The ABCs of eLearning

The ABCs of L&D

October 10, 2018

 

If you’ve been hanging out in Learning & Development (L&D) for a while, you'll be all too familiar with acronyms such as LMS, LRS, SCORM, xAPI — oh my! What does it all mean? 

 

Acronyms in the corporate world can be confusing. Let’s start by breaking it down. 

 

Common acronyms in the L&D environment  

 

LMS: The most common of them all. An acronym used when L&D specialists are chatting about Learning Management Systems. LMS is the software used to store and deploy training assets that remote learners can access. For most companies, it's a go-to system for delivery of e-learning resources. 

 

LRS: You’ll need a Learning Record Store if you’re using any form of xAPI ecosystem. LRS is a stand-alone product and receives, stores and returns learning experience data. 

 

An LRS enables tracking of real-world learning from things like mobile apps. It also collects up all the data and lets you know how good your training programs are. Cool, eh?

 

SCORM: If SCORM were a friend, it’d be the geeky techy one of the group; the one that argues the benefits of Atari over Xbox. You know the one that’s always a bit on the outside, but you hang out with them anyway because they feel… comfortable. Like an old pair of shoes.

 

SCORM stands for Shareable Content Object Reference Model. It's the standard specification for almost all e-learning software products. SCORM connects all your systems and platforms so they can seamlessly work together. 

 

xAPI: xAPI is like SCORM on steroids. An eXperience Application Program Interface that understands, tracks, and monitors learning experiences. xAPI works across many systems and platforms such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), YouTube videos, and mobile gaming, to name a few.   

 

xAPI connects it all together. And, it delivers quantifiable data and reports that support the Learning & Development journey. 

 

Modern learning is the new black 

 

Employee learning of any kind should be an experience. An engaging, thrill-seeking, every day, immersive, gotta-know-more type of experience. Engaged learners mean happier and more productive employees. If your learners aren’t feeling it, it can have disastrous consequences on your company-wide training programs. 

 

Technology and digital communications have fundamentally changed the e-learning landscape. And, L&D practitioners need to keep up. Modern learning is not a fashion statement; tools like AR, VR, gamification, social learning and video collaborations are here to stay. 

 

Right now is the perfect time to take a good long hard look at your current LMS. Is it still fit for purpose? Does it deliver the learning experience necessary to engage your learner population? Or, is it starting to fall flat on its face like a bad dad joke at a wedding. 

 

The world of e-learning is evolving. Innovative and creative learning experiences will yield better results for now, and for years to come.

 

It’s question time: what’s holding you back from exploring the art of the possible with your e-learning experiences? 

Can't get enough? ATD has done a solid job at breaking down these and more over on their Insights blog!

 

Words by Chad Bellin, Director of Products and Strategy at Mindspace
 

Art by Toby Riley, Art Director at Mindspace

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