  5. Connect your organization to insights into all the learning that is happening in your organization, beyond corporate classrooms and LMSs.

As learning shifts to a more open system style with Degreed, L&D leaders have the opportunity to both directly and indirectly create true learning cultures within their organizations. By providing the tools that feed people’s curiosity and real learning habits, L&D, managers and employees can share the responsibility of learning, making it more effective and empowering.

Interested in connecting all the learning happening in your organization? Visit get.degreed.com or request a demo.

 

The Challenge

Purch is a digital content and commerce company, servicing more than 100 million customers worldwide, making it the largest publisher in the tech vertical, according to comScore. Purch prides itself on its company culture, but did not have a strong learning culture. Like many companies, they wanted a learning culture that could improve employee engagement. More than just training employees, Purch wanted to promote employee progress and develop employees.

Purch hired Juli Weber early in 2015, with a mandate to build a learning culture, and implement a learning tool, like a Learning Management System (LMS). To better understand their learning needs, Juli conducted a Learning Needs Assessment. She sent a survey company-wide asking employees a list of questions to understand their learning habits, skill needs, and barriers to learning. The results were eye-opening.

When asked what was more effective in helping them to be successful in their professions, 73% of Purch’s employees said self-directed learning was more useful than employer directed training.

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The survey also showed that this self-directed learning was happening all the time – just not through conventional L&D solutions. 24% of employees said they had learned something useful from an article, blog, or video, in the last day. Almost all employees, 92%, had learned something that month.

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Even more shocking: 70% of employees were using Google to find learning first. Almost no one was going to HR for learning resources.

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The Search

Based on that assessment, Juli knew that Purch needed a solution that could empower employees with the autonomy and resources to drive their own learning. The solution needed to meet learners’ needs, not just the organization’s, enabling employees to access learning resources anytime, anywhere. A solution that went beyond merely training employees and actually helped to develop them – facilitating progression to the next job.

Other requirements for the solution included:

  • A diverse set of learning content, at low cost.
  • Integration with Lynda.com, a content provider Purch had already purchased.
  • Enterprise-network integrations, like SSO and HR system synchronization.
  • Social aspects – a tool that encouraged conversations around learning.
  • Gamification – make learning fun, was a very important requirement.
  • Personal reporting for employees and managers so they could track their progress.

“We wanted to create a learning culture that is driven by organic, autonomous, value-added learning activities, sprinkled with social aspects and fun.” Juli says.

The biggest issue with implementing just an LMS is that the LMS came empty. Purch would have to start with a blank slate, and then tell employees to wait while the training department built all the content they needed. As Juli explained, “I had to build all the courses myself, but it doesn’t make sense for me to build a course when there is material out there from trusted sources. “

Why Degreed

Then Purch stumbled upon something new, Degreed. Juli joined a Degreed webinar, and was immediately interested.

A major benefit of Degreed was that it comes with the world’s largest ecosystem of learning content with 250,000 online learning courses from the top content providers, and 3 million informal learning activities from more than 1200 sources. Everything from live, virtual and eLearning courses to videos, MOOCs, bootcamps, articles, books, podcasts, webinars, and more.

Degreed offers engagement tools, like social and gamification to help motivate employees. And, Degreed offers the organization insights to all the learning that is happening – not just the required training.

The Innovation

At one point in the decision making process someone said to Juli, “you know Degreed isn’t an LMS?” Juli’s response – “yeah, that’s the point.“ The early adopters at Purch understood what Degreed was, but there were those that were more resistant to change, that didn’t get it. The learning assessment results that Juli had gathered clearly indicated that this is how people learned. A traditional approach wasn’t going to meet the needs of their employees.

 

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Juli reviewed her options and felt like she was at a turning point. Implementing just an LMS would restrict what learning the organization could provide. She knew it would work for the here and now, but she wanted something that would be innovative and grow as the Purch grew. “I felt that if I went traditional, it would be closing a door.”

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The Impact

Now at Purch, people are learning constantly, and employees can easily track and get recognized for all their learning – the organization now has insights into what people are learning. Degreed is the central hub for all learning in the organization. That includes the articles and videos that can be found on Google, Purch compliance training, the Lynda content the company has purchased, plus a lot more.

Now, when Juli needs to create custom training, she has a better idea of what will drive the greatest impact. “If I’m going to create learning, I only spend time creating learning that really targets the needs.”

And best of all, “Degreed is so simple.” It’s easy for Juli to maintain and “people just use it, and I don’t even need to help them, which gives me time to focus on other things like compliance training. “

And when Juli does create a curriculum, leveraging Degreed results in huge time savings. Traditionally, one hour of classroom training required eight hours of development. With Degreed Pathways, Juli can curate content from the best sources. Two hours of training takes about 2 hours of development time. Now, curriculum development now takes ⅛ of the time.

