Digital technology is transforming just about everything, and fast. Yet just 33% of organizations say their top-level managers understand and support digital initiatives. If you’re not working on transforming your L&D and HR function for the digital age, too, then maybe you should.

The reality is, the world is changing constantly. And according to major startup investor Paul Graham, it creates not just threats, but also huge opportunities – if you recognize the signals in time and adapt appropriately.

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The threats that come with being a chief learning officer (CLO), or working for one, are real. Reality is getting more virtual. Intelligence is getting more artificial. Data is getting bigger. It will take a new breed of chief learning officer that can adequately adjust to meet the needs of today’s workforce. Say hello to the Digital CLO.

The formula for success as a Digital CLO in learning and development (L&D) – which is essentially the algorithm for developing capabilities and driving business performance – is well-known:
Alignment + Efficiency + Effectiveness = Outcomes

That doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Most CLOs struggle to get or stay aligned. Almost 60% of the workforce’s skill sets don’t match changes in their companies’ strategies, goals, markets or business models.

Many CLOs also have a hard time being efficient. As much as 70 cents out of every dollar invested in L&D is wasted on irrelevant, redundant, low quality or unused training.

Most importantly, too many CLOs aren’t actually effective where it counts. Nearly three quarters of CEOs say that a lack of critical expertise is a threat to their businesses’ growth.

Some CLOs, however, are adapting and evolving – even thriving – in the face of all this digital disruption. To find out what the 3 things are that successful CLO’s do differently, join Intel and Degreed for the Digital CLO “playbook” webinar on January 31st. Register for the event here.

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Doing more with less has always been one of the hardest things about being a Chief Learning Officer (CLO). “Doing more” has taken on a whole new meaning as CLOs increasingly recognize that learning and career management are critical components of an organization’s employment brand.

But evolving means more than making learning available on demand by upgrading existing content and investing in newer technology. That’s part of it, of course, but the most successful learning leaders are embracing our always-on economy and leaning into the fact that learning happens all the time, all over the place – both with and without the L&D team’s influence. They’re comfortable working in the ambiguity of  “and” – supplying business-led training and empowering self serve learning, leveraging formal and informal, courses and resources.

Most CLOs, however, still have lots of work to do. As McKinsey & Company recently reported, CLOs overwhelmingly think that their organizations’ digital capabilities are too low. 
To better understand what is working – and how – for today’s “Digital CLOs,” Degreed brought over 100 learning and talent executives together at San Francisco’s Dogpatch WineWorks on November 10th.

Here’s what we learned:

  1.    Leverage Digital Tools

Digitization is transforming all aspects of business, including the L&D function. At times it may seem confusing, but we should see this as an opportunity instead of a roadblock. “I’ve got six people, and they’re spread over 19 time zones. Here’s the kicker – I don’t believe we need a bigger team to execute on a really firm strategy. That’s where digitization comes in – I believe that creates the scale we need,” said Sam Haider, Global Head of Talent Development of Atlassian.

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Leveraging new digital tools, organizations can scale while still providing an always-on, continuous learning environment fed not just by content but also by workers and managers.

  1.    Utilize L&D’s New Architecture

Let’s start with a short story.

“So I went to the LMS and looked for Excel and I found a course. It was going to be available to me in two months, and I was like okay, well, maybe two months is too long but if I did wait, what would I find? It was a three-day course and I was thinking crap, I really don’t want to know that much about Excel. I just want to know how to do VLOOKUP… So I went to YouTube and I looked up VLOOKUP and I found a two minute video of exactly what I was trying to do,” shared Tim Quinlan, Director of Digital Platform for Learning at Intel.

Degreed research supports Tim’s anecdote. Just 21 percent of people told us they rely directly on their learning department when they need to learn something new for work, and only 28 percent said they search their employers’ learning management system first.

“The LMS is becoming marginalized” said Josh Bersin. “It’s a compliance system.”

To be fair, we can’t expect a 20+ year old tool that was designed for management, not learning, to meet the needs of learners in 2017. Instead, what we are seeing is an emerging category of learning experience platforms, like Degreed, which are built for the learners, that are augmenting the role of the LMS and other traditional L&D tools.

“It is the age of APIs and it’s clear to see that we don’t need to go with a monolithic architecture of data that feeds different parts of a value chain in one big system,” added Haider.

According to Bersin, this new architecture still includes the LMS as a record keeping system, but the key is a learning system in the center to tie everything together.

