Getting Smarter with Learning Content

If there’s one thing there is no shortage of at the moment, it’s information. We are all drowning in it. A similar scenario is playing out within many organizations and their learning content. Old, new, custom, off-the-shelf, learner-generated … it seems endless. But, as in most cases, there is no such thing as too much of a good thing. It can be a daunting task for admins, subject matter experts and learners to make sense of everything available to them. And it’s not just the learner experience that is affected.

Content overload means that the task of getting the right material to the right people when and where they need it can be challenging, time-consuming and costly. At a time when L&D teams need to stretch their budgets as far as possible, it makes sense to find areas to boost efficiencies and ways to prove ROI. The sea of available content is just such a place to look. According to Brandon Hall Group’s Learning Benchmarking Study, content accounts for about 25% of the L&D budget on average, reaching seven figures in many large organizations. Does your organization really have a handle on what you’re doing with that spend?

Thinking more intelligently about the right learning content rather than buying more of it solves two huge challenges for companies. Firstly, identifying duplicated content spend and finding more efficient libraries that better match your learner needs can generate huge cost savings from new efficiencies. Secondly, digging deep into skills definitions and metadata makes it easier to map content to the skills that the business needs to be successful and make tangible ROI an achievable reality.

Additionally, when content is not adequately mapped to the needs of the business, legacy content is hard to find and use, and often gets recreated or left to decay. This duplication of efforts presents another layer of inefficiencies. An intelligent content strategy filters out the noise and gets people moving more quickly toward reskilling and upskilling.

Speaking of filtering, I will host a webinar at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, with Marc Zao-Sanders, the CEO of a company called Filtered. We will look at some of the pitfalls and challenges that companies face when it comes to getting the best return on their learning content spend, as well as strategies and tools for digging out. 

David Wentworth, Principal Learning Analyst, Brandon Hall Group @davidmwentworth

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