Just Google it: a modern learner’s response

‘Google it’

Google is seen as the font of all knowledge, inside and outside of the workplace. Why? Because Google is efficient. It’s quick and can easily find the answers to most questions. It’s intuitive, seemingly knowing what users are looking for before they do themselves.

Imagine if your LMS was your users’ go-to search tool

When you have invested time and money into your learning content, you want to see it being used. However, with only 28% of learners beginning their search for learning using their employer’s LMS [1], it is time to start asking yourself why.

Modern learners want instant answers. If they struggle to engage with your system quickly and intuitively, they may give up on it.

82% of learners are confident that they know what information they require, but over a quarter of these say they cannot find it [2].

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How can I provide modern learners with information?

Take the time to understand the requirements and expectations of the modern learner, and cater to these preferences whilst aligning learning with key business objectives.

Today’s learners want fast and easy-to-access content – they are increasingly impatient and frustrated, used to accessing information at the touch of a button. As such, 95% of organisations want to respond faster to the speed of business – those that were found to understand how their staff want to learn proved to be far more successful at cultivating agility.

Learners are more self-directed than ever and seek solutions that combine social and informal learning with more formal techniques. As a result, the design and use of learning management systems need to change, or else they face becoming redundant.

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Learning managers are now recognising that modern LMSs can empower learners, enabling 24/7 learning on demand: this results in improved engagement and a more blended and continuous learning journey. However, 80% of learners ‘Google it’, whilst just 66% rate self-paced e-learning courses as essential or very useful [4].

Five ways to easily search

Modern learners are exposed to the very best search experience when they engage with their favourite online sources. Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and Spotify all offer the latest consumer-grade search capabilities. Below are five useful points to consider when looking at LMSs to ensure that they have the functionality for learners to be able to find the relevant content:

1. Cards, not lists

Modern sources of content offer a very visual search experience. Results are frequently presented as cards (think Netflix) that enables users to quickly identify items of interest, particularly when categorised by related items. When presented in this format, the user can easily scroll through the cards intuitively, building up an understanding of what is available to make an informed choice.

2. Showing relationships visually

It is possible to visually present related items of learning content, enabling learners to choose how, and in which order, they complete the training that is most relevant to them.

3. Channels, themes and genres

Today’s learners expect content to be tailored to their search history. Your LMS should enable your learners to find content without the traditional hierarchal structured listings, allowing learners to browse content.

4. Relevance

When looking for content, modern users expect content that is most relevant to them to filter to the top. Consumer-grade search engines help the user to spot what might be the most relevant.

5. Predictive search

Similar to Google, users can have their searches sped up by the software’s ability to start the process of predicting the search term as the user begins to type.

Google it – or don’t

Having invested in learning content, you will want your learners to turn to your LMS with every learning need. With only 5 to 10 seconds to grab someone’s attention before they click away [5], you need to optimise the user experience for your LMS to deliver a consumer-grade search experience.

Learners expect a visual search experience enabling them to quickly skim for the desired information that will enable them to shortlist their available options. Ensure that your LMS is tailored to improve employee engagement and information retention rates, and have your learners returning time after time.

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[1] ‘How the Workforce Learns’, Degreed, 2016

[2] ‘The Learner Voice – Part Three’, Towards Maturity, 2016

[3] Towards Maturity ‘Learning Benchmark Report’, 2016-17

[4] Towards Maturity, ‘The Consumer Learner at Work Report’, 2016

[5] ‘Meet the modern learner’, Bersin by Deloitte, 2014

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