In this webcast we discussed the history of Jive's education program, and how we moved from a traditional LMS training platform into an integrated Jive-based training platform, and the benefits and trade-offs we experienced along the way.
Jive’s training department was started 4 years ago in 2008, and originally targeted implementation partners with “for engineers, by engineers” development training. Since then we’ve evolved into a global education service with instructor-led courses offered around the world covering Jive usage, administration, and development customizations.
We used a Moodle LMS at first, to host self-paced online training courses with videos and other elearning courseware like tutorials and lab exercises. However, we felt that a separate LMS or “place where people go to get trained” was not an effective learning vehicle, and decided to move all of our LMS courseware into the Jive Community: https://community.jivesoftware.com/community/education
Since then, we’ve noticed an uptick in the percentage of customers who purchased online training, from 20% with Moodle to an exciting 47% with online courses integrated into the Jive Community.
One thing that’s an important foundation for any training course is the structure of the lessons and materials. This structure prescriptively guides learners through the various course sections, and is a benefit of Learning Management Systems. Fortunately we are able to maintain the same structure using Jive documents and videos inside a social group, and Jive’s ability to easily link these resources together is actually much easier for instructional designers and courseware developers to work with than a typical LMS.
The ability to control enrollment in courses is also important – especially if you’re charging a fee for course access! Most LMS’s have enrollment features built-in, such as Moodle’s enrollment key that you can send to learners that let’s them automatically join a course by entering the enrollment key. Jive also has the ability out-of-the-box to accept or reject group membership requests, so if you use private social groups to hose your online courses then you’ll be able to control who gets access to those courses. We also created a custom plugin that let’s learners enter an enrollment key for automated and immediate course access.
Lastly, the tracking and reporting aspects of a traditional LMS is important for reporting course completion statistics to management. This is where social learning and traditional learning start to diverge. We know as Educators that there’s not necessarily a direct correlation between “course completed” and “true learning”, and yet it’s hard to put a concrete ROI report in front of management that clearly portrays the values of social learning, because social learning goes MUCH farther beyond simply “Student A completed Course B, and scored 80% on that effort”.
Social learning is in fact something that needs to be directly incorporated into all aspects of how each employee performs their day to day work activities. It’s for that exact reason that we continue to host our training courses directly in the Jive Community, because that’s where our customers are already interacting and collaborating… and we encourage our customers to do the same for their internal corporate Jive Communities.
Providing employees with an integrated learning experience also gives them a way to extend that learning experience as they perform their work activities. For example, as they learn new ways of using Jive to make meeting more effective or to come to decisions faster, they can post those tips and tricks directly to the community so that others can benefit from the lessons learned. Soon a series of best practices begins to emerge, which are integrated back into the training courses, and everyone benefits.
As mentioned in the previous slide notes, an online training course hosted by Jive provides the same level of structure and controlled enrollment of a traditional LMS, but is also much easier to work with. Courses can be built in minutes instead of days, and updates are very simple to make – even for non-technical instructors.
Learners can also generate and contribute to courseware by using the rich social features that are built into Jive. They can comment on course tutorial documents and videos, or can ask clarifying questions. Instructors are notified immediately when learners contribute, and can reply right from their email inboxes so that learners get their questions answered in near-real-time.
We’ve been very pleased with the social collaboration benefits of hosting our online training courses in Jive instead of using a traditional LMS, but Jive can also be used to socialize existing training courses. For example, if you have a series of training courses in an LMS, you can use Jive to continue the conversation and extend the learning experience beyond just the virtual classroom. Questions can be posted and answered, lessons learned can be discussed, and all of those conversations are added to the search index of your Jive community so that all of your employees can quickly find answers when they need them.
You’ll see an enhanced focus on mobile learning and gamification techniques built-into Jive moving forward.
Mobile: Our mobile module already provides a rich experience for remote employees that lets them interact with the community right from their smart phone or tablet. Courseware tutorials can be easily condensed to a format that’s targeted to these devices, and then pushed out to mobile learners in the form of notifications. An example of this in action is highlighted in this blog post titled “Transform your education program using social mobile learning”: https://community.jivesoftware.com/groups/learning/blog/2012/05/17/transform-your-education-program-using-social-mobile-learning
Gamification: we’ve built a prescriptive and engaging “quest” into Jive latest Cloud version, that encourages users to jump in and learn how to use the system while performing tasks that help them work better as a team, have fewer meeting, and get connected with other site members. You can try this for yourself by registering for a free 3-day Try Jive experience. Just visit http://tryjive.com to get started.