The learning and development landscape is vast, spanning across many different industries and servicing a wide range of organizational needs. In recent years, hundreds of new strategies, software, and processes have burst onto the scene, each designed for a specific L&D application or business need. Given this, it can be difficult to identify exactly what services, software, and tools your business may want to consider to meet its diverse needs. Here at Dashe, we pride ourselves on identifying organizational needs and developing tools to meet those needs. Having worked in nearly every corner of the L&D industry, we have some insight into how you can best decide which learning and development tools are right for your organization.
The first step in understanding which L&D tools will best fit your organization is identifying how your content will be managed. This starts with understanding the scope of your needs, including budget, timeline, and learning objectives.
Are you looking to create a comprehensive education program that will span across departments and exist well into the future? This is a great time to consider the use of a learning management system (LMS), which is a unique software application that can document, track, administer, and report on learning and development programs. While these typically come with a heftier price tag and more prolonged rollout process, they are a great investment in the long run. There are a variety of different LMS options to choose from, including custom solutions that can be created specifically for your organizational needs.
If you’re looking for a more agile training solution, there are a variety of LMS alternatives that can maximize your ROI and be implemented quickly. Working with an L&D partner to create custom learning solutions brings a level of collaboration that can make the development process simpler and more personal. Developers such as Dashe can create a variety of different solutions and give you the choice on how you want to manage, administer, and track them. If you don’t have the budget or time to invest in an LMS, working with a trusted L&D partner can be the right solution for your organization.
Now that we’ve established how your learning programs can be developed, implemented, administered, and tracked, it’s time to consider L&D strategies that you can leverage to maximize outcomes. When building a training program, your best tool is that which gives you the best results, and in L&D it’s all about the type of training delivery. We’ve written extensively about the benefits of microlearning, mobile learning, blended learning, and video and animation. Here’s a refresher on how these tools can help you create the perfect solution for your learners.
Microlearning: A great option for bringing learning into the flow of work. Learners can work at their own pace and complete objectives when they want, making this one of the most flexible and accessible forms of learning.
Mobile learning: Another pioneer of accessibility, mobile learning gives your learners the option to complete training and development on-the-go. In an increasingly mobile world, we really like the opportunities this strategy can open up for your learners.
Blended learning: The quintessential “best of both worlds” approach, blended learning combines a variety of different learning tools and strategies into one coherent, agile solution. If you want to keep the feel of traditional training while increasing engagement and accessibility, this is a great option.
Video and animation: Emerging as one of the best tools for engagement and learner satisfaction, video and animation should be in nearly every L&D program in 2021. If you’re looking to create a virtual training program, leveraging strong visuals can make the difference between a successful and unsuccessful training initiative.
Once you’ve explored options for L&D rollout and structure, you’ll also want to consider supplemental processes and tools to maximize outcomes. As with any business initiative, training programs require sufficient planning, and a needs assessment is often the right tool for understanding exactly what you need. We’ve written various resources on everything you need to know about needs assessments, which you can read here. Consider this another step in the scoping process meant to identify processes that can improve your ROI and learner outcomes.
Finally, one of the most important tools you can have is a strong relationship with an L&D partner. Much like the role of a financial advisor or legal consultant, learning and development partners offer a resource that understands the current learning environment and can develop, track, implement, and assess training programs. Furthermore, a strong partner will provide you with more control over your programs and will offer a level of customization that will be difficult to obtain with cookie-cutter L&D software templates.
When we talk about L&D tools, it’s important to consider the plethora of resources, technology, and software at your disposal. Finding the correct combination of development, management, and implementation strategies can be difficult, so focus on gathering user and learner feedback and find effective ways to track success (such as an LMS). As the learning and development landscape continues to evolve and expand, reaching a solid understanding of the tools the industry has to offer is the first step in creating an effective training strategy.