Frisk Insights | Strategy | 02
Welcome to Frisk Insights. It’s time to get strategic! When our customers make decisions to procure learning technology, there must be a strategy. Otherwise, one year later, you might find the ship starts to sink – fast. This article tackles some of the decision-making processes.
Hot off the blocks
There are two key things that you might have in mind when kickstarting an e-learning strategy:
- Where do I get my content?
- How do I roll it out?
Then there's the details: how do I export results, how do I integrate with our Human Resources Information System (HRIS), how do I automate refresher training, security, how do I customise it and so on.
If you're making the decision, it's important to understand all the factors driving your choices. A low priority might be the one cause of that sinking ship.
There's a world of learning technology out there and we've shared some of our experiences below, gained by working alongside more than 50 FinTechs, gambling operators and charities over the years.
Where do I get my content?
The answer to this depends on customer preferences and technology choices.
Trend # 1 'Own content':
Customers who invest in training. They have access to: an HRIS, learning technology and a library of content, built by their own staff. They might want to create something new, enhance an existing e-course, convert some slides into an e-course or combine their library with Frisk Lessons and/or another provider's content.
We'd offer them a perpetual, customised solution – exporting and shipping e-courses built in Adobe Captivate and/or Storyline. Budget is often not a problem for these customers, who are usually FinTechs with more than 2,000 staff members.
You've built some e-courses – what next?
Ongoing maintenance of your e-courses is a big responsibility – it doesn't end. You need staff with instructional design, copywriting, e-course development experience (e.g. Adobe Captivate or Storyline), animation and illustration skills, plus access to subject matter experts. Finding one single L&D person who does everything is about as difficult as catching a unicorn. It's important to adjust your job descriptions accordingly, as you may need to recruit at least two or three people to get started. An 'instructional designer' and an 'e-course developer' might be a good starting point.
A must: keep your e-courses secure
You must keep your e-course(s) up to date (software updates, for example) and maintain e-course assets (videos, voiceover files, images and text). E-courses are a form of web-facing technology and they need to be treated carefully. Assets and downloadable content must be scanned and released in accordance with your security policies.
All content (course descriptions, voiceover clips, questions, course image files, etc.) must be version controlled (with tracked changes for compliance purposes), itemised, stored and backed up, should you need to quickly switch systems in a Disaster Recovery (DR) situation. You should test this too!
There's a lot to think about when managing your own e-course library. We've been doing it for many years now and even as a core team of three, with a library of 50 e-courses, this is a full-time job for each of us. We've grown to use an 'agile approach' to the build, testing and release processes, using Rustici's SCORM Cloud. We could write a series of articles on the storage, test and release processes! We are very happy to share information on this topic, if anyone is interested.
Trend # 2 'Off-the-shelf':
Customers want some 'off-the-shelf' compliance training to tick a box. Often a lower available budget and unaware of the costs of licensing, or the need to invest in compliance training, to keep it truly 'ongoing'. There are plenty of e-course marketplaces offering off-the-shelf compliance e-courses. Frisk sells e-courses on a 12 monthly 'direct basis' – meaning customers take the lesson files away and upload them to an approved SCORM-compliant system.
Ideally, if you are interested in these options, we’d like to work with you through our knowledge share. This helps keep your staff involved and your training is more relevant and risk-based.
We have some exciting news on this front, as we're replacing the Frisk Direct solution with OpenSesame. More to follow in next month's Frisk Insights newsletter.
Trend # 3 'On-demand':
Customers want access to a wide range of content, through a system of their choice. This is a bit like your Netflix subscription, once you've found your perfect TV. Customers curate e-courses from the ever-growing 'hub' and 'mix and match' lessons from multiple providers. They combine this content with their own policy links, content and questions via their private e-course library.
To be clear, these lessons can not be 'customised' directly through on-demand – the key tradeoff between this option and a 'compliance portal' (as described below). However, you may be able to add your own e-courses, text, questions and embeddable features (images, videos, Google® Slides and Prezi integrations, etc.) that sit alongside these non-customisable lessons, to make your version more personalised – depending on the integration option. It's still important to back up and itemise every addition.
For this purpose, Frisk Lessons are available on the Go1 Content Hub, with lots of integration options: from Learn Amp, Totara, Moodle and Workday to Microsoft® Teams. We can set you up with a special trial of the Go1 Content Hub. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How do content providers upload content to hubs?
Most hubs give content providers the option of uploading Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) compliant e-courses (usually version 1.2), created using popular e-learning authoring tools. Essentially, SCORM means these files have interoperability and can be uploaded onto any compliant learning technology (e.g. Learning Management System (LMS) or Learning Experience Platform (LXP)). The end users never get to access the source code or edit the e-courses.
