We see the word "connectedness" and "technological integration" thrown around a lot in the training industry. Both words seem to be a "catch-all" for anything innovative with value. Today, we are going to break down what integrated technology means to us and how this integration is applied in terms of training environments.
Integrated Learning Management Systems
It's important to understand that Learning Management Systems (LMS) are not necessarily integrated by default. Often times, when we come in to overhaul a businesses learning system, this is exactly what we see. Having eLearning courses is great, but having courses and systems of grading doesn't make a learning environment integrated. To get a truly integrated learning environment, a company needs to leverage modern technologies with brand identity. If you're a restaurant or retail business, integrated technologies are especially important. They save overall training time, create employees that are immersed, and help drive brand values, all of which are a necessity in any business, much less ones with high turnover.
Modern Learning Languages (xAPI)
Before we begin talking about brand identity, let's start with the technologies. Modern LMS are driven by the necessity for a valuable and complete training environment. In the early stages of LMS, SCORM was the primary language that was used as a basis for communication in the learning environment. SCORM is simple and effective but lacks the reach to connect a workplace in any intricacy. Eventually, xAPI (or Experience API or Tin-Can API) entered the scene. Instead of eLearning courses simply being able to grade tests, xAPI allowed them to communicate progress. This leap is the foundation of modern learning software and the language that drives us to be able to create training ecosystems that feel truly connected. Now, instead of simple eLearning courses where Kyle either passes or fails a test, Kyle's progress is recorded, he engages with branded content, his cash register mistakes are tracked, even his inventory slip-ups are recorded and connected to the learning environment. Now if Kyle makes a mistake, managers have the ability to use that mistake to provide opportunities for learning. Kyle is truly integrated into his learning environment. All of this is possible because of xAPI.
Learning Records Store
Picture your learning environment as a living thing. The LMS is the brain, the video content is the eyes, mobile apps are the arms, business systems are the legs, helpdesks are the ears, and LRS, LRS is the heart. Your businesses LRS is what allows all of these systems to communicate with each other in an effective way. All activity data that is sent by anything in the business environment is processed and interpreted by the LRS. Knowledge databases, helpdesks, inventory systems, apps, eLearning courses, LMS, all of these things are in communication with the LRS, which is telling each system how to interact with each other in a meaningful way. It's the interpreter of your business's systems. PlayerLync's LRS is what allows us to create meaningful learning that goes far beyond simple eLearning courses.
Driving Brand Values
For a training environment to create valuable employees, a company has to introduce their brand values in a way that compels. Dynamic video-driven training is a meaningful way to incorporate brand identity into training. If a learning environment is integrated, employees know who they are being trained by and why. This is one of the most important aspects of our jobs at PlayerLync. We make sure that each learning ecosystem is driven by the company itself. It makes no sense for Starbucks and McDonald's to have the same learning systems; they have different values.
Example: Coffee Beans & Training Machines
Let's see how one company that we work with is leveraging PlayerLync technologies in order to create a fully integrated learning environment.
Black Rock Coffee Bar
Black Rock Coffee Bar was able to use PlayerLync's integrated learning technologies to drive training in innovative ways. Black Rock's core principle is connectivity, which made us a great fit for one another. PlayerLync now gives Black Rock Coffee the ability to connect their training environment to their core principles. Learning software was created that incorporated company-specific visions, checklists, to-do's, business systems, and mobile apps, producing more opportunities for on-the-job learning. Also, recipe guides were created and brand-driven content was delivered without bandwidth restrictions using PlayerLync's synchronization and localization of data. This delivers content without the necessity for drawn-out loading times and bandwidth issues.
Instead of simple eLearning courses, Black Rock Coffee now has an integrated learning ecosystem that allows them to promote training in a way that produces valuable, measurable, and progress-driven results.
We think it's important that you step back and take a look at your current learning ecosystem. You may have been pitched integration, and you may have all the bells and whistles, but does your training environment fit with your values? Do you really have an integrated system? Do you feel like your company is being driven by connectivity? Do you feel that your training environment is powerful enough to assist you? Or, is it simply bogged down by features that create "training friction"?
Take a look at some of our free eBooks to get more insight into employee training techniques and practices or download our guide below: 6 Key Rules to Unlock Your Modern Training Program