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8 Modern learning platform features to look out for

8 Modern learning platform features to look out for

This article was originally published in eLearning Industry on August 9, 2022.

Choosing a skill development tool isn’t easy. A training platform should tick all the usual boxes, such as course creation, certificates, and availability on all devices. The choice becomes much harder since, in addition to learning management systems (LMSs), the market is also saturated with learning experience platforms (LXPs).

However, drawing a line between these two solution types isn’t necessary or useful. On the contrary, companies can have the best of both worlds, meaning LMS and LXP features merged into a single one: the modern learning platform.

The modern learning platform is a game-changer for skills development since it has features that enable a more personalized training experience based on skills development and attaining career goals.

What are the must-have modern learning platform features?

Let’s explore the must-have features of a modern learning platform:

1. Adaptive learning

Adaptive learning, as the name suggests, accommodates the employees’ needs and helps personalize their learning experiences dynamically.

How? Based on the previous actions that employees have taken on the platform. For example, learner A has more years of experience and demonstrates a higher skill level than learner B. Both learners take the same course or are enrolled in the same learning path but see completely different modules and assessments.

Adaptive learning is also a convenient way for employees to focus on upgrading their skill level by only showing them the training sections that will help them do so.

2. Automation

Automation is the thread that connects different aspects of the platform, including enrollments, inactivity actions, assessments, gamification, and even social learning features such as employee groups.

Automation is the most basic and essential part of a modern learning platform. It works through “if-then” rules such as “If learners enroll in a course, then they automatically receive a custom welcome message” or “If learners get a score of more than 80%, then they are enrolled in a more advanced skills development module.”

Consequently, the platform takes care of the most time-consuming and tedious tasks, so L&D and HR staff have the opportunity to manage their workload better and work on more creative aspects of training development.

3. Gamification

Adding gamification elements to a skills development course helps motivate employees to stay on track and complete their training. Since gamification is powered by automation, learners instantly receive badges, points, and other rewards, so they feel a sense of accomplishment after completing a module or a quiz.

Gamification is more than displaying earned badges on learner profiles and featuring the top trainee performers on a leaderboard. It’s a fun measure of learner progress in their skills development journeys.

Read more: 10 Gamification pitfalls to avoid when designing online training

4. Learning goals

Learning goals are an excellent addition to skills development training. This feature allows employees to focus on achieving competency-related objectives such as “I want to learn advanced graphic design skills.” Alternatively, employees can also focus on achieving a particular job and its associated competencies, such as “I want to become a Senior Graphic Designer.”

Learning goals are a good way for learners to pursue the opportunities that their company may offer. Employees don’t have to wait for organizational or economic shifts before upgrading their skills.

5. Automated recommendations

Automated recommendations are based on learning goals. For example, if an employee wants to become a Senior Graphic Designer, they can choose their goal, and the platform will automatically suggest relevant training content.

In this way, recommendations are personalized to fit each individual’s aspirations and show various learning options. For instance, an employee can enroll in an online course, join a learning group, watch a tutorial video, read an article or contact a potential mentor to enhance their skills and close learning gaps.

6. Third-party training partners

A modern learning platform allows companies to create a learning ecosystem that supports and sustains skills development. On the one hand, in a closed ecosystem, only some employees can access training. This means that inter-departmental communication is weak and innovation is stifled. On the other hand, a healthy ecosystem is open and connected. Each member has the right professional development opportunities.

Access to third-party training content such as LinkedIn Learning or Go1 is essential for a healthy ecosystem. In this way, instructors don’t have to create all skill development courses, and the diversity of training materials covers most employee needs.

7. Community building

In a global organization, building a learning community is challenging. Employees often work in different time zones and don’t have as much contact as needed to learn together. A learning platform that allows asynchronous discussions is a good starting point to get them excited about sharing their knowledge.

However, a community-building effort is sustained by bringing together employees with similar learning goals that communicate with the help of various tools, including groups, private messages, chats, and forums.

Read more: How to foster a positive online learning community

8. Mentorship opportunities

Creating a good mentorship program means less experienced employees can advance their skills with the help of their peers. At the same time, more experienced ones are also recognized as important members of the organization.

In a modern learning platform, mentors are learners who have already completed their goals. The platform can suggest other employees contact them and ask for help in achieving their desired skill levels. Most importantly, it’s a way to pair novices and mentors, so training specialists don’t have to do this manually or “nudge” learners to collaborate.

Top modern learning platform features

Skill-building success depends on the quality of the training platform companies have at their disposal. A modern learning platform offers the best skill development features, so companies don’t have to choose between functionality and learning journey optimization. Instead, it provides both LMS and LXP features to eliminate tedious administrative tasks, including training recommendations.