In the quest to provide ease of use, immediacy of information and on-demand content, learning tools can provide you with clever ways to help learners find what they need and engage with your training. Here are a few insights into how to create great searchable learning content.
If search engines have created expectations of being able to find information almost immediately, that power is yet to reach all workplace learners.
As you’ve probably experienced, the average professional spends a hefty amount of time looking for internal information or trying to contact colleagues who can help with specific tasks. Studies suggest this figure could account for as much as 20 percent of the working week. However, this is improving for organizations who use social media internally, and turn messages and knowledge sharing into content.
When this is stored in a searchable record of knowledge, the amount of time employees spend searching for company information alone is reduced by as much as 35 percent.
Even if the slick searchability of a Netflix-style platform seems a long way off for your training program, providing in-depth, intuitive search capabilities is well within the reach of any L&D team using the right tools.
There are many types of learners who would stand to benefit from being able to search for information. Think about:
These are all situations in which searchable learning content is extremely useful. In the case of sealing a contract with a potential client, the immediate business impact is evident. Improved value for a partner organization and improved employee performance and efficiency more generally are also knock-on effects.
The truth, though, is that searchable content should be a given in any modern training program, allowing workforces to find content as easily as they would on familiar sites such as Amazon and eBay.
If your organization has a healthy learning culture, you probably have a great deal of learning content available. Ideally, your learning technologies will include analytics that allow you to predict knowledge gaps and supply relevant content to learners, such as by prompting them to access training when they enter your LXP or LMS.
In addition to this, on-demand learning is one of the most important trends in a workforce characterized by a desire to learn at their own pace. It’s also a major part of mobile learning, an industry which is predicted to be worth $70 million by 2020. Searchable learning content is empowering employees to take a proactive role in their development
And the better the search capabilities on offer, the more likely learners are to use them.
Making the most of a wealth of content requires precise search options, saving learners the hassle of wading through several pages before reaching the information they need.
Businesses are using learning technologies to:
As part of this, organizations are helping learners to pinpoint the information they need within multimedia and non-traditional learning content. For example, learners are now able to search the comments and transcript section of learning videos in order to locate the exact knowledge they need to explore, or find peer-based discussions of that knowledge within dedicated learner forums.
Johnson Controls, which provides digital learning and video-based training to employees in around 150 countries, is one market leader benefitting from this intuitive functionality.
As part of a video-based learning platform launched in 2017, Johnson Controls uses an embedded search engine to help support around 120,000 learners. The platform provides customizable chaptering and indexing of content—all discoverable via a powerful search function.
When new videos are uploaded or recorded, they are automatically captioned and timestamped chapters are added. After learners have found videos, they can use these timestamped chapters to jump to the points that are relevant to them. This is especially useful if your training videos are long.
For example, if learners need to quickly find out how to use a product, they can jump to the right chapter within seconds. As opposed to having to watch the video in its entirety, or keep clicking through until they find what they need.
When people struggle to find time for learning, the ability to easily uncover what they need is crucial. This leads to engagement and confidence in learning programs. In the past, learning has sometimes been seen as a chore, lacking a sense of discovery or genuine value at the point when employees most need it.
When it is done well, searchable learning content goes a long way towards changing that. Use it as part of a resource to inspire curiosity and turn your training content into an essential set of resources that people proactively benefit from.
A version of this post originally appeared on the gomolearning.com blog.
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