  1.    Approach L&D with a consumer mindset

The most common strategy leaders shared at LENS? Embrace design thinking and approach learning as if you were the customer.

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“Design thinking means understanding what your employees are really doing all day at work. Spending time with them, empathizing with them. It’s monitoring. It’s watching. It’s experimenting with things where your employees are and what they’re doing at work and making their work life better. If you’re not doing this, you’re not going to be able to optimize the experience,” said Bersin.

As the people facilitating the learning experiences, it’s important to know their struggles, what they need, what they want from their learning.

“Get involved in the experience. Be the consumer. Don’t think about this from the L&D perspective.  If you think about it from a consumer’s point of view, I think you can do great things in this space,” suggested Quinlan.

As a bonus, if you’re tracking learning, you will be able to generate valuable insight on the value of the experiences, and gauge and determine if they’re meeting the learning needs and curiosity of your teams.

The mission of Degreed remains the same – to make all learning matter – to people as well as to organizations. Degreed LENS was a memorable evening to have so many thought leaders in one room, sharing ideas on how to best support our workforce and succeed in the age of digital transformation.

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Source –  [1] Deloitte University Press, Global Human Capital Trends 2016 – The new organization: different by design, 2016

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

The average person leaves university or college in their early 20’s and retires in their mid 60’s. For those of you like me that aren’t math wizards, that’s about 45 years where most of your learning happens in a professional setting, i.e. while you’re on the job.  And most of that on-the-job learning happens outside of training classes, in the job-related information you consume and tasks you complete each day.

That’s a huge amount of informal learning over the course of a career. While the lack of formality and classroom hours sound great, there’s a problem. Typically, the valuable time you’re spending growing your skill sets isn’t being captured.

Think about it. Almost every day you are reading articles, watching videos, searching online to find an answer. But where are you tracking that time spent or what knowledge you gained? My guess is it’s not being recorded anywhere.

At the organizational level, very little data, if any, is captured on what employees are learning in the course of doing their jobs. Regularly, measurement ends when the course or training program is over, and the details that were captured are minimal – typically only a record that you’ve “completed” the learning.

“This lack of data represents an enormous missed opportunity to increase an organization’s human capital, by tailoring learning resources and initiatives to the specific topics people don’t understand well enough,” said Lev Kaye, Founder and CEO of CredSpark.

Worse, this lack of data on informal learning carries a huge risk for the business.  Organizations can operate impaired, or even close down as a result of bad decisions or investments stemming from knowledge gaps.  In certain industries, if an employee doesn’t understand a critical technology or a regulation, there may be legal, financial, and market implications.  “It’s not just that people don’t know–it’s that they don’t know they don’t know,” added Kaye.

It’s crucial that both the employee and the employer knows which skills, strengths and weaknesses are present in the organization.

The solution is to start assessing and capturing metrics around informal learning.

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“Informal learning by definition demands informal assessment that’s nothing like formal tests for certification, licensure, or hiring,” commented Kaye.  “Rather, informal learning assessment means short, highly-targeted knowledge checks that are used first and foremost to engage people then quickly check their knowledge of these topics.”

It’s important to note that when talking about informal learning, assessments are not meant to be an evaluative tool but another method of engagement to reinforce the learning that’s taking place. These knowledge checks are of highest value to the individual, not her manager or business, because the best learning and growth is driven by individual initiative.

The findings from assessments will provide the learner specific opportunities where they can increase their skill sets, and improved insights into the learning happening and identifiable skill gaps for the organization.

To begin gathering informal learning data and using it to reduce the risk of critical knowledge gaps, visit get.degreed.com.

 

Technology is transforming almost every aspect of our lives, from how we get groceries, to how we get around our cities, to how we get answers to everyday questions. People who are in the business of providing information–like L&D training organizations–probably feel this disruption more than others.

Learners are now empowered to find answers on their own, without the help of L&D. According to 2016 Degreed research, almost 85% of workers said they learn weekly by searching online, and nearly 70% learn from peers or by reading articles and blogs. Think about much things have changes, how far we have come, even in just the last 10 years!

It might surprise you that 45 percent of companies report that digital disruption is not being taken seriously by senior management and only 38% of learning and development professionals think they’re ready to meet the needs of tomorrow’s learners. What’s holding everyone up?

It’s important to begin by understanding digital disruption. When talking about the changes in technology, the term is commonly interpreted to mean the impact technology has on the way we conduct ourselves and our businesses everyday.

