Well, it’s official. I attended my first ever eLearning conference last week, Learning Solutions, aka #LSCON. Learning Solutions gives instructional designers, training managers, LMS administrators, eLearning developers and other L&D professionals a look inside industry trends, an opportunity to connect with peers and of course, if you’re on the hunt for an LMS, LXP, HCMS, authoring tools or content, this is where you’ll get to talk face-to-face with providers and even get a demo or two.
As of the publishing of this blog, I’ve been working in the eLearning space for 115 days. If you know anything about the complexities of eLearning interoperability and standards-based content, you know I’m just beginning to scrape the surface. Learning Solutions was a great chance to get exposure to eLearning outside of the four walls of Rustici Software and learn more about our customers and our customers’ customers.
So what did I learn?
I learned that if you are involved in learning and development, instructional design or any other training initiatives at your organization, you face a lot of challenges. Dealing with multiple LMSs and content sources, maintaining governance over those platforms and distributing content are just a few of the challenges these folks face every day. All of these obstacles are punctuated by the fact that there is not a single platform that is going to solve every problem. L&D and training managers are on a quest to check all the boxes when it comes to selecting a platform, which often ends up in disappointment and dissatisfaction. They want one platform to rule them all. The need for organizations to create a learning ecosystem is more apparent than ever. While the idea of an ecosystem is nothing new, if you’re just entering the eLearning space it’s helpful to know what people mean when they use the term. A learning ecosystem is a collection of people, processes and tools that deliver training, learning and development across an organization. Not unlike ecosystems observed in nature, learning ecosystems are made up of multiple parts, all relying on one another, that when stable and healthy, lead to growth, development and evolution.
I attended two sessions that start to weave together today’s challenges with modern solutions really well. Rose Benedicks of LEO spoke extensively on the importance of establishing a learning ecosystem and how to assemble and connect all of the moving parts, while Rustici’s very own Tammy Rutherford discussed the ever growing demand to serve content beyond a single LMS and how to support an extended enterprise model. The common thread here is that with the right tools, the right structure and the right execution, those that are tasked with overseeing, creating or distributing training within or outside of their organization can begin to reap the benefits and see greater value tied to their efforts. As complex as it can be for disparate systems to coexist and as challenging as it may seem to implement an extended enterprise training model, the key to success for training managers is simple. It comes down to insight, integration and flexibility. Driving success requires insight into learner data through robust reporting, cross platform integrations and flexibility to deliver a variety of content types.
What is extremely compelling to me as someone newly introduced to the vast world of eLearning, is the unique privilege that we have at Rustici Software to power a great deal of platforms and provide the features that give control and visibility back to the managers and administrators. Whether it’s simply launching standards-based content or distributing content to channel partners and maintaining control over reports and licensing, Rustici Software is a crucial element of the eLearning ecosystem, and I am really excited to be a part of it all.