July 2 2019

    Why Your Organization Needs a Learning Ecosystem

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    Why Your Organization needs a learning ecosystem

    - 3 MIN READ - 

    The definition of learning - particularly within organizations and corporations - has changed radically over the last several years. Once, learning was understood as a process that occurred within sanctioned environments - i.e., classrooms or training sites. Now, learning has a much more expansive definition.

    Thanks to eLearning and the internet, learning can happen anywhere, and can often be initiated by learners themselves. Moreover, the definition of learning has expanded to include informal interactions between individuals that expand the knowledge of one or both of those individuals, such as an employee discussing how they can perform better with their manager.

    Now that learning has an almost indefinably broad definition, L&D professionals - those in charge of orchestrating learning experiences, whether they be for students or for trainees - have a more difficult job than ever before.

    One of the most effective ways that L&D professionals can create streamlined, competitive learning experiences is utilizing a learning ecosystem. In this article, you'll learn everything you need to know about what a learning ecosystem is and how you can utilize it to improve learning experiences within organizations.

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    What is a learning ecosystem?

    In a simple definition, a learning ecosystem is the sum of all sources of learning that a learner can access within their organization. Typically, learning ecosystems are comprised of three major elements:

    • The learners themselves.
    • The learning resources available to those learners.
    • The technological and human infrastructures that facilitate learning within an organization (for example, the Learning Management System an organization employs, or an organization's trainers).

    Oftentimes, these elements are separated within an organization, and to a detrimental effect. For example, employees are often expected to expand their skill set to get a promotion. Most organizations don't offer continuing education within their learning ecosystem, so that employee may reach out to auxiliary learning methods, such as a university or an online learning program.

    However, there is no way for the employee's workplace to verify that this employee is learning skills from their self-training that will actually serve them adequately once they're promoted. In systems such as these, trainers and LMS' aren't being utilized to their full potential, learners have to struggle to gain required skills, and organizations aren't utilizing employee skill sets or internal promotions in an effective way.

    A learning ecosystem allows organizations to avoid internal stagnation by creating functional learning experiences that utilize LMS and trainers to correctly give employees the skills they need to succeed.

    What it means to have an effective learning ecosystem

    Ideally, an effective learning ecosystem should create a seamless learning experience for learners within an organization. That means:

    • Having an open platform that allows trainers to introduce learners to the organization via LMS.
    • Providing continuing educational experiences sanctioned by the organization for learners post-training.
    • Allowing the organization to see which employees are taking continuing education courses and how they're performing on those courses to streamline in-organization promotions.
    • Allowing learners, LMS, trainers and organization leaders to progress and work with one another simultaneously while all under the same roof and while being aware of each other's experiences.

    Crafting a functional learning ecosystem takes a lot of work, but it's worth it. Organizations that utilize learning ecosystems effectively are far more successful than those that avoid creating a functional one. If you're interested in employing a learning ecosystem for your organization, Lambda Solutions specializes in helping organizations create effective, streamlined learning ecosystems. Contact us to learn more.

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    Some additional how-to resources for creating a better way to learn with your LMS include:

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