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iScoop takes it a step further, defining digital transformation as,“the profound transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way.”

The key here is the word “opportunity” and the ability for organizations to fully leverage the possibilities that new technology brings: quicker delivery, more personalized information, more content. To learn more about the current state of digital disruption and how it might affect  businesses  the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation surveyed 941 business leaders around the world in 12 industries.

The study showed 43 percent of leaders fail to see the risks associated with not taking a more modern digital approach, and don’t have strategies in place to address the issue. When this mindset is applied to the learning functions in our companies, it stunts the growth of both employees and the organization . As mentioned above, learners rely heavily on themselves and easy sources of information; and without guidance or facilitation on the systems and sources from which they are getting the content, they are choosing sources outside the purview of L&D systems, such as Google or YouTube.

Author and business leader Daniel Newman is well known for his take on digital transformation. He offers this analysis: “Digital disruptors and tech innovators are emerging in different industry sectors, threatening to overthrow conventional business models faster than ever. The implications are clear—you either embrace digital transformation or stagnate and perish.”

Bersin by Deloitte quantifies digital tools for the learning space, adding, “HR leaders and learning must adapt to a world where employees demand continuous learning opportunities through innovative platforms tailored to their individual schedules.”

The most successful CLOs know embracing digital disruption in today’s always-on economy takes more than just investing in the newest technology. “What separates the disruptors from the disrupted is how you put those new tools to work,” adds Todd Tauber, VP of Product Marketing at Degreed.

For CLOs and learning leaders, overcoming digital disruption includes a strategy that shares responsibility with L&D, managers and employees. This new strategy also includes an investment in tools and systems that empower: continuous growth, informal and self-driven learning, curation, collaboration, and behavioral data.

Embracing digital learning solutions that mirror the way the workforce already gets their information is no longer a luxury, it’s a marker of success. Our diverse talent market and competitive business landscape makes “learning an essential tool for engaging employees, attracting and retaining top talent, and developing long-term leadership for the company.”

It’s time to embrace digital with a learning solution that curates and tracks all learning experiences. Find out more about what this could look like at your organization at get.degreed.com

Many learning leaders are re-thinking their strategy and want to incorporate more digital components to what they are doing with learning.  This means thinking beyond traditional models of classroom training, e-learning, and the limited functionality of an LMS. The reality is that people have information available at their fingertips and there is an abundance of tools to choose from.

The key is relevance, context and helping your learners effectively navigate the explosion of content. As you are thinking about creating your digital learning strategy and incorporating digital learning assets and tools into what you offer your employees, it’s imperative you consider and are able to answer the following three questions:

  1. What is our digital learning strategy?

A digital learning strategy means that you are going to incorporate digital learning assets (videos, online learning, courses, blogs, articles, books) into how you help people learn. But, it’s really more than that – it’s actually thinking about learning differently.  There is so much content for learning available to people now, and the rate of change is so fast, that we can’t be bound by old models of learning to satisfy how quickly people need to keep up on the required skills today.

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In the old model, a central learning group would get requirements for what people needed to learn (say Java programming), design and develop the “training,” and then set up classrooms, register people, and have them leave their job to attend a class.  That process takes time (sometimes a lot of time) and by the time all that happens, your company has moved on and now needs Python programming skills instead.

Instead, embrace a digital learning strategy. Now you can use the over-abundance of available content to your advantage.  You can help direct people to digital assets that you have developed, or that already exist, and give them on-demand access.  Having a variety of digital asset types also takes into account all the different ways people like to learn – I personally love to read books or listen to podcasts, but others may like to take a multi-week online course.  A digital learning strategy is your plan for how you want to conveniently offer all these digital learning assets to your employees.

  1. Why do we need a digital learning strategy?

One of the reasons it’s so valuable to have a digital learning strategy is that you can provide learning to all your employees – not just the chosen few.

When a digital learning strategy is deployed, it is instantly a global, scalable benefit for all of your people.  So if you have employees around the globe, or across the country, a digital strategy can help show all employees you are investing in them and in their skill development – all the time – which is key to employee engagement, especially millennials. Workers will have all types of learning assets at their fingertips whenever they need them.  So instead of asking the learning department to develop a particular type of learning, people can access thousands of learning assets that can help them right away.

Many companies spend the majority of their budgets on leaders and managers or high-performing employees and leave the rest of their employees to fend for themselves.  But how can “the rest” succeed without support and guidance, too? Having a digital strategy can help you reach all of your employees and help you have a competitive advantage in terms of retaining people. Employees want to build their skills and want you to invest in them, so if they feel your company will do that and others won’t, that gives you an edge.

