Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009 - (Page 13)

LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES | RICK J. CROWLEY THERE ARE MANY BENEFITS OF PERSONALIZING THE LEARNER’S EXPERIENCE. THE PERSONALIZED LEARNER EXPERIENCE O ne of the toughest requirements that CLOs face is the personalization of the learner’s experience. With the big portal companies providing bells and whistles that allow users to change colors, pick which services they want to see and subscribe to feeds, many learners and CLO stakeholders believe they should have the same experience. There are many benefits of personalizing the learner’s experience. The biggest benefit in personalization is minimizing the amount of time a learner spends looking for the learning that is intended to help do his or her job. The focus for the CLO should be to marry the learner to the content that makes the most sense for them and helps them do their jobs. For the purposes of this conversation, let’s define personalization as dynamically generating content to provide a customizable, highly personalized user experience. There are two types of learner data that should be considered when looking to meet requirements for personalization – profile data and preference data. Profile Data The definition of the system profile is based on entitlement and the user’s job role attributes, such as job title, daily responsibilities, location, etc. Users cannot modify their own profile. Examples of elearning influenced by the profile include: their learning environment. Examples of preferences include content delivery type, content language, etc. The learning management system can be leveraged to identify and build all possible preferences. This enables dynamic generation to package and provide the appropriate user experience and learning object(s) based on the request from learning management. Examples of preference data include: ■ Learning Modality. Learning modalities are ways to develop con- Role or Job Function. The job role is defined by the company. Content can be built around a job role and specifically targeted to it. ■ Geography. The geography is a way a company separates the world to align business differences. This enables the geography (even down to the level of a country) the ability to leverage products and align them to specific cultural nuances. ■ Industry Vertical. The industry vertical is a way that a company can focus the selling of its products to meet the specific needs of a market (e.g., automotive, banking, pharmaceutical, etc.). Learning content can be aligned to support the products that meet the needs of the vertical. ■ Job tent to meet specific learning needs of the learners. Modalities include, but are not limited to, instructor-led classroom training, video, whitepapers, etc. A learner should be able to consume the learning in the modality they like most (if it is available). ■ Language. Content can be developed in many languages. It is not inexpensive, and needs to be rationalized before investing in it. It is sometimes the most important way to meet the demands of a country (or region in the country). ■ Search Filters. Taking a bit of a liberty here, let’s throw a concept of preference data that will personalize the content a learner finds. Learners could (and in many cases should) be allowed to adjust their profile data or content that is targeted to them to see other content they are entitled to. It may allow them to change their role to search for content that will help them grow their career or sell to a vertical that may be included in a deal. Summary The personalized learner experience is an important part of the overall deliverables in learning. The opportunity for the learner’s profile and preference information to be aligned with the content is where the focus should be. The overall advice here is to leave color preferences, personalized home pages and other portal preferences for the applications that deliver portals, not the learning management systems. Rick J. Crowley is an active consultant on learning technology and architecture. Prior to that Rick was senior director, learning systems, for NetApp University, a driving force behind Cisco's e-learning adoption and implementation and held the position of director of technology training for Oracle. E-mail Rick at 13 Preference Data Users define preferences to augment their system profile. They can change preferences regularly and can specify components of Training Industry Quarterly, Winter 2009 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009

Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009
At the Editor’s Desk
Winning Organizations Through People
Before You Buy…
Learning Technologies
Coaching & Mentoring Your L&D Legacy
Training’s Performance Support Imperative
Beyond Learning Objectives
Targeting Training With Limited Budgets
Meet Deborah Masten
Meet Terri Dorsey
ADP: Supporting Succession Planning Through Training
Closing Arguments

Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009