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From classroom to video-rich eLearning

In this latest article in our spotlight series, we talk with Craig McFadyen, Director of LearningPlanet about their transformation from classroom to eLearning training provision and the impacts of the COVID pandemic.

LearningPlanet offers an expanding range of microlearning modules on a range of business and soft skills topics such as leadership, sales and customer service. At Course-Source, we have bundled their micro-modules into a suite of ‘pathways’ designed to step the learner through the various facets of the topic.

LearningPlanet were not always advocates of eLearning and historically they were a face-to-face, classroom-based training operation. We asked Craig to explain more about the driver for this major business transformation.

‘'After building and running face-to-face and consulting training companies specialising in business soft skills such as service, sales, leadership and personal development we decided to build an online subscription model following the global financial crisis. The two biggest factors that drove our change of business was the realisation that a lack of time and/or budget had become the most common objection that our salespeople were coming up against. We ran focus groups with customers and while they all acknowledged they still needed to train staff they simply didn’t have the time for classroom sessions or the budgets anymore. At the same time, the next wave of workers was coming through, and the learning styles were changing as they wanted more video and less text. We developed microlearning training videos based on months of research and our own previous 30 years’ experience in training development and we have now specialised in the vertical market of business soft skills in short easy to use video format.’

This digital transformation took place back in circa 2010 and I was keen to understand if Craig believes that there have been any more recent changes in their clients’ preferences and requirements through the COVID pandemic?

‘'Yes, our business exploded when the world went into lockdown as organisations scrambled to find a way to keep their staff engaged while working from home. Whilst we have since seen a small drop off it hasn’t gone back to pre-pandemic numbers, mainly because we quickly created microlearning video series around working from home, leading others at home, and pandemic awareness to mention a few so organisations could support their teams while working from home.’

This all looks very positive for the future of digital learning, but I wanted to explore what Craig considers are the common pitfalls that organisations fall foul of when seeking to implement digital learning initiatives?

‘'The biggest shift we have seen in the last ten years or so is that the market is now flooded with rapidly deployed, inexpensive, easy-to-use, digital learning platforms that has made eLearning truly mainstream. Almost every organisation now considers themselves eLearning experts. However, the reality is now dawning on these same organisations that it costs a lot more, takes a lot longer, and is a lot harder, to produce really good quality training material than these newly qualified experts first believed. In our experience, and through our own research, we see that it typically takes an organisation two and a half years to build the knowledge and capability to successfully create their own soft skills training content around their own processes and products.’

Finally, I was keen to understand what Craig thinks the future will hold for LearningPlanet in terms of business development?

‘'Based on the way the market is now changing there is an increasing demand for curated content, and this is spawning the drive for more and more off-the-shelf content. Organisations have realised they cannot do it all themselves and they are now buying in more off-the-shelf content for immediate use rather taking months to create their own. This has led us, for the last couple of years, to build our partnerships with eLearning marketplaces and partners around the world so that we are pre-positioned well ahead of the growth that will be coming over the next three to five years for curated content libraries.’

If you would like to see the LearningPlanet approach in action you can explore their course catalogue here.

Also do remember, that we can deliver any of their courses through your internal LMS, or we can provide you with a dedicated and branded version of our Course-Source LMS, if preferred.

You can also search our comprehensive multi-publisher catalogue offering a huge range of microlearning and longer courses here. Register on the website for free and you can evaluate any of the courses for free using the ’14 Day Eval’ option available to logged in users on every course page.