  1. Which digital content should we include?

Here’s where a little analysis as well as iteration comes into play. At my last company when we were trying to decide which content to include in our digital strategy, we had just begun creating the learning organization, so we didn’t have any of our own content yet. In order to get learning to people quickly, we partnered with a few leading content providers that have libraries of digital content (examples include Plural Sight, BigThink, SkillSoft, Lynda.com, Safari Books, and Harvard Publishing, although there are hundreds out there).

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We chose three content partners and tracked the usage of providers content to see what our employees were needing and using.  We also included some of the free content out there (such as Ted Talks and YouTube videos).  That worked well for creating our first digital strategy, but over time, we dropped some providers and partners and added some of our own company-specific digital content into the mix as we learned what was working best for our employees.

Unfortunately, many online learning strategies start with buying technology – generally an LMS – and then people build the digital strategy around the technology.  To be really successful, though, you need to create your strategy first and then see what technology will support what you really want it to do. New technology is making new things possible.  The key is just to make sure you know what problems you are trying to solve and then you can make the magic happen.

 

To start, a glimpse into my family’s daily learning ritual. 

My family has a daily learning ritual that started when my kids were very young. I was in a graduate program, so everyday, I would come home from school and tell my kids what I had learned that day. They soon anticipated this conversation and started asking me, “What did you learn at school today?”

I progressed through the program, graduated and got a job. As I sat down at the dinner table after my first day of work, my 4 year old daughter asked, “What did you learn at school today, Dad?” I told her that I didn’t go to school anymore – I now go to work. She responded, “Oh … so … what did you learn at work today?”

Her question caught me off-guard. I thought to myself, “Well, it was work, so I worked … I’m not really learning anymore, I’m producing.” But then I realized I’d learned more at my first day of work than any single day in school. I ended up sharing what I learned about being a new employee, about company culture, about my new coworkers, and about the job I would be doing.

Every day at dinner since then, my children have asked “Dad, what did you learn at work today?”

I love two things about this ritual:

  1. I pay more attention to my learning because because I know I’ll be asked about it at dinner
  2. I am able to share some good lessons with my children

Using Degreed to Supercharge your Learning

Degreed helps you record your answer to the question: “What did you learn?”

You can add a learning note when you complete an item on the site:

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Or when you complete through the Degreed browser button:

 

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When your peers add takeaways, you can see what others are learning.

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So, why take note of what you learned?

Takeaways help you learn more

Real learning is driven by questions. Reviewing is a powerful concept in learning, as is personal application. Thinking about what you learn(ed) provides space for both.

Takeaways support retention

It’s sad to me how many times I think about what I learned after I read an article and I come up blank. I have to scan the article again, extract a meaningful quote or theme. Write down something I’m going to do differently or research more. And when I see that article again in the future, I have a wonderful summary of an important insight.

Takeaways improve collaboration

When I see articles and videos with a takeaway from someone I know, it fuels my learning. I have a chance to see a trusted review of what I’m about to learn. Sometimes that is enough, and I choose to move on. Other times it makes me want to learn more, so I dig in. This isn’t just about a summary. It’s getting to the essence of learning.

So, what did you learn? Click the button below to add this article to Degreed!

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

 

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As a rising generation of learners progress within their careers, they increasingly look beyond formal education to develop, sharpen and learn new skills. There are more online and informal learning resources than ever before (podcasts, MOOCs, books, boot camps, YouTube, conferences). All of this knowledge we’re acquiring through these different mediums combines to create our lifelong educations, each as unique as our fingerprint.

But despite the fact that learning is happening in every way and everywhere, keeping track of it all, measuring it and making it count is not happening for the most part. And it should.

Measuring the Education Combo

Learning doesn’t (and shouldn’t) end at college, but learning in 2016 and beyond isn’t just about new-age resources. It’s about combining both formal and informal education to create your unique expertise. This means college and online learning and real world experience and whatever comes next–the key word here is ‘and.’ We should be learning, progressing and stretching our knowledge all the time. But how are we making all of that count?

Many are taking advantage of the vast amount of learning content online. The problem isn’t the availability of learning resources. The problem lies in the need for a standard way to validate, measure and showcase everything we know to make all that learning count.