Trend # 4 'Compliance e-learning portals':
These are systems that usually provide a 12-monthly 'bundled' per user subscriptions to a number of pre-built compliance e-courses, that can be customised through a portal. The lessons are not built using e-learning authoring tools. Instead, web-based templates can be customised by the end users and the content and seat fee is combined in a single price offering.
What differentiates compliance portals?
The unique selling point is that every slide of an e-course can be customised. The downside is that the content you customise is locked in to a subscription, may be limited in subject scope (only offering compliance, for example) and the templates are repetitive (according to the feedback we’ve received). These systems definitely serve a purpose, often short-term, in the right hands!
How do I roll it out?
We like to remain platform agnostic – we no longer offer platform software + content. We now licence SCORM content across multiple systems, and customers must choose from a range of integration options, when accessing Frisk Lessons. This gives customers full ‘à la carte’ control over their technology choices.
Where do you start with your 'tech' choices?
After making your content choices, you might inadvertently choose your roll-out technology – and may not realise there are other options. It's important to remember that your end users may access an account to launch e-courses, need intelligent notifications, automation and admin-level dynamic reporting on completion outcomes. Be forceful. The right combination exists – it just needs careful research. The software needs to be an integral part of your overall IT infrastructure. Involve your developers, data protection officers, process improvement and IT people – from the start.
Moodle was the first LMS that I heard about – the go-to ‘LMS’ for many universities, first released in 2002. It’s an open-source tool – the original developer was Martin Dougiamas. Moodle HQ is still active today, offering a variety of business-class solutions (source: Wikipedia). 21 years later, there are so many technology choices!
This article doesn't attempt to solve all the key differences between an LMS/LXP or the best product choice. If you can't describe the differences, it's important to do your research (LMS vs LXP). Be warned: there are many blurred definitions out there! You might choose an HRIS, LMS, LXP or a more hybrid 'cloud-based' approach and that may depend on many game-changing factors.
What are the game changers?
- HRIS integration: a lot of our customers use Bamboo or HiBob. I always advise them to go straight back to the HRIS and check whether they’ve integrated with any learning technology. If a native integration exists this cuts out a lot of lengthy API integration and avoids committing excessive developer time.
- Automation: when you add or remove a staff member via your HRIS – this action must sync with your learning technology (e.g. LMS/LXP) – adding users to schedules or removing them, e.g. IF added to Customer Service, THEN allocate ‘x’ e-course(s) on Day 1, ‘y’ e-course(s) on Day 30 and ‘z’ e-course(s) on Day 365. Rules must cater for staff changing roles and teams, too! Deadlines should be configurable (e.g. + ‘x’ day deadlines).
- Middleware: your learning technology might integrate with Zapier, to allow additional layers of scheduling control and real-time reporting (copying completion results to a Google® Sheet, for example.).
- Cross-platform integration: you might have a host of e-courses, videos (Vimeo, YouTube, MP4s), Google® Slides, Prezi presentations and more. APIs to pull this content in and allow viewing to be reported on centrally. For example: a user watching a Vimeo video to the end is marked as ‘complete’ (and this action is stored as a record).
- Features: learning technology providers diversify their product using: Salesforce integrations, social learning, random testing, customisation capabilities, gamification, leaderboards, performance management, people development and ‘burnout alerts’, etc. The ability to revert earlier versions of a private e-course is very useful, too (version control).
It is a jungle, and it’s important to select your top three, put them through your independent security review processes and thoroughly test them as a proof-of-concept – before you sign up.
What's coming up?
We're delighted to announce that we’ve developed some new game-based assessments, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF), e-course software. Two versions are available. Other subjects will follow.
This training for both low and higher-risk staff (customer facing, compliance staff, etc.) can be positioned alongside new starter or refresher training. We’re keen to find a few beta-testers. We can give you a company-wide trial of this training (for up to 2,000 staff members).
Please email: email@example.com for more information.
We're just completing some final rounds of testing and will launch it in the coming days. Look out for the orange items on the roadmaps and pathways below.
Roadmaps and pathways:
- Payments: FinTechs and cryptocurrencies
- Gambling: Remote and non-remote
- General: Regulated businesses
Note: We’ve changed the titles of the Frisk Lessons, to remove the e-course ID. This is a new requirement. You can still search for the old title, as a unique tag, via the Go1 Content Hub (see the spreadsheets (column a) linked above for tag).
For those who are new to Frisk Lessons, you can find out more by checking our company presentation and demo channel. We're always keen to receive customer feedback on Frisk content. Try it out and please leave us some feedback. Free limited trials are available for your entire organisation. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and get onboard with some fantastic learning tech. Keep sailing the L&D seas and avoid those stormy waters!
Frisk maintains a Learning Technology Procurement Tool (via Google® Documents) with 30 + questions that you can use to help assess your software choices.
We share this with customers and participants in our free knowledge share. If you’d like access, on behalf of your company, please email: email@example.com
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