The Landscape of Learning and Development


The learning and development landscape is changing rapidly. As we start 2020 with an all-time low attention span of 8 seconds, which is less than that of a goldfish, learning needs a new approach.

But what kind of approach is required?

Organizations must focus to reduce time when they create courses and must adopt alternative ways to train their employees.

Here we are going to understand how the learning and development landscape evolved and why saving money and time using an alternative approach is a must. Also, we're going to cover:


Employees prefer digital and on the job training and Apty can provide exactly the same with On-screen guidance. See more details in this video.

So without wasting much time, let’s jump in.

The Advent Of SCORM

Since the early 80's to mid 90’s the major way of training an employee was a class-led training program. This was then further powered by Power-point presentations and videos that organizations often made available on DVD’S. Access to such courses was not only expensive but time-consuming.

Then the corporate world for the very first time encountered e-learning in the form LMS in the late 90's. This was one of the stepping stones in the learning and development landscape.

LMS made sure that the course is available to individuals at their desks. This was revolutionary in multiple ways as it reduced the dependencies and made the course available at their fingertips.

This further changed with the advent of SCORM in the early phase of 2001. SCORM allows for the creation of LMS course that can be exported and imported into different systems. The SCORM came into the picture with its 1.1 version. Though it was good but had a lot of flaws hence many organizations didn’t adopt it but as the end of 2001 approached SCORM 1.2 took the L&D industry by storm.

SCORM 1.2 is still adopted across many industries to create courses for their employees. It was predominantly designed to have the same industry-standard across all verticals.

SCORM is not an official standard but the one widely accepted, this made the shift in the industry. Now, with this shift, any organization can change it’s LMS vendor easily as most of them are SCORM compliant.

SCORM gave a new dimension to learning as it helped the stakeholders to track the progress of their employees. It tracks the progress either in chapter wise or modal wise format.

There are 3 parameters that they use to analyze the progress:-

  • Incomplete
  • Complete and Failed
  • Complete and Passed

Completing a course and knowing a course are two different things. Hence SCORM defined the above mentioned three parameters.

SCORM not only streamlined the learning landscape but also made it easy for the organization to follow them to create better courses.

The Dawn of Authoring Tools

As SCORM made it easier for companies to import and export content into an LMS, they needed a way to create content which lead to the development of authoring tools. The world’s first server-based authoring tool Atlantic was developed in the year 2004. Since then we have witnessed some big changes.

Today, the authoring tools have to develop responsive content that has to fit on any device and this resulted in the elimination of Flash. Perhaps it’s one of the biggest changes in the e-learning platform since 2004.

Many authoring tools like the Storyline and Captivate are good for creating courses. They have made the learning more interactive, better and smooth for the employees to consume.

Going Beyond the Basic Tools

Well, we have discussed how the world of learning and development evolved over the years. The changes were gradual but significant in the e-learning world but recently the focus is changing and that too for the good.

Today L&D is focusing more on:- What employees need to do to achieve the goal?

This gave birth to a quote :-

"Learning is not about what you know, but what you are able to do – Cathy Moore."

The ultimate aim of any training provided by the organization is to make the employee eligible to finish a job. The aim is not to develop knowledge and check how well they remember but rather it is to make the employee learn the skill and execute a particular task in a smooth way.

As we are moving in this direction, the shift from LMS is towards LXP(Learning Experience) and PSS(Performance support system).

Organizations are already spending and investing more in the Learning experience system and to make the learning more interactive and personalized for each user. Further, they have already started investing in a performance support system like Apty to increase the task completion rate and employee efficiency.

LXP is preferred as it allows the admin and other stakeholders to use external resources which can benefit their employees. Not only that organization has realized creating customized courses for each individual using authoring tools is not only time consuming but painstaking. By the time a course is prepared in this fast-moving world, it already becomes relatively old.

There are three types of training that are required in any organization:-

  • Compliance Training.
  • Skill Training.
  • Application Based Training.

Compliance training needs Authoring tools as it has to be customized and the organization needs control over that. The time spent on creating such training using authoring tools can be justified as it’s not going to change in a span of a few months and would be relevant for long. But creating any application based training or skillful course using the authoring tool will suck your time, effort and resources.