We are learning over the course of our entire lives–not just four, eight or 10 years of higher education. Yet the credential that sends the ultimate signal of learning (a degree) represents only the years you learned at a university. We need a standardized way to measure and verify all of our knowledge that goes way beyond formal education and embraces all types of learning and experience. Without that standard way to measure and express our lifelong learning to the world we face these kinds of situations:

  • You’re employed in a field you didn’t study in college. How can you signal your expertise in a different field?
  • How can you communicate how much more knowledge you’ve gained when you’re not pursuing or you’ve finished your formal education?
  • How can we show a skill set earned through self-directed online learning in addition to a skill set learned in the halls of higher education?
  • How can you know what skills you should master next to progress in your field?

These are problems we’re working to solve to create a world where everyone is empowered to continue learning and everyone has a standardized way to showcase what they know and can do. We believe the future of learning looks like this: continuous, lifelong progression, with each individual utilizing a standardized way to communicate all of their expertise to the world.

It means you have a collection of personal bests, lifetime learning and what you’re working on today to showcase.

Make Your Learning Count

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We’re headed in the right direction. Increasingly, companies aren’t relying on a college degree to tell them if you’re qualified, and many want to teach you, gauge your knowledge themselves and help you to gain training and new skills. For most hiring managers, what really matters are the skills and potential a person has, not where they were gained. But the key to unlocking empowered lifelong learning for everyone is making it all count with standardized measurement. To provide the world with a way to make sense of all the learning that’s happening–no matter the source. Without this, individuals and companies lose the ability to make the best decisions for the future.

What can you do today to make all your learning count? You can start by tracking everything you’re learning and creating diverse goals around what you want to learn. Explore the different options and make it a personal requirement to start adding what you learn to that collection so that you can signal to the world how you’re gaining new knowledge and what you can do. You can do this on Degreed, where we’ve created a universal way for everyone to measure all learning and pursue skills and knowledge from all avenues.

As we move toward solving the biggest problems we’ve ever encountered, we need experts to rise up and bring their personal bests to the table–to roll up their sleeves and put skills to work. We won’t get there by leaning on degrees as the sole credential for knowledge gained. We will get there by exploring, improving, producing and collecting all of our knowledge. By measuring it and bringing it together to form our expertise.

An extended version of this post originally appeared on GettingSmart, check it out here.

Who doesn’t love a good music playlist? It’s your favorite tunes delivered on demand.

But what makes working out to your favorite playlist so inspiring and endorfin-inducing? It’s that you likely have songs and music styles matched to your workout of the day (or WOD for all you crossfit junkies). Unless it’s your thing, Norah Jones isn’t going to be featured in the middle of your Body Pump playlist. No, you’d rather have high energy, pulse-pounding beats.

But there’s high probability that there will be a difference in your playlist and mine, and that’s called the ability to personalize. Learning playlists follow the same mentality.

Playlists are popular because they are personalized and yours, and that is the core of good curation. Curation for learners is about access to the right information in the right moment of time. The word “right” in relationship to both information and time are a key statement. It means everything about the content has been assessed for quality and context.

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Just think about your own habits – when exploring a new concept, you’ve probably asked a peer and then done a google search. At the beginning, you want the basics, the how to’s, the 101’s. But as you get more educated on the subject, you’ll need more in-depth information; perhaps a detailed white paper or a full course.

And taking it a step further, maybe you’ve come to know you’re a visual learner so you would prefer to consume the information in video format. That is a key difference between curation and playlists. With curation, you can customize and personalize based on your individual needs and style, versus a long list of content (sometimes aggregated for you by an outsider based on keywords) about a topic – aka the concept behind the simple playlist.

According to Degreed resident curation expert Caroline Soares, “Great curators are the librarians of our time – they filter for criteria, audiences, learning goals, objectives, structure, utility and know what to curate and what not to curate for their end users. Ultimately the goal is to focus the learner’s attention on what’s most relevant, timely – guiding learners with a spotlight to ‘read this first.’ ”

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Degreed does this through pathways which are organized learning experiences in any modality you choose around any topic or theme. Unlike playlists, with pathways, you can reach the learner on numerous levels through the creation of multiple lessons and sections within one pathway.

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Degreed empowers every user to curate their own, unique learning experience by allowing them to build personal pathways. Instead of waiting for a defined training offering or learning agenda from employers, curation empowers learners to quickly find relevant, contextual answers on their own. Much more than a consolidated list of resources or content, curation simplifies the experience, giving learners the ability to search, find, assemble and filter the best quality resources into a relevant learning experience.

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