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Does More Content Make for Better Learning?

Fulcrum Labs
95 posts

You know the old saying: “more isn’t always better”?

That was exactly what we thought as we read last week’s TechCrunch article on LinkedIn Learning.

According to TechCrunch, LinkedIn Learning, the subscription based MOOC that arose from the company’s purchase of Lynda.com in 2015, is expanding its services to include:

  • Third-party Content – It will offer videos, tutorials and courses from third-parties Social Interaction – Students and teachers will be able to ask and answer questions around LinkedIn Learning sessions. They’ll also be able to follow instructors on LinkedIn, and see others’ feedback on courses

Essentially, to attract new users and differentiate in the crowded content marketplace (read more about that here or here), eLearning content providers are offering more – more content, more interaction and more recommendations. But is “more content” really the answer for L&D departments that are struggling to build skills and verify mastery? Will “more content” deliver better learning outcomes?

 

More isn’t always better. Sometimes it’s just more.

While a lot of the “more” that MOOCs and content marketplaces are offering looks sexy (who doesn’t want a Netflix for learning?), it really only solves one of L&D’s core objectives: content development. These platforms can be lifesavers for L&D departments as they struggle to reskill and upskill employees and develop content that’s engaging and relevant for their employees. They offer economical solutions to meet the learning needs and interests of employees and they give learning departments a way to deliver just-in-time training with one demand access and device accessibility.

But in the end, it’s just content. It might be more engaging content (although that’s debatable); there might be a lot of it; and it might even be supported by technology that makes it easier to search and access; but that doesn’t mean that it delivers better learning or helps L&D fulfill any of its other core objectives – like skill building, knowledge retention and application, measurement, culture or employee retention.

Think about it this way: just because employees have access to more content doesn’t mean they’re really learning it. It doesn’t mean that they’ll able to remember it long term and accurately apply it on the job. Data that helps employees find content they want isn’t the same as data that tells what training they need. And just because employees can access training content at any time, doesn’t mean that they’ll prioritize it.

 

If More Content Isn’t the Answer, What Is?

It’s clear that when it comes to the learning outcomes that matter – things like skill building, verification of mastery, deep learner analytics and achieving KPIs – more content, in and of itself, isn’t the answer.

So what is?

We think it all comes down to delivery. In fact, one the of the most consistent ways that  more/better/richer content results in improved learning outcomes is if it’s paired with an enhanced delivery system. For example, L&D gains distinct advantages when they seek out technologies and methodologies that:

  • Incorporate research from cognitive science into how human beings learn, including the tips and techniques that motivate and engage us, that cause our brains to store new learning into memory, and that build our confidence (which, in turn, leads to better performance)
  • Personalize learning at scale, so it’s not just the content that’s relevant to each employee, but also the learning experience is tailored to the needs of each learner.
  • Verify mastery of learning, rather than simple course completion, so L&D can determine what training is necessary and where employees need additional remediation
  • Give employees greater autonomy over their learning that goes far beyond selecting what course they want to take to include things like, how much do they want to practice what they’ve learned and how they want to receive feedback

 

Marrying Content and Delivery

Content marketplaces, like LinkedIn Learning, that offer new features and more content options certainly sound exciting. They can even be incredibly effective at easing the burden of content development for L&D departments, but they’re not be-all, end-all solutions for corporate training. To create training that consistently, and measurably, move the needle on learning outcomes, L&D needs to marry content capabilities with delivery systems proven to encourage learning, verify mastery and engage people in such a way that they want to come back for more.

To learn how Fulcrum’s 3.0 adaptive learning platform provides enhanced content delivery and game-changing learning outcomes, let’s connect. We’d also love to show you how you can implement your existing content and content purchased from eLearning marketplaces into our adaptive framework for more efficient, effective learning. Schedule some time for a demo today.