Read more Rose Benedicks
What's a learning ecosystem
(and should you have one)?
Part 1 of a three-part feature on learning
Let's start with a somewhat controversial
statement. L&D has fallen out of love with
Learning Management Systems because
they are a one-stop-shop in an increasingly
fluid, complex world. Why invest in something
that has features you don't use yet not all of
the features you really want? L&D
organisations are saying (screaming?),
"Adapt to ME; don't make me adapt to YOU!"
In truth, customers of all products and
services are shouting a similar plea for userdriven rather than corporate-driven design,
which is why we're seeing things like actual
competition to the iPhone (nice one, Google).
What exactly is a learning
A learning ecosystem is a collection of tools,
processes, content, connections and
relationships. It is unique to your organisation
and links together systems or functions that
are not unique (like your LMS to your CRM). If
that sounds confusing, remember that the
learning ecosystem is completely unique to
the organisation. It's made to your
specifications and integrates whatever you
need, e.g. LMS to SalesForce to Learning
Record Store (LRS)). The LMS, SalesForce
and LRS are not unique; how they are
combined into an ecosystem is, however,
unique to your organisation.
This means you get to piece together
systems like you would a bunch of Lego™,
and get a really nice online entry point and
admin back end. For example, you may want
to bring together separate systems that
handle measurement and analytics, your
learner records, sales data, manager
observation or performance review data, and
have customisable reports. This list can grow
Recently, Visa created a university in
partnership with Watershed - a learner
analytics platform (LAP) and lRS. The
discovery phase of the project resulted in a
learning architecture of the systems/functions
involved and the tools necessary to get them
to talk to each other in the ways Visa wanted.
In the new L&D language, that's a learning
ecosystem which integrates systems through
xAPI (next generation SCORM, reductively).
Why is the learning ecosystem
The answer is pretty awesome.