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Challenges of tracking learner’s experience and measuring its impact

Training managers are always faced with the challenges of capturing learner’s experience and measuring its impact

The big questions for training development managers and their organizations are:

  • Is the training of helping our business to run smoothly and grow?
  • What’s the impact of the training we provide and does it align our business objectives?
  • What it ROI on the investments we have made in training tools and subscriptions?

These are frequently tossed around and with wide-ranging implications, yet as cavalier, they might seem they are difficult questions to answer, if not impossible. It would only be simpler if the training systems or tools could capture the learner’s behavior, experience, and engagement, which can then be analyzed in a way that could address these questions. Now, is there anything out there, that does this, well there is and it’s in its infancy. There are specifications (xAPI) and tools build on industry standards called the “learning record store” (LRS) that could augment your LMS or the learning tools and it can track the learner’s experience.

Purpose of analyzing learner’s experience

The analysis of learner’s experience changes the way learning and development efforts contribute to employee readiness and business results. It helps is measuring the impact on business outcomes. It captures the training events with context and at specific points in activity streams so they can be tracked, traced and measured. By analyzing these events, one can make training more effective and improve the learner’s engagement.

The LRS along with learning analytics can help you determine:

  • Which learning content has high vs low impact?
  • Which low impact learning content might be retired or reworked?
  • Which learning programs helps learners to perform more effectively?
  • Are the learners engaging with the content that’s available?

Answers to questions like these can help senior management to take decisions based on data and facts.

Capture learning data using the xAPI standard, in an LRS and in an LMS agnostic way

To capture the learner’s behavior, one has to decide training activities and events for which the data needs to captures. After deciding the activities and events, one has to fix the periodicity at which the data needs to capture. One of the important aspects of the captured data is tractability, i.e., one should able to trace for who, for which training event and when the data is captured. The captured data needs to store in the Learning Record System (LRS) which follows the contemporary standards like xAPI. Using a standard like xAPI can help you build the LRS which is agnostic to the Learning Management System(LMS).

What type of LRS should you use?

LRS’s come in many flavors. They have to have completely or partially implemented the following features:

  • Data Interchange and Exchange: Capture and store learners experience data in the LMS or tool agnostic way.
  • Standards-Based: Adhere to the xAPI standards in order to be inoperable. 
  • Analytics Platforms: Analyze learning and performance data of learner from different resources to provide actionable insights.

What additional thing should you consider when selecting an LRS?

When selecting an LRS, the training manager should consider the following:

  • Conforming to standard: LRS’s which conform to the contemporary standards like xAPI can help the trainer to compare different LRS products at the same level.
  • Onboarding: In the initial stage of implementation of LRS, a training manager needs to how to start, which data capture, etc.
  • Data security and safety: is captured data available to correct individuals.

Summary

It makes sense to capture an analyze your learner’s experience as it can give you feedback on your training material, and it’s effectiveness. It can be a beacon that can help in making learning more effective and help your organization meet its business objective.C