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.

 

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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