Evolution of Training Systems in L&D

The early 2000s saw an interesting theme resonating among L&D companies. Every organization that had a strong learning culture and that wanted to foster workplace learning was keen to invest in a ‘Training Management System’ (TMS). Some people also started using the phrase ‘Talent Management System’ interchangeably. This blog post, attempts to unravel the changes in the world of L&D and examine if the TMS is relevant today.

Training Systems in L&D

What is a Training Management System?

A Training Management System or TMS is a system that organizes training curriculums, schedules, training delivery, grading, records, and history. The type of training delivered via the TMS could be an eLearning program, classroom-based training, a virtual lab, or an online course.

Then what is a Learning Management System?

This is a question that often pops up when we discuss training management systems. A learning management system in its simplest form is typically an online portal that lets an organization deploy eLearning content and offer it to its employees/learners.

The All-in-One Talent Management System

It was around 2010, that ideas were proposed to create an integrated platform that would help organizations streamline their learning, workflow, talent, and compensation processes together. This led to the growth of new-age talent management systems that sought to integrate an ERP and LMS together. This would work for employees, HR teams, and Finance teams as one integrated solution and allow them to perform their respective tasks with ease.

Essentially all organizations are sales-driven. Whether you manufacture components for aircrafts or sell a video-editing tool, it is all about sales and subscription numbers. This then led to attempts to integrate a CRM-like tool within the integrated platform. The result – in one word for most organizations was ‘chaos’.

Social Learning at the Workplace

Post 2012, innovations in smartphones and their affordability and ease of use have had a significant impact on workplace learning. Employees prefer to learn on their smartphones. The growth of gamification and social networks prompted the ‘Social Learning at the Workplace’ trend. Organizations began to look for a Facebook-like platform that would let their employees learn. A lot of eLearning companies were quick to customize and deploy such social learning platforms.

The focus is on letting learners at their pace and comfort rather than imposing a strict deadline and forcing them to learn in a classroom atmosphere. The growth of videos as a preferred learning medium is in sync with the growth of YouTube as a ‘go to solution’ to find answers for questions. Learning specialists recommend bite-sized learning in the form of video nuggets as the best way to transfer knowledge. This in turn is now fueling the growth of a new system named ‘Learning Experience Platform’.

Learning Experience Platforms

Renowned speaker and eLearning specialist – Josh Bersin bets big on the growth of Learning Experience Platforms. He believes that the LXP market is currently worth over $200 million and is steadily growing. He offers a simple definition of LXPs – ‘A system that lets employees learn’.

Netflix of Learning

The founder of EdCast – Karl Mehta is slated to have coined the term “Netflix of Learning” in this popular article on TechCrunch published in 2017.

To put things in perspective, the online entertainment by subscription model is forcing television networks to rethink their strategies. A significant number of people are watching entertainment by streaming movies and shows on their computers and smartphones. They aren’t being forced to watch programs as per the broadcaster’s schedule and are just choosing what they wish to watch from a vast entertainment library.

Workplace learning systems and strategies have reached a saturation point and employees just want distraction-free learning that helps them do their work better or lets them opt for another career path. Here’s where LXPs are coming into play. Degreed, Skillsoft, LinkedIn, CornerstoneOnDemand, and EdCast itself are offering innovative LXPs that are offering a stiff challenge to legacy learning and training platforms.

The Way Ahead

The evolution of L&D companies and the eLearning industry has been quite remarkable. People lucky enough to be working in this industry have been at the forefront of technology. Way before AI, AR, and VR turned mainstream, eLearning companies have experimented with these technologies to varying degrees of success. As we focus on catering to millennials and the modern workforce with engaging eLearning content that drives results, we keep asking ourselves like other eLearning companies do – ‘What Next?’

We believe that in tandem with a primary chunk of learning shifting to learning experience platforms and mobile learning apps, sooner or later there will be a push for dedicated macro learning solutions. Market trends and time will only prove if our prediction comes true.

Are you looking for an efficient and agile learning experience platform? We are working on a new LXP and it will be ready for you to beta test and explore without any restrictions. Write to us at info@originlearning.com with your details and we will respond to you.

“Image Courtesy – Pexels

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