For learning and development (L&D) teams, a learning platform can offer a whole host of benefits including the ability to assign mandatory training, create learning journeys for individuals or groups, and track progress towards learning goals.
However, choosing the right learning platform is not always an easy task, and it’s important to recognise the differences between an off-the-shelf solution, and a bespoke platform. So let’s explore just that, and look at why one size fits all doesn’t work when it comes to a learning platform.
There is no one size fits all learning platform type
There are a number of different solutions out there when it comes to learning platforms, the most common of which are:
- Cloud based learning platforms – which are used by businesses who want to get up and running without using design or development resources. This type of platform is hosted by a platform provider, and offers an online, plug-and-play platform to create a central learning hub.
- Installed learning (on-premises) platforms, which gives a business more control over how and where data is hosted. Using this type of platform is a good choice if your business prioritises security above all else and has the in-house resources to manage the technology.
- Open-source learning platforms, which are free to use and adaptable to each business’ specifications, though this type of platform will still need some design and development resources.
- And custom-built learning platforms, which are for businesses with a significant budget and a very specific idea of what’s needed. This is a tailor-made system, built and maintained by an in-house or outsourced development team, offering full control over every aspect of the final outcome and process.
Which type of learning platform a business decides to choose however, can be based on business needs, resource, scale and ultimately, budget.
There is no one size fits all goal for workplace learning
No matter what, each organisation will always have a different need for learning than the next.
An example of this would be The Education Development Trust (EDT), who when first partnered with BuildEmpire, had a set goal to find a learning platform which could host eLearning modules and webinars for their people, across all devices and locations. This learning platform needed to have a survey function, access for up to 70 Programme Trainers who all needed to be able to log into the platform, view their webinar groups, and mark attendance, and advances reporting functionality too.
To achieve this goal, we built a solution which included bespoke development to enable users to create an individual username, log in, enter their profile information, and create an account, and featured reporting functions to track webinar attendance and eLearning completion rates.
However, our clients at BPP University had a different goal in mind, and came to us looking for a sophisticated, feature-rich learning platform with increased functionality around learning groups. As such, this required a tailored solution featuring integration with mobile apps, single sign-on security, APIs to pull everything together, auto-enrolment onto courses and maximised learner engagement tracked and powered by Totara Learn.
The requirements for Bugaboo were different yet again, since they already had a platform in place prior to joining BuildEmpire, but it didn’t offer the flexibility to add, update and change content in-house that the business desired.
Here, a bespoke Totara based learning platform was built, including localised, translatable content accessible from any device, plus the ability to develop and devise their own training plan.
3 very different businesses, in very different industries, all of which required a very different approach to the learning platform.
But above all, there is no one size fits all learner
In a traditional working environment, training sessions are planned with the “average” person in mind. And whilst this makes it easier for the physical trainer to deliver their learning content, it limits the learners to only being offered one way to consume that information.
However, today’s working environment has shifted tremendously, now recognising that learners are completely diverse, and each prefer different learning methods to the next.
The popular “adaptive learning” strategy is a prime example of this, as it’s used to provide personalised learning offering efficient, effective and customised learning paths to engage all learners which will resonate with them as an individual. There is also the “Individual, Team and Organisation” (ITO) strategy, which by splitting into 3 key areas of focus, allows L&D teams to set achievable goals for everyone within an organisation, across all levels of employment dependant on where that individual wants to get to in their career.
What’s more, this means that the physical delivery of learning cannot take a one size fits all approach either. Some learners may prefer short, bitesize videos or how-to guides, whereas others have limited time and engage best with digital learning segments they can login and out of on their devices when they get a chance. Likewise, learners may also outperform when gamification such as peer-to-peer quizzes is an option too, providing some friendly competition and upskilling entire teams in the process.
Either way, each learner will be very different to the next, so their motivation, commitment and desire to learn will all be dependent on how their learning platform operates, and whether it’s with them in mind.
The perfect learning platform has no limitation.
At BuildEmpire, we design, build, host and support industry leading learning platforms. And with over 20 years’ experience in working with customers of all sizes, we can design the perfect platform for you.
As a Platinum Alliance Partner, we utilise the Totara platform as the strong and scalable foundation for each unique LMS we build. It’s the UK’s leading learning management system platform with over 375,000 users enrolled, and is the perfect tool to combine skills and performance development to create lasting employee success.
With this, our learning platform is designed to become an intuitive extension of your business, and we will work with you to build an engaging learning environment that fits your needs today, and in the future.