Skill training should always be on-demand, dynamic and personalized and for that LXP allows an organization to integrate external resources, which can be rated by the users. What this does is that it would give the system a better idea to personalize the experience for similar roles and courses which would be recommended to similar kind of users. Further users can post any questions and queries in the LXP platform without any interference.

Some experienced employees in the organization could create some relevant courses based on their projects without any hindrance. Authoring tools in this type of system is completely irrelevant or could only be used in some cases.

Application-based training like a Salesforce and Workday training could be given via some face led training or online training. But the most efficient and effective way is to give it using DAP (Digital Adoption Platforms) or PSS. In this method, the user is guided in a hand-held fashion from one step to another with the help of a pre-created workflows/walkthroughs.

The walkthroughs can be customized for each job function.

This method is incredibly useful as it is powered by Machine learning, where each user signature and touchpoints are being analyzed and it pinpoints the area where the user is encountering issues.

Once the pain points are analyzed the admin can work towards creating the walkthrough in such a way where users can easily overcome the hurdles they were facing previously in the application.

The organization can create PDF, videos, and PPT on the fly just with a click while doing the job. This would only take only a few minutes, unlike authoring tools that consume few hours or in some cases a few days to do so.

This Completely reduces dependency on tools like Camtasia.

Digital Adoption Platforms like Apty are SCORM complaint too and hence makes your job easy while creating a course as the course made in this platform can be easily pushed into LMS.

Why Invest in Next Generation Solution Tools?

There are five moments of learning needs which were described by Bob Mosher and Conrad Gottfredson’s:-

  1. Learning for the first time:- This needs tools like LXP where on-demand courses are made available and the user can learn for the first time.
  2. Learning more about a particular topic:- Here user can again go back to the source and learn that one particular thing that he missed. OR, the user could use PDF, PPT or videos made by using DAP.
  3. When things change (Change):- This would need external interference but if the change is not that big it could be done using DAP solutions as it can show in real-time how to do a particular job in an application. Moreover, it pushes the user to the source via permalink which could be created in DAP itself, it usually consumes less time.
  4. Applying what you’ve learned (Apply):- Whatever is learned via any form of training could be reinforced using PPS or DAP as it makes users learn by making them do things in real-time.
  5. When things go wrong (Solve):- When a user gets stuck in such a situation, the intuitive DAP solution will guide the user but even if that’s not enough the user is pushed to the PDF, FAQ, videos or PPT via a link that was created using DAP.

As you have seen above DAP or PSS solutions make you’re the creation and consumption of content easy.

The investment in training is increasing gradually as organizations are seeing the value in it.

The amount of money that the organizations spent in the US alone in the Year 2018 is somewhere around $87 Billion.

Whatever the employees learn 70% of that is forgotten in a span of 24 hours.

Hmm, let that sink in.

Organizations often spend huge on training without analyzing the kind of money they could have saved if they would have done it effectively.

No doubt Spending on training is rewarding but when it can be optimized why one has to spend more for doing the same thing?

Some authoring tools offer VR based training which is not required when you can do the same thing in real-time using Digital Adoption Solution.

Face-led training also has it’s share of the problem as you invest for a day hoping that in this one day employee will learn most of the stuff but in reality, thanks to the forgetting curve 90% of them would forget whatever was thought to them in a span of a month.

All these unnecessary things add up to your cost.

The organizations must complement the learning experience that they provide via LXP with DAP or PPS solutions to reinforce the learning of their employees. As a result, this enhances the outcome and most important things of all save money and boost their ROI.

As we are in 2020 and in a span of 5 years we would be in a spot where 75% of the workforce would be Millenials. The need for on-demand training or guidance is must-have, as Millenials prefer on-demand training over any other form of training.

“Organizations often shoot the arrow in the dark and expect it to hit the bull’s eye.”

This kind of approach cannot be rewarding. Organizations must start giving serious thought on investing in unnecessary forms of training which could have been easily executed using alternatives like Apty.

Krishnan Kaushik
Written by Krishnan Kaushik

Krishnan is a Marketer and Content Crafter. He has an in-depth understanding of Digital Adoption, Transformation, and Enterprise applications that helps business to generate business outcomes. In his former life, he was an IIoT & Automation engineer. You can find him trying new recipes, riding a bike, and wondering about the most complex object on the face of the earth i.e Human Brain.

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