Organizations need help to filter through the endless supply of online educational content if they are to support their people’s ongoing personal and professional development.  

At this year’s ICMI Contact Center Connections conference, I will be answering a question of growing importance to organizations that are serious about supporting the lifelong learning journeys of their employees. With so much digital learning and training content available online, how can we be confident that we are sourcing, categorizing, scoring, and delivering the best available content?

The growing availability of online content has led to a growing demand from organizations and learners alike that the information they’re accessing be from credible, trustworthy sources, is up-to-date and will directly and in an impactful manner, address intended learning outcomes.

Technological advances are creating a host of new professions, while simultaneously redefining existing roles. Continuous, on-demand learning is the only way today’s employees can be certain they’re leveraging these technological advances to their full potential, while continually doing their jobs at an increasing rate of proficiency.

On-demand digital learning

While traditional, classroom-focused/instructor-led forums still have their place in learning and development, a more agile, blended-learning approach (which incorporates digital, as well as face-to-face modalities) has become more popular and more common. This shift has prompted both individuals and organizations to scour the web in an effort to address – and close – the knowledge gap.

But, due in large part to the overabundance of available information, obtaining the best content remains a challenge. The average employee already spends one working day each week searching for information directly related to their role (McKinsey). Employees should not need to take this much company time to sift through web-based content to meet on-demand learning requirements.

Curation and content confidence

Therefore, organizations and learning and development (L&D) experts need to come together to address these two glaring issues: the problem of curation and making the right content available at the right moment; and the problem of trust – learners need to know they can use this content with confidence.

Today the internet offers too much content to manually review, synthesize and share. Indeed the web has arrived at a point in its maturity where the sheer volume of content available, on virtually every topic and within each area of interest, can leave one feeling completely overwhelmed.

Build a platform that enables trust

Conventional wisdom would dictate that an algorithmic approach is the solution to this content overload problem. Build a platform and use technology – elastic search, RPA and intelligent automation to populate content that align with its users’ needs. But the fact is that no matter how well an automated system is trained, it, alone, cannot definitively, and in a manner beyond reproach, categorize content in terms of its accuracy, attribute a scoring mechanism logically tied to quality, classify by delivery method and provide constant updates reflective of both individual learner needs and real-time, substantive informational pivots.

In the automotive industry, vehicle production is completely automated, but the final inspection and quality control is still a human endeavor – and the same is true of professional learning and development. Technology can sort and highlight content for consideration, but human expertise and involvement is an essential element to ensure the proper pedagogical approach will truly lead to the intended learning outcomes. Technology exists to enhance, augment and  eliminate repetition, not necessarily to replace human impact. Algorithmic and human curation, working hand-in-hand, is the future of informal learning.

All of which is why at ICMI Contact Center Connections 2019, I will demonstrate how this marriage of technology with human expertise is already delivering results for millions of employees around the globe and is, in turn, helping organizations to foster a culture of lifelong learning.

ICMI Contact Center Connections 2019 runs from October 28-30 at the Hyatt Regency, Chicago

 


Aaron Schwarzberg

Aaron Schwarzberg is Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Learning Tribes, Sitel Group’s learning and development experts.