7 things effective buyers of digital learning always do

By Carole Bower

chalk diagram of money, quality , time triangleLess is more, as we all know – which is tough when you charge by the hour. But this also makes things difficult for buyers of digital learning.

For some time now, learning has been getting shorter, more nuggetized. The trend has been to compress and dilute; a trend we’ve often discussed on this blog and in our insight papers. But meanwhile, the standard pricing model of the digital learning industry remains to cost bespoke elearning solutions according to study time – i.e. by the hour, or half hour, of learning. It’s all about the amount of content delivered. And nothing about the impact.

It’s crazy. We all know it’s crazy. This pricing model fulfils the textbook definition of a perverse incentive. While learning designers know in their hearts that less is more – that compression adds force – it’s in their financial interest to make courses as long as possible. So the better they get at designing learning, the shorter the learning lasts – and the broker they get.

Luckily, the buyers of digital learning are increasingly realising that there is less value in creating long courses: the notion that you pay more for more content doesn’t resonate with them anymore. But this gives them, as buyers, a huge problem. Because although the traditional, duration-based model, as everybody knows, is pants – it is at least simple. And there isn’t anything equally simple to replace it.

As a result, buying decisions are getting harder.

In this post, I offer a seven-point checklist to help simplify that decision – and make sure that you are getting the best possible value from digital learning; the win/win we all really want.

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Under the spotlight: Andrea Miles

By Harriet Croxton

Andrea_MilesShe’s a winner! This year’s E-learning Awards recognised our own Andrea Miles for her contribution to the learning industry, giving her a bronze award. So we would like to take this opportunity to celebrate and share some highlights from her fascinating and extremely successful career.

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Explainers for learning – infographic

By John Helmer

Explainers for learningExplainers are catching on like wildfire right across the business world. As production, hosting and sharing of video has become faster, easier and slicker, organisations have increasingly tapped into the power of video for getting across ideas, procedures, concepts … and a whole load of other things besides. What once we might have done with text, or by using powerpoint in a face to face briefing session, we can now wrap up in an online video, and deliver directly to people’s desktop computers or mobile devices.

And because video is a big part of the way we learn now, explainers are rapidly becoming seen as a powerful tool for learning. Learning and development professionals who need to move beyond the course and harness the power of electronic media are using explainers in a variety of ways. Not only can they make a simple message hit home with impact and emotion in as little as 45 seconds, bu t they can also be used to explain more complicated concepts and processes where a change in attitudes and behaviour are needed.

So how can you use explainers for learning? Our helpful and instructive infographic shows at a glance how you can use this hot new medium to support your learners and your business.

Click on the image below to learn more!

Thumbnail image of explainer infographic


Towards Maturity points the way forward for L&D

By John Helmer

Knob labelled risk turned to minimumIn an industry that tends to lapse into inspirational memes at the drop of a hat, we too often spout motherhood statements about innovation while conveniently ignoring its more troubling flip side, risk.

There is no innovation without risk. And this, one could argue, is the nub of the problem faced currently by L&D in the UK as revealed within the pages of Embracing Change, the industry benchmark report released this week by Towards Maturity. The risky business of learning innovation seems just too rich for the blood of many in training, a branch of the enterprise that, historically, has not had that much to do with the sort of high-stakes investments that digital transformation often requires.

Partly in consequence of its back story, training has lagged in adoption of digital technology when compared to its swankier cousins, marketing and finance. By comparison, training comes across in the numbers (if not in the rhetoric) as unadventurous and risk-averse. Course-based, stand-up training is still massively dominant in UK organisations, and training continues to be seen as a cost centre, rather than as the engine of growth and competitive advantage.

However. While the headline result of this year’s benchmark research – ‘70% of L&D teams fail to improve business productivity’ – might seem dispiriting; and Clive Shepherd, for one, pulled no punches in pointing out exactly how ‘stuck’ the report shows L&D to be, there are clear indications in the report of what L&D should do to improve this situation, and a growing evidence base on which it can draw in doing so.

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