The time savings is especially important, because Juli has now been promoted to a new role that encompasses both HR and learning and training responsibilities.

The Takeaways

Here are three things you can learn from Purch’s new approach to L&D:

    1. Connect with learners by running your own Learning Needs Assessment. We’ve prepared a Learning Needs Assessment you can use- enter your email in the form below and we’ll deliver it to your inbox.
    2. Create a learning culture that is driven by organic, autonomous, value-added learning activities, sprinkled with social aspects and fun.
    3. Save time and money by curating content instead of buying and building.

Ready to get started with your own Learning Needs Assessment? Enter your email below and we’ll send you the complete case study with a Learning Needs Assessment that features 19 questions that can help you better gauge the needs of your learners.


 

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It’s not a groundbreaking revelation to say that the world of corporate learning has changed. Information is everywhere: Google, YouTube, blogs, podcasts, Meetup groups, 1000+ eLearning providers, over 600 million websites with more options appearing everyday. All these options have changed how people learn, but traditional L&D tools haven’t evolved to meet those changing needs. 37% of enterprise learning applications are at least seven years old. 64% are at least four years old. [Bersin by Deloitte]. A lot has happened in the last 7 years- the very first iPad was released just 6 years ago in 2010.

If you’re running a corporate learning program, there’s a good chance you’re considering making a change. 38% of enterprise learning leaders are, according to Brandon Hall Group. Over 50% according to Adobe / Frost & Sullivan.

You may know you want to step into the world of digital learning, but without a roadmap, this can feel daunting.

Change in any company is risky. In all large organizations, the implementation of new technology moves at a snail’s pace. You might be lucky to get a new tool up and running in 8-9 months, or longer if you want a solution that integrates multiple technologies. But, there are ways to make this easier and improve success rates.

You need a strategy that will reduce risk, be seen as a positive change in the organization, and cut costs for re-education, integrations, and migrations.

Degreed is changing the way organizations approach corporate learning investments by creating a unified learner experience that extends across all of your learning systems. Degreed can integrate disparate HR and L&D systems quickly and at low cost.

By simplifying the user experience, and connecting people to the right tools and resources at the right time – any format, from any system – Degreed helps to drive meaningful increases in everyday learning activity, from any source.

Degreed can simplify the change management process for future corporate learning initiatives in six important ways:

  1. Simplify the end-user experience. Degreed is the front-end interface for all your organization’s learning. Degreed’s unified search streamlines the user experience by integrating internal systems (such as  LMSs, TMSs and document sharing and collaboration portals) and external training content solutions with the world’s largest collection of free, open and low-cost learning tools. Implementing Degreed allows you to continue to make changes on the back-end (new or upgraded LMS, new content vendors, consolidating SharePoint sites, etc.) without impacting the end user experience. 
  2. Reduce training costs. You won’t need to train users on a new LMS or other learning system because Degreed is the front-end solution that integrates with your LMS and other content providers. Degreed has a simple, intuitive UI that doesn’t require special training.
  3. Streamline the integration of disparate systems. Degreed already has integrations with most of the top content providers, streamlining the implementation hurdles of incorporating new content vendors into your organization’s learning ecosystem, while reducing the burden on your IT staff. Degreed’s ongoing monitoring of content usage can assist you in future licensing decisions.
  4. Improve user adoption. Employees view Degreed as a benefit, which facilitates user adoption. The learner is in control, with all the options at their fingertips. Improved user adoption means more consumption of content, both the external content found in Degreed and internal LMS content.
  5. Reduce implementation time. The RFP and implementation process for an LMS is lengthy, which leaves employees without an engaging learning experience for at least 18 months. Degreed can be up and running in as little as 3 months and provide that learning experience right out of the gate, giving you time to complete your LMS implementation on the backend.
  6. Provide better information for your content buying decisions. Because Degreed tracks all learning (formal and informal), the solution can provide you with data around what content, vendors, and modalities your employees are utilizing so you know where you should (and should not) make content investments. Degreed can also help find lower cost or free resources.

Takeaways:

The world of modern learning has evolved since traditional tools were designed. Degreed is built for the complex world of modern learners, and connects all the existing pieces of the learning infrastructure, including the LMS, to the informal and social learning worlds – with a single user-friendly, learner centric point of access.

Implementing Degreed will take your corporate learning into the future, and reduce the risk and cost for future changes.

