3 Key Insights from Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2018 Blog Feature

3 Key Insights from Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2018

Last week, BenchPrep exhibited and attended The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions Conference and Expo 2018.  Three full days of learning, about learning, surrounded by other learners!  What more could we ask for?


While Chicago’s snowy April has us missing warm and sunny Orlando, we’re excited and motivated to be back to share some of the insights gathered throughout the conference.  Here’s a snapshot of just a few of our key learnings:

  1. The LMS is not yet extinct, but requires some additional support: It’s pretty apparent that on its own, the LMS is no longer an effective tool to support the needs of today’s learning ecosystem.  The LMS was built as a companion tool to complement traditional learning programs, that lack personalized, engaging technology capabilities demanded by organizations and learners alike.
    So should organizations scrap the LMS altogether, or rather, invest in tools to accompany the LMS to build a more well-rounded learning strategy?  Many of the panel discussions and sessions at Learning Solutions tackled this tricky question. While the fundamental purpose of the LMS is to manage content, pairing it with solutions that deliver a cohesive learner experience should also be considered.  By offering on-demand, adaptive, personalized learning tools, learners are more likely to engage with the content and see better outcomes. 
  2. Meaningful engagement is a challenge:  Gamification, AR, VR, social learning, microlearning... oh my.  Discussions around how to incorporate new and progressive learner engagement methods into learning strategies was also a hot topic.  While AR and VR are exciting, buzzworthy trends disrupting the industry, costs and resources associated with these tactics are out of reach for many organizations right now.  
    For those leveraging traditional learning programs, a general frustration about the ability to truly engage learners through current platforms was clear.  Some of the other engagement trends widely discussed include gamification and social learning. Gamification has proven to be an effective and sticky way to not only engage learners with content, but also foster motivation through competition and achievement.  Social learning such as discussion boards, virtual classrooms, MOOCs, and other interactive tools help create a sense of community, generate user content, and encourage workplace collaboration.
  3. Training vs. a learning culture:  A training culture is not a learning culture. We heard this theme several times throughout the conference and agree with this philosophy.  Transforming a culture from one that is generic, compliance-oriented, and burdensome, to a culture that supports individual learner development is key.  Based on trends we’ve gathered, today’s professionals rank learning a new skill as the number one career goal this year.  If your learning program focuses on personalized performance improvement, learners will feel more confident and effective in their professional career.  

    In order to begin this transformation, it’s also important to gain buy-in from all key stakeholders right off the bat.  If folks at the top are not fully aware of how learning goals are aligned with business goals, executives will be hesitant to invest.  Communicating the importance of offering effective learning programs to improve employee competencies and to retain and attract quality talent who are dedicated to driving an organization's mission, should help translate the ROI.

Learning Solutions was a fantastic opportunity for BenchPrep to connect with leaders in the industry, see what others are working on, and to explore the future of e-learning.  Thanks to everyone who came by our booth and attended BenchPrep’s session on Defining the Learning Problem Before Determining the Learning Solution. If we missed you in Orlando, we’d still love to connect!  Visit benchprep.com to learn more about our learning solution.