Future-Proof L&D: Sustainable Expertise Options
Sustainable technology solutions
The speed of evolution of modern technologies and eLearning trends makes it important to think ahead and choose technology solutions that can change with changing business requirements. At the very least, solutions must remain relevant and must not become obsolete in the short term. This increases the stability of your eLearning program and reduces the clutter (and money spent) to keep up with the times.
When signing multi-year contracts, people typically choose to work with stable, established companies to ensure they don’t go under during the contract period. A similar approach should be used in technology decisions and eLearning solutions.
This article gives an overview of some technologies that are not only adaptable, but have a high probability of being available for a long time. It also introduces some solutions and strategies for designing eLearning programs that make it easier to adapt to changing situations.
Best Technologies to Use
xAPI is still a relatively new technology solution that is used with SCORM and can eventually replace it. It is a specification that captures the learning experiences of users both inside and outside the company’s primary learning environment (e.g. an LMS). For example, it can collect data from external learning sources like LinkedIn Learning, external certificates, and even a book.
xAPI is future-proof in two ways: It is an established technology that is adaptable and is being used more and more frequently. As new sources of learning experience emerge, unlike SCORM, you don’t have to wait for a specific connection between the company’s LMS and the new eLearning content being developed by programmers. You can start recording these experiences right away.
Modular content is more of a course-building strategy than a technology, but it is made possible by the fact that certain technologies are more prevalent to support their use. Modular content builds content in small chunks (think similarly to microlearning, but not limited to microlearning). These parts can be easily exchanged. If you’re filming a 40 minute lecture and certain information changes, you’ll either have to film a new one or do a cumbersome process by cutting parts and possibly adding a new video that doesn’t match the old video. Modular learning is information that is available in small blocks, for example eight five-minute modules. If any of these modules are out of date, all you need to do is replace that short module. You see how this would be both time and cost efficient.
Modular learning has many other advantages. Users can go back to specific information without searching through a long video. You can integrate smaller modules more easily into your daily work. It can facilitate the implementation of personalized learning. There are more advantages. But in the context of future-proof L&D, this is one of the most important strategies for price formation.
The good news is that you don’t have to start building your courses from scratch to have modular content. Much of the content you already have can probably be broken down into smaller modules. This now brings you the benefits of modular learning while preparing your future you for easier content updates.
Widely used and export-friendly formats
You can do a good job of choosing the perfect LMS for your business, and even pick one with future growth in mind, but one day the needs of your business will change. For this reason, when choosing an LMS and e-learning authoring tool, make sure that you are using the most widely used standards for content formats. This means that you have to move your content to another location with minimal effort.
This includes making sure content is updated to new formats while you can. For example, support for Adobe Flash – which used to be the most popular format for eLearning – was recently discontinued. It can essentially no longer be used. Organizations with legacy Flash courses that did not bother exporting the content to new formats as the new formats became popular had to laboriously rewrite these courses. For example, some courses had to be recorded on screen in order to receive them because the file was so old that modern authoring tools could not convert it.
During the Flash crisis, some people could have converted their courses if they had the original assets and files, but those files were lost and they only had the exported course. In some cases the only file they had was in the LMS. This means that it is also important to keep track of and organize all files related to course creation while you are using portions of this course, even if 10 years have passed since it was originally created.
Stay in control of content and assets
It is important to read contracts carefully and own the rights to all of your assets. There are some companies that retain the rights to any content created in their software or using their assets. In the past, companies were unable to publish their custom eLearning content elsewhere because they did not own the rights to that content or parts of it. Even if it’s more expensive, it pays in the end to owning all of your assets in order to keep control of all of your content and do what you want with it.
For the most future-proof L&D, keep learning
At the end of the day, there is only so much that anyone can predict. Stay up to date by reading about new technologies regularly. You may have so many other daily tasks that all you can read is so much on this ever-growing field. For this reason, it is important to maintain relationships with eLearning experts and consultants who make it their daily business to keep up with the latest L&D.
Right now, the tips above are some of the best things you can do to keep your eLearning relevant, but absolutely optimal!
CoreAxis has been a leading provider of outsourced solutions to Fortune 1000 companies for nearly two decades. We specialize in the development of teaching content and eLearning content.