Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2019 - 54


Since its founding in 2010, Grovo has
been through several funding rounds,
raising a total of $73.3 million before its
acquisition by Cornerstone OnDemand
(CSOD) for $24 million late last year. The
largest was its $40 million Series C round
in 2016, one year before entering a
partnership with CSOD, which integrated
Grovo's microlearning content into
CSOD's platform. (Grovo's content is now
exclusive to CSOD customers, thanks to
the acquisition.)
Grovo created its brand completely
around the concept of microlearning,
even trademarking the term in 2017.
While the trademark has not had an
impact on the industry's use of the
term, CSOD's acquisition of Grovo
may indicate a growing focus on
microlearning. Certainly, says Josh
Schwede, vice president of content
services at CSOD, "From a financial
standpoint, the acquisition presents an
opportunity to improve our revenue on
content. Grovo has been a key partner
in our Content Anytime offering, and
upon completion of this acquisition, we
will recapture their content royalties." He
adds that CSOD will add two new content
brands: "Produced by Cornerstone" and
"Cornerstone Originals" - thanks to the
acquisition of Grovo's course library and
content creator tool.
CSOD, which already had a strong
learning platform (the company is on
Training Industry's 2018 Top 20 Learning
Portal/LMS list), can now add content
and an authoring tool to its offerings,
making this acquisition a valuable
one. Grovo has been building up an
extensive microlearning library over the

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last few years, forming partnerships with
content providers like Sandler Training
and Lange International. The partnering
of platform and content providers is a
trend in the industry; this acquisition
takes that partnership to the next level
by combining the two companies.
The fact that CSOD's new content is
in a microlearning format is likely a
great benefit to the company and the
people who use its platform to learn.
Microlearning, writes Irene Tan, senior
director of learning and development
at Alorica, "promotes comprehension,
clear retention of the information
and implementation of coursework in
everyday operating procedures." In fact,
she reports that Alorica has seen more
than 60 percent improvement after retraining employees using microlearning.
Much has been written about the fact
that we are busier than ever - or at least,
we feel like we are. With great demands
on our learners' energy and attention,
microlearning provides a way to make
sure that employees learn what they
need (and want) to learn - without
taking too much time away from their
work. When done well, microlearning
is an effective just-in-time, in-theworkflow learning tool.
"Microlearning is especially effective for
learning very targeted, specific skills in
a condensed, digestible format," says
Schwede. "For example, some of the
most popular courses involve topics
like mindfulness, organization, antiharassment, and learning about new
systems and tools."

When combined with other training
methods in a multi-modal learning
approach, microlearning may offer
even greater benefits. Training
Industry research has found that most
organizations use between three and
six modalities in a training program,
suggesting that multi-modal programs
may be more effective. Another study
found that when organizations use
more modalities, they are more likely to
provide training in any given learner's
preferred modality, which leads to
greater impact.


Late in 2017, CSOD launched a new
strategic plan that included expanding
its e-learning presence. Jason Corsello,
senior vice president of strategy and
corporate development, told Training
Industry Magazine a few months later
that the new plan would support
the "next phase of growth for the
business, going from $500 million in
annual revenue to a $1 billion revenue
company." The $24 million acquisition
of $73.3-million company Grovo
seems to be a significant step in that
same direction.

Taryn Oesch is the managing editor of
digital content at Training Industry, Inc.
Email Taryn.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - January/February 2019