Learning metrics are a hot topic
in the training industry. Increased requirements for accountability of results and the recognition that informal/social learning tools are an increasingly important component of a learning strategy are demanding a new model for learning metrics. However, these strategy metrics are not adequately supported by today’s learning evaluation models.
In addition, there is the realization that the true value of learning interventions is “best expressed in business terms”. This requires tying the learning outcomes to business results and coordinating the reporting parts to account for the timeframe required for skills to transfer and to be applied in the workplace.
Addressing these requirements
presents several significant challenges from a logistical perspective:
- Informal Learning/Social Tools: Informal learning and social media tools generally exist “naturally” in the work- or project-spaces in a business. The learning happens as part of the work and a resulting knowledgebase emerges. Movement of these processes to another part of system to enable tracking can make them more formal in nature. In the worst cases, it pulls them out of the natural workflow and hard-links them with tracked learning assets. This is what most LMS vendors are selling today.
- Business metrics: Business analytics databases are not owned by and often not accessible to learning and development professionals. This creates a huge gap between linking actual business results with training data. Special efforts are required coordinate data sharing between the different systems.
- The “Glue”: Most systems are built with unique vendor perspectives and standards. Essentially all systems export data to common formats such as comma separated value (CSV) data files, or Excel. However, the effort to coordinate and collect these pieces is significant. If your organization chooses to integrate systems together, the effort and cost is high. When any part of these interrelated systems upgrade, it usually requires rework (and cost) to patch the integration.
The standard “moated castle” design
of most LMS
systems illustrates the challenge. To provide stakeholders with the full picture of formal and informal training (work-based learning) and business results, custom programming is required to glue the heterogeneous applications and data stores together.
With no common standard, custom processes must be put
in place to share the information between systems.
DotNetNuke (DNN) provides a strategic portal framework
and hundreds of third party applications can be installed, al la carte, into the same framework. The framework facilitates the sharing of data between applications to easily build a larger coherent business ecosystem.
The DNN framework allows applications (modules) to share
data via common objects such as Portal and User.
The Accord LMS was designed from the ground up
to seamlessly integrate with any other DNN module. In fact it can launch and track classroom training, WebEx or any other kind of remote resource as well. Accord installs as three different modules: Manager; Reports and Learner. The modules can then be placed anywhere in the site. In fact multiple instances with independent configuration and filtered views are supported, so you can customize how and where your eLearning content is presented.