For more information visit get.degreed.com

Bersin by Deloitte recently reported that better analytics is one of the main buying criteria for new HR solutions, with good reason. The data about what your employees are learning and what they know can add huge value when making decisions for the business. This trend is only gaining more momentum as HR analytics are being used more to make business and talent decisions.

Traditional corporate learning solutions provide metrics for mandatory training, compliance, and courses offered by the LMS. You likely have insights into course enrollment and completion rates, but this is a limited view into the actual learning happening within your organization. Based on the 70:20:10 framework, the metrics offered by your traditional corporate learning solution provide insights into only 10% of the learning happening within the organization. Just imagine what you could accomplish with insights into all the learning happening at your organization.

90% of learning is happening outside of L&D, with no insight into this learning.

Workers are learning all the time and they spend the majority of this time on self-directed learning. Traditional solutions gather metrics for the once-in-while learning happening at the organization, but not the learning happening every day, week, and month.

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There are few tools that promise the ability to provide insights into all the knowledge and learning happening in the organization.

The Experience API (xAPI), an open source API in its early stages, promises the ability to track any kind of learning experience [ADL]. API stands for Application Program Interface. It allows one piece of software to talk to another software application. People are moving from SCORM to xAPI because xAPI allows you to collect more data about course usage. xAPI is a buzzword in the industry because of what it promises to offer in the way of insights into learning.

xAPI enabled courses provide more data on courses, but courses are still only a small percentage of the learning happening in your organization. One major hurdle to leveraging xAPI for all the learning happening in your organization is the IT undertaking needed to xAPI enable all of these sources. xAPI depends on other systems to track and send learning experiences to a Learning Record Store (LRS). That means every system in your organization (LMS, wiki, knowledge base, document center, helpdesk system, etc) would need to be xAPI enabled in order to gather data around employee activities in these systems, and you need to maintain an LRS system to collect all that data – a huge IT undertaking.

Another solution, a Saas offering with a turn-key implementation process that requires low IT investment, is Degreed. Degreed is xAPI enabled. It can receive xAPI actions from other systems, and we are continuing to expand support for both outgoing as well as incoming xAPI events. Degreed also offers a variety of other tools that provide line of sight into all kinds of learning happening all across your organization, whether those sources are xAPI enabled or not.

Degreed provides insights for all the learning happening in your organization

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Degreed simplifies the management and reporting of all the learning happening at your organization – regardless of source. This gives you insight into everything your employees are learning, every day – both employer-directed and self-directed learning. The reporting of articles, videos, podcasts, books, events, online courses, instructor-led-training, and more can all be compiled in one beautiful dashboard.


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Degreed offers organization-level and group-level reports, and an individual insights page for each employee.

Traditional corporate learning solutions use hours, or seat time, as a unit of measurement for employee learning – stemming from the traditional classroom-based learning approach. But this unit of measurement doesn’t quantify the actual learning happening today. We know from our research  that classroom based training occurs infrequently throughout the year, but employees are learning constantly via online searches, peers, podcasts, books, and other sources.

Degreed is the only enterprise learning solution that can normalize and summarize all learning happening in your organization using the Point System. The science behind the scoring was informed by expert Larry Rosenberger, former CEO of FICO and the man behind the science of the FICO credit score, and David Wiley PhD., a global leader in instructional design and open education.

Interested in gaining real insights into all the learning happening in your organization? Visit get.degreed.com

The age of big data has landed us in a world where we expect every online experience to be personalized to our unique interests and curated for our desires.

We take for granted the personal experience presented to us on Facebook and Linkedin, the recommendations on Netflix, and personalized playlists on Spotify and Pandora. We assume online retailers will only promote relevant products to us, and get frustrated when promotions aren’t relevant.

Perhaps the best example of personalization is what you experience when you log-in to Amazon. Amazon’s product recommendations seem to hint at telepathic abilities. I see recommendations for products I had no idea existed, but once seen, I must have.

Personalization is a movement with a lot of momentum among consumer websites, and the approach has been wildly successful. In 2012, Amazon reported a 29% increase in sales in its second fiscal quarter, largely due to the personalization strategy it incorporated into every part of the purchasing process. Amazon isn’t the only one- nearly 80% of all marketers say personalization has boosted revenue.

The personalization movement for consumer websites is now spreading to enterprise software. The trend to consumerize enterprise software – making enterprise software more engaging for the end-user – is only in its early stages, but it’s on the rise. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for enterprise software companies to gain traction in organizations without creating a great user experience.

Personalization is an especially critical issue in corporate learning. Traditional learning solutions have been corporate-centric, focused on mandatory training and compliance which has resulted in low employee engagement. Half of people surveyed said they use their LMS for voluntary development once a quarter or less. Workers are more likely to turn to a colleague or Google to satisfy their on-demand learning needs [Degreed].

