Learning Ecosystem – A Brief Introduction

Learning Ecosystem – A Brief Introduction
We see the word ‘ecosystem’ frequently. In the learning and development community, the popularity continues to grow and evolve.

What is a learning ecosystem?
A dictionary definition is ‘the complex network of interconnected systems’. There are many places where learners find learning. We try to help them make meaning of the learning opportunities and help them proactively find their way through the different pathways.

Most learning professionals agree that a learning ecosystem is a collection of people, processes and tools that deliver, integrate and support the Learning and Development (L&D) function across your organization.

What key aspects of learning are distributed?

Gamification to Learning Management Systems

Think about your learning organization. If you are still using a structured Learning Management System (LMS), you may want to consider changing platforms. Alternatively, you may want to examine your existing software platforms to ensure they can communicate. You cannot build an ecosystem without the ability to intertwine your learning software and technology.

Think about how far we have come since the Internet! There are numerous ways to deliver high-quality, meaningful learning experiences and knowledge transfers. How many different authoring tools do you use? Are they standalone or can they build upon each other? Many companies use virtual classrooms more than traditional classrooms. Some are rapidly moving towards video. L&D’s customer base now extends beyond the internal stakeholders and often includes outside vendors and business customers.

How do we integrate and interconnect all the learning delivery options and web applications along the learning workflow – and more importantly – allow the learner to take the lead and personalize their learning?

Ask any of your peers and they will admit the challenge is keeping everything focused on the learning experience.

Our audience (learners) now demand video, audio, simulations, gaming, and social learning. Even Augmented Reality (AR) is gaining steam. Organizations differ in how they address developing talent and skills, but one constant is user’s desire to have that information readily available in whatever format they choose. That is a tall task for the learning and development staff. The software you choose must be focused so it serves an important purpose to support specific business goals.

Leadership Taking Notice
With the stakes so high, leadership is increasingly interested in the functional role of learning and development while also demanding more metrics to quantify actual results. Budgets may be higher but more focused to overall business outcome. Stakeholders are more interested than ever in the learning ecosystem. If they can visualize the different components and gain trust of desired outcomes, they become more motivated to raise the bar. With expectations higher, the transition from the war room drawings to the finished product takes an unprecedented commitment from all areas of the organization. The ecosystem is built to spec and customized one hundred percent of the time.

Does this mean we have to start from scratch?
Instancy is proud to say – no. We started designing a modular and configurable learning in 2006 knowing fully well that one shoe does not fit all. With every new upgrade, we have added functionality, tools and components while keeping in step with new technology trends. We now have one of the best learning ecosystem-enabled suite of tools in the industry.

Instancy solves the problem by providing a system that looks at the entire learning process in a holistic way. Our award-winning learning portal and dashboard makes the task easy for everyone.

Each learning organization can customize their dashboard to fit their needs. Learners can create an account, search learning resources, videos, documents to access your learning anytime, browser-based or application based.

If your organization provides education to B2C customers, connect to our ecommerce and registration process. If you provide training programs to B2B customers, distribute blended learning tracks through a multi-tenant learning portal framework where each portal can serve the unique needs of each user segment. Use our platform as the primary tool or integrate our platform with your existing infrastructure. We have served millions of users on our system. We provide consulting to help you manage the task of defining and implementing YOUR ecosystem the way YOU want it.

This is the first in a series of articles on learning ecosystems and how they can help you achieve your business outcomes and help your learners the required skills in the most optimal way possible. Stay tuned for more….

How to Add Gamification to Learning Management Systems and eLearning Courses?

Gamification to Learning Management Systems

Gamification is a very useful tool to make the eLearning process exciting and motivational for the learners. When designed correctly, gamification has proven to be very successful in engaging people and motivating them to change behaviors, develop skills or solve problems. Leveraging and applying some of the features used in real games, ‘gamification,’ is being used in many software applications from sales force automation to learning management systems and eLearning.

Gamification should not be applied to follow a fad. The business objectives must be identified, and an analysis done to understand the suitability of gamification to achieve those objectives.

Gamification can be added at two levels:

1. At the learning management level or the overall learning environment
2. At the course level

Some core features of gamification in Learning Management Systems (LMS) include:

– Assigning points to the learners as they interact with the learning management system. For example: Clicking on a course in the catalog on completing a course

– Rewarding the learners by assigning them badges for completing a certain assignment or course. Each badge displays an attractive image and short description.

Badges act as rewards and are presented on the LMS dashboard. The learners can also get information on how to go about earning more badges.

In addition to points and badges, the learner can also achieve different levels. For example, from Novice Level to Expert Level. They can complete all the levels by accumulating a certain number of points within the LMS.

Similar to the LMS level, at the course level, the learner can win points based on completing certain milestones within the course. This may include completing certain topics on modules within the course or they might win points for participating in the course-related discussion forums.

In addition to this, leader boards can be assigned to all the users. The leader board is designed to present top- ranking learners in the overall learning community. Learners can do comparisons with their peers, too. It can be used to show group level or departmental level ranking, so that it can encourage healthy competition at the group level as opposed to the entire learning community and all the users.

The leader board assists in keeping track and recognizing the learners for their participation achievements and performance. This makes the participants feel inclusive to the learning process, which develops a feeling of inclusion.

Organizations may want to convert the points and rewards to tangible awards or rewards. For example: a day off or physical gifts or discounts or other products and services. The rewards or incentives should be meaningful to the participants for them to be engaged.

With millennials forming a large part of the workforce, learning organizations can benefit from gamification by keeping the learners engaged through the gamification process. With a desire for quick results, gamification makes learning fun and engaging.

Instancy provides a Learning Management System that includes a comprehensive gamification engine that allows one to create multiple games for various learning activities. These games can be organized for the entire learning community or might be focused on a specific job role or group.

In addition, Instancy provides a comprehensive content management and authoring system that allows access to course content and awards points, badges etc. It creates a leadership board that encourages and provides incentives and creates a learning community, too.

To learn more about the Gamification in Instancy Learning Management System and the Instancy Authoring System, contact us here