L&D Technology: what’s happening out there?

The second L&D Meet Up happened in Auckland this week to discuss and share what L&D technology is out there, what works and what you need to consider. Here’s a summary of a very interesting discussion!

We talked about the fact that sometimes technology speeds up what you do, but sometimes you might find the technology solution takes so long that it’s easier to just do a written quiz in your workshop or take a more old fashioned approach. But the technology those attending found useful includes:

  • LMS systems – there are some great ones out there. Barron mentioned Moodle (used by tertiary providers), Blackboard (used mostly in schools) and Litmos (for hosting modules). But we also discussed that many companies buy an LMS and haven’t really planned out what it can and can’t do, then try and make link to too much or do things it can’t. So you need to be realistic. You can’t also want a huge system but not be prepared to pay for it, so buy a cheap version and expect the same functionality!
  • Wistia.com – if you want to host video’s as part of your learning programme, then wistia is a great platform to use. You can brand it and monitor who’s watched the video. There is a free version that hosts up to 5 videos.
  • Modlettes – this is an NZ business that allows you to build mini e-learning modules. Mark had used this as pre and post learning for some of his programmes and said it was easy to use.
  • Go To Meeting and Go To Webinar are great staples. They have a free trial period but are very functional and you can record your meeting or webinar to then share with others.
  • Qnnect.com – Angela shared that she used this at the HR Advisors Conference. Its like a private mini Facebook – but also has a learn function with quizzes that can be loaded, so is a mini LMS too.

The discussion also moved to talking about how we tend to DIY things in Learning. When you’re filming presentations, it’s not that difficult but you do need a directional microphone and a device that can store a longer video (otherwise you’re switching out because your iphone has run out of room). It does still take a long time. Mark shared that he made a 12 minute video but it took 2 – 3 hours to edit it and make it look great. This was for an internal training programme a company were running but so others could watch one of the guest presenters.

We talked about the fact that people don’t understand about having a good finishing screen on the video so it doesn’t start playing the next video on YouTube, which could be a competitor! We also thought that L&D people should have video’s of themselves presenting so that others can see what their approach and style is.

We also had Tina attending who has emigrated from China. She said in China the approach is to copy the systems that exist and put them together to create a new solution. Why reinvent the wheel when things already exist? But you may have to create a way to bring them together. She also talked about the fact that many people don’t like writing, so Wechat is huge which is sending short spoken messages (yes almost like what phones used to be used for!!).

The discussion then moved onto AI with Anna sharing about Eliza – which is an AI psychologist that repeats back what you’ve said and then asks questions based on this. We wondered if there could be functions of learning that become AI or whether our skills that we add to a session weren’t able to be replicated. Anna also discussed that in one company they had a horrible intranet but because everyone had been part of creating it, everyone used it. The company then brought a new intranet and even though it was easier and better, no-one used it because they hadn’t been part of it. So if you are putting in a new LMS or learning system, you need to involve people to make sure they are engaged in the process.

We then got into asking more questions that needed to be considered. If most people managers aren’t good with people, how can we change how we train them? We need to think about how we develop face to face training for the younger generation who have grown up seeing the world through a screen. Many managers seem to think that if you have a performance review online system, then it will do reviews for you, and that an LMS will run training for you – how do we change the perception of this?

So all in all, some useful technology discussed, but some bigger issues to get answers on. We decided that perhaps that could be the next L&D Meet Up’s job to answer all these questions!!


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