We are flooded by content. It is, literally, a world of information. And Google’s mission, apparently, is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. I take note that Google assumes “the world’s information” is worth accessing.
It is true that by democratizing broadcasting we pay the price of useless content. But those who have something meanginful to say are broadcasting too, and through informal peer review systems powered by social networks, corporate search engines like Google and other means, the quality of the information that can be obtained through the Internet is constantly improving. Google has it right.
Learning content is no exception. Masterpieces are to be found in blogs, YouTube, wikis, and of course universities that have finally taken the leap and started moving their content online. Coupled with content growth is a decrease in its price; it is much easier to produce a great piece of learning content today than 5 years ago. And many talented individuals are doing that – for a fee, but also for free.
This is good news for learners. If today I can access a course on sensory-neural systems from the Astronautics department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for free, what is next? We are entering an era of top quality learning content oversupply.
For learners, this is a buyer’s market. We can afford to be picky. In fact, I believe that soon learners are going to become very selective about their learning. And having consistently good quality content, I don’t think their criteria will gravitate around quality, but around experience. I know I can learn from a number of sources, but which one will help me learn and have fun too?
Considerations that now are perhaps not high priority for many learning organizations will surface to the top:
Can I use my favorite personal device to learn?
- Can I roam from device to device to suit my lifestyle?
- Am I going to meet fellow students, and will the interactions proposed be compatible with my learning style?
The attention is going to shift from content to experience, or more specifically learning experience, LX. It is even possible that LX will influence reputation. After all, reputation is driven by demand, and a great LX will see learners flocking to the best provider.
Do you see the signs of the shift to LX in corporate learning? While in the past there was great emphasis in creating good classroom content, today it’s less raw content production and more content curation. Prolongued sessions in training rooms giving way to more nimble learning nuggets for just in time learning. Less sequential prescriptive guidance and more “paths” to navigate freely. Is the ship slowly changing course towards LX?
I think you have posed a very interesting question – content or LX? However, does content not form part of LX?
Thanks for your note, Alan. Yes! Content does form part of LX. But as more abundant and high-quality content becomes available, I see it playing a less important role as a differentiator, while our interactions with it take a more prominent role in how we judge our LX.
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