What to Consider When Choosing a Learning Platform

Discover everything you need to consider when choosing a learning platform.

Slowly, but surely, all things go digital.

From shopping to banking and working, our errands are increasingly being performed in the virtual realm. Providing an unbeatable convenience, the ability to carry out tasks remotely enables us all to be that bit more efficient with our time.

It’s no surprise, then, that more and more businesses are embracing online learning platforms that allow them to deliver training programmes to remote learners. Particularly helpful in the context of the pandemic, online platforms allow learners to review materials at their own pace and participate in virtual rather than face to face lessons.

This migration from the classroom to the laptop has resulted in some fairly impressive facts and figures. Perhaps most notably:  

  • 49% of learners have undertaken an online course in the last 12 months
  • The average monthly search volume for “online learning” grew by 173% during the pandemic

Clearly, online learning is becoming big business and is front of mind for many trainers and learners.

But before trainers dive in and adopt an online platform, it is vital that they consider the kind of learning experience it is capable of delivering.

Indeed, trainers should be asking themselves if their platform of choice will allow them to impart learning that sticks.

But what exactly should trainers be looking out for when selecting an online learning platform?

Well, rather helpfully, in his book How People Learn, Nick Shackleton Jones’ identifies a series of fundamental points about how to create an effective bottom-up learning experience that builds and fosters engagement amongst learners.  

By turning these central points into questions and considering how they might be actioned in an online learning environment, trainers can be confident that they’re selecting the most appropriate platform.  

More specifically, trainers should consider the following points:

  1. Can I create content that speaks to my audience?

At the heart of How People Learn is the idea that effective learning is only possible when the content appeals to its audience. In other words, it’s crucial that an online learning platform has the flexibility for trainers to create bespoke training courses that are perfectly tailored to their audience. At GiraffePad, we’ve made it a priority to ensure that our users are able to effortlessly design training programmes that meet the needs of their learners. We recognise that trainers should be faced with fewer barriers when working online, so we’ve made it our mission to ensure that it’s easy to create and share content in a way that best suits learners.  

  1. Can I create learning experiences?

Over the course of his book, Shackleton Jones makes it clear that there is an important distinction between learning resources and learning experiences. The former, he argues, are simply materials that, important and as useful as they are, do not contain the life and capacity for engagement that learning experiences do. Unlike resources, learning experiences consist of stories and interactions that make an impact and impart the heart of a lesson. Ideally, trainers should provide learning experiences which point to learning resources in order to curate a comprehensive programme. We’ve made the creation of learning experience as easy as possible with GiraffePad, with trainers able to simply schedule virtual sessions that can be used to foster engagement and storytelling. It’s also very straightforward for trainers to share and signpost learning resources to complement their learning experiences.

      3. Can I demonstrate clear value in my training?

Another important aspect of How People Learn is the insistence on how learning can only ever be effective when it has a clear objective. In other words, trainers and learners should be able to easily articulate the key takeaways and measure goals when undertaking a programme. To accomplish this in a virtual environment, we’ve taken the time to make sure that it is easy for users of GiraffePad to structure their training materials in a way that represents a clear path to defined outcomes.

In addition to these three core philosophical concepts, there are also technical considerations to bear in mind when choosing a learning platform. Specifically, trainers should be asking themselves:

  • Does the platform offer an intuitive user experience for trainers and learners?
  • Does the platform streamline and centralise learning processes?
  • Does the platform allow me to easily solve problems that my learners face?

At the risk of repeating ourselves, we have set out to implement features that provide all of these solutions. Indeed, at GiraffePad, we’re very confident that our platform solves a number of the problems which trainers are faced with when taking things online. Having spent a great deal of time optimising every aspect of our product - as well as constantly developing useful features for it - we’re always happy to schedule a demo for prospective users, and can be contacted at any time to answer questions and identify solutions.

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