In the midst of a busy conference season, eThink Education introduced yet another exciting partnership with training content providers GO1, further positioning themselves as a leading “one-stop-shop” eLearning solutions provider for institutions and organizations. As the largest Totara and Moodle Partner worldwide, the decision should not come as a surprise.
“Personally, I have been looking for a great off-the-shelf learning content organization to work with for a long time. We see a continuous demand for workplace training, HR, onboarding and related topics among our customers.”
“Related to it, we continue to realize the impact of quality training in talent retention. Companies that understand this have a ‘leg up’ in the competition.“
— Randy Jones, VP of Business Development & Strategy, eThink Education
Those looking for top quality learning content, both standard and specialized by industry, can rely on GO1’s massive library, quality and experience in workplace training.
The age of Platform-Content fit
Originally based in Australia, GO1 has branched out globally, with field offices in Salt Lake City, California, the UK, Southeast Asia, India and Dubai. GO1 asserts themselves as the “world’s largest marketplace of online learning.” A premium catalog of content by a variety of renowned companies and agencies (from Skillsoft to Thomson Reuters, to name a few) ensure a broad coverage of topics, delivered through highly engaging and interactive videos. Paul Callan, co-host of their recent partner webinar session and GO1’s Head of US Channel Partnerships, is a testament of the founder’s passion for learning.
The addition of GO1 to the already impressive list of eThink’s partners is the natural result of the increasing importance of best-of-breed content in the LMS arena, where providing a more engaging and effective training platform is clearly a matter of content-platform fit. Today’s top-tier LMS have practically all achieved “feature parity.” For players like eThink, it means the focus must go on the infrastructure level. eThink excels at delivering a robust and flexible LMS solution using the features available to most learning platforms in the marketplace, but they understand that their true value comes from providing clients with the unlimited support needed to help them create a comprehensive learning solution. This is often made possible by integrating the LMS with other tools to round out the learning ecosystem.
The drive for seamless integrations of select partners is a formula much harder to replicate, and one the Baltimore-based company has honed for years.
“There is no LMS feature out there that I’m jealous of. We have them all.” — Jones
The Workplace Report: Growing support for L&D
Based on the current state of workplace L&D, according to the latest edition of LinkedIn’s annual Workplace Report, the opportunities career professionals have available to gain critical skills, and become more productive and valuable individuals, are better than ever. According to the report, 82% of L&D professionals feel supported by senior executives, a milestone for the American workplace and a complete turnaround of executive opinions on learning at the turn of the decade.
Lagging, but less than previous years, is money going in hand with the expressed support. 43% of talent developers expect budget increases for L&D initiatives in the coming years. Budget constraints have traditionally been the main driver, or rather the “paralyzer” of L&D initiatives, at least until now. Jones quotes the report, which states that 27% of professionals considers budget to be a roadblock, compared to 49% in 2017. “In 24 months that was cut nearly in half.”
What are the next promising frontiers? Data, talent development teams, and instructional design expertise. With budgets mousily increasing, a pressure for effectiveness and the always elusive ROI on learning grows. As a result, online learning becomes the preferred course of action, even as support for “Instructor-Led Training” remains steady.
“Many of our customers put a strong focus on ILT (instructor-led training), often boasting the best talent available.”
Overall, it’s a good time to be in corporate EdTech: Better budgets, larger teams and increased buy-in from leadership teams; at a time where pressures for results and talent competition is only warming up.
Ongoing, blended, personal: GO1 in the evolution of learning
GO1’s Callan takes note of the promising landscape in corporate learning, which doesn’t mean is free from caution. We may know that is changing, but it is all too common to assume the rate or direction of the change will itself stay still.
There are key insights guiding GO1’s offering and roadmap, which revolve around changing assumptions about the workplace learner. For starters, it is different than a K-12 or Higher Ed student in some clear ways. Where education is the primary goal of institutions within these sectors, workplace learning aims to directly impact performance and results from your team. They want results and a direct line between taking a lesson and being able to better perform tasks on the job. Further, the styles and methods need to reflect modern principles of learning that, when utilized, are proven to deliver the most impactful experiences, such as:
- Learning is continuous. No longer expected to end at one course or one post-university degree.
- Learning is blended, and increasingly favoring online settings.
- Learning is personalized, in order to deliver an on-demand, tailored experience.
- Learning is social, and more communal than ever. (It’s multi-generational and diverse too.)
- Learning is both public and private, with project-based learning growing as a way to make things more visible.
The implications for learning content development are significant. GO1’s videos, courses, and other content are designed to be more dynamic, fit various learning settings and encourage interaction in a “one-stop-shop” library. The collections of courses are continuously updated and made for scalability and quick deployment.
While machine learning is involved in the process of recommendations, GO1 is not in the business of endless streaming. Rather, humans take advantage of the machine learning insight to create learning tracks that are consistent, relevant, and deliver results.
As eThink debuts its latest mission statement, “To empower organizations to maximize their learning initiatives,” both Callan and Jones coincide in the value and potential of technology and content partnerships for seamless online learning experiences in the workplace; and the exciting, yet challenging landscape coming as the decade ends.