Personalization and an employee-centric approach to learning is an often cited trend for 2016 [L&D Global Sentiment 2016]. Research from Bersin by Deloitte highlights that improving the user experience is a main buying criteria for new HR solutions for 67% of people surveyed.

Bersin by Deloitte has published several research reports about the overwhelmed worker. We’re all bogged down with too much information, meetings, and emails. Employees cited not having enough time as the most common obstacle to workplace learning, but at the same time we all know that learning is a critical competitive advantage – something we all need to be doing to compete in today’s market. The solution is a set of tools that can streamline the learning process – deliver the right content, to the right person, at the right time.

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Personalization and Corporate Learning
Personalization in corporate learning has the potential to revolutionize what companies can offer their employees in terms of tangible career growth. Similar to the product offerings you see on Amazon, what if you were offered courses, articles, and videos that perfectly aligned with your current and future career goals – saving you the time of searching online, subscribing to blogs, or hunting across various intranet sites at your company? So why aren’t more corporate learning solutions offering a personalized approach to learning tailored to each individual’s needs? A few are.

There are three main ways to accomplish the goal of a more personal approach to corporate learning:

1. Manual recommendations – the more traditional form of personalization, L&D directed suggestions based on employee’s roles and business units. An admin or learning professional sends course recommendations to groups or individuals in the organization. Perhaps marking certain courses as mandatory. Some platforms allow managers to create personal learning plans for their direct reports.

2. Social recommendations – from friends, colleagues, or managers.

3. System recommendations – based on data about the user.

Most traditional learning solutions can answer personalization using manual tools, where L&D professionals are assigning mandatory training based on roles and business units. But this type of personalization only covers the training that is happening periodically throughout the year.

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“Social” is another hot buzzword in corporate learning, and tools to facilitate social learning recommendations are on the rise. But most of these tools lack the ability to aggregate social trends, such as learning content that is popular in your network, or popular among people who are similar to you.

With the advent of big data and better algorithms for gaining insights, algorithmic or system generated recommendations will become more prevalent, streamlining L&D activities while allowing workers to take charge of their own learning.

The future of corporate learning will also need to include personalized recommendations for more than just the formal and mandatory courses traditionally offered in an LMS. If a personalization engine only makes suggestions for formal courses, this will only benefit the user periodically throughout the year. Based on our research, we know that when workers need to learn something new for their job they don’t go to their LMS first.
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Degreed’s Approach to Personalization

Degreed has taken a new approach to corporate learning – with a platform designed to enable and empower the learner. We are facilitating personal development, in the literal sense of the word, anywhere, anytime, from any device. To accomplish this, the experience is unique for each user by leveraging all three tools of personalization: manual, social, and system generated.

Like Amazon, Degreed is able to recommend learning content you may not know existed, but once seen you know you’re interested in.

1. Manual Recommendations
Degreed offers the ability to send recommendations to an entire group or an individual. An admin can request rules so employees are assigned to pertinent groups and enrolled in relevant Pathways. An admin can also request which organization Pathways are featured more prominently in the library.

2. Social Recommendations
Degreed offers social tools for viewing and following what others are learning, so you can learn from an expert or a colleague you admire. Degreed makes it easy to join groups with like-minded learners, rate content, and join conversations, and send and receive recommendations from friends, colleagues, and managers. Not sure who to follow? Degreed will offer suggestions for people with similar interests.

3. System Recommendations
The first thing a user sees when she logs into Degreed is a dashboard of system recommendations – five items of personalized learning content tailored for each user, and refreshed daily, called ‘Today’s Learning’. These recommendations can come from either external resources or internal content sources proprietary to the organization.

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Degreed also offers a browse experience in the library similar to Netflix. The first thing a user sees when navigating to the Degreed library of content isn’t just a blank search page, the user will be given system generated recommendations by default, with the option to search if you don’t see what you want right away.

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The result is a learning solution that employees actually want to use. The average LMS has a net-promoter-score of -31%, while the average net-promoter-score for Degreed is 70.

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Takeaways
There are only a few enterprise learning software providers that utilize personalization, but just as this trend has taken over the consumer market, expect it to revolutionize the world of enterprise software as well.

In the market for a new corporate learning solution? Look for a tool that takes an innovative approach to corporate learning by building more consumer-like features, such as personalized recommendations. Today, nearly half of all online shoppers search on Amazon before making a purchase. Imagine a future where your corporate learning solution beats out online search as the most popular place for learning in your organization.

Learn more about how you can offer personalized learning at your organization here. 

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