The LMS: Where Information Goes to Die
Source | LinkedIn : By Alexander Salas
Imagine a workplace where 99% anyone needed to know and how to do it was readily documented and available. Such a place, would have an effective intranet with social media and collaboration capabilities across departments. Now come back to the real world and realize that your workplace is not such a place (yet). Why? Is it lack of investment, interest or support? Sure but, it’s also because your leadership does not see a difference between training vs. information and the latter gets buried in places like your Learning Management System (LMS). Information is critical for everyone’s operational sustainability and it should be readily accessible at any time. This post discusses a few tips and strategies to prevent information from dying in your LMS.
Identify Training vs Information vs Learning
For the last 20 years we had a dilution of concepts in the Learning and Development (L&D) industry which has led to a bunch of name changes on basic principles. This has led to the mistreatment of training vs information content and truly defining learning. Is there a difference between these concepts? Absolutely! Training are the practices and methods by which you transfer knowledge and skills to the workforce. Information is useful data with relevant context. Learning is an internal process based on experiences and the result of training, information and action. As an example, consider a basic activity like working out at the gym. As you are getting ready to use a piece of equipment you have never used you may:
a) Ask for assistance from a gym employee (training) or
b) Read the equipment instruction labels and figured it out (information)
c) Pull out your smartphone, watch tutorials and try it out (learning)
The same approach can be applied to any job title, however, the main challenge is you will not find YouTube tutorials about your specific job and its competencies as defined by your company. Although companies share an industry, their operational models often vary and so the way people do their jobs. So, how can we address this need in the workplace?
Information = Data + Relevant Context
Find the Right Place for the Right Time
Your LMS can be the right place for all if it happens to be an enhanced platform . Many organizations’ LMS solutions have not been implemented with the ability to view content independently from a completion requirement. This is where information goes to die because often users lose the capability of viewing important documents when needed. If your LMS is being used in traditional fashion i.e. “Completion Machine”; then you would want to keep information resources out of it. Job information items are those bits of knowledge and data employees would need but, cannot be expected to memorize. They should be quickly accessible across devices i.e. PCs, mobile, etc. Just think about it, when you need to complete a company specific task, what would you do?