Harbinger at Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2022: Our First-Hand Experience

Finally, the in-person conferences are back! And the timing couldn’t get better with Harbinger attending the Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2022 after a long hiatus. To give you a sense of this L&D event, it brings professionals together to exchange thought-provoking ideas on new innovations, tools, and services in the industry. This year, Rohan Bhosle, Associate Director – Business Development at Harbinger Group, attended the three-day conference and came back with some great experiences to share.

Harbinger at Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2022

Here are the excerpts from a quick chat with our L&D expert about his experience attending the Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2022:

Can you give us a sense of what the Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2022 was about?

Rohan:The conference was a gathering of learning professionals in the fields of instructional design and eLearning development and different L&D stakeholders including the leadership of various organizations.

The objective of this conference was to bring together experts from the L&D industry as well as learning platforms and custom content service providers under one roof to share their ideas, products, and services which could help in achieving their learning and training development goals. Besides, with the dynamic L&D landscape and the ever-evolving technology, how some of this can be leveraged by different organizations to skill, upskill, and reskill their employees was the talk of the town.

The profiles of the attendees included instructional designers, graphic designers, visual artists, eLearning developers, L&D managers, decision-makers, and other stakeholders. From the vendor side, there were mainly product owners and sales professionals.

How was the atmosphere at the conference? Were there any interesting discussion points?

Rohan:Though the attendees were fewer as compared to previous years as many were attending their first in-person event after the pandemic, it was overall a great experience. The conference was well structured with each attendee given the option to select between green, yellow, and red bands which indicated how comfortable one was with either a handshake, fist bump, or no contact at all.

There were some great sessions and speakers who spoke on various topics like AR and VR, microlearning, gamification, instructional design, development tools, and platforms. I observed that there was a strong focus on incorporating microlearning and converting bigger modules to shorter self-paced eLearning formats and videos.

AR and VR, as always, was a hot topic. However, after talking to a few attendees, I realized it’s a good-to-have type of solution rather than a must-have. Moreover, it is not yet scalable and has very limited use cases. Furthermore, making VR accessible is challenging for the differently-abled audiences as there are various senses in play during this immersive experience.

There was definitely a trend and buzz towards incorporating accessibility in all learning programs. Many organizations want to include eLearning accessibility, but unfortunately, they don’t know how to go about it.

Apart from this, I had conversations around organizations wanting to aggregate different systems like HRIS, LMS, LCMS, content repositories, WordPress sites, and so on under one common place for learners to access.

Interesting discussion points at Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2022

How were the interactions with the fellow attendees? Any technology or offerings trends that you noticed?

Rohan:I met a mix of professionals from different organizations. A majority of them were solution providers, learning products, and platform companies. I also got an opportunity to meet some of the L&D leaders who are helping enterprises achieve their learning objectives.

The discussions revolved around what new Harbinger is doing in the custom content development and learning technology development space, and nudge learning for reinforcement which was an eye-opener for many, and people did see a need and use cases for that.

There is a strong push for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI). It is a key focus of enterprises now, and they are in different stages of implementing it. We spoke about how it could be incorporated into their learning modules and how Harbinger can help give a facelift to courses by making them accessible and DEI-friendly.

In one of my discussions with a participant, we touched upon the whole learner-centric and learner-driven ecosystem where they rely a lot on different content sources like YouTube, Udemy, and Coursera as well as some specific modules developed for them in-house. There was also a buzz around enabling learning in the flow of work, making sure content can be accessed not only from the LMS but from tools like MS Teams, Slack, and so on.

With things getting back to normal, there were ideas shared around adopting a more blended way, with a mix of classroom, VILT, and self-paced eLearning.

Top 5 Things Attendees Were Expecting at The Conference

  1. How and why to implement accessibility
  2. Enable learning in the flow of work by integrating different platforms
  3. Diversity, Inclusivity, and Equity
  4. Metaverse (seemed more like a buzz)
  5. Learning about state-of-the-art authoring tools and learning technologies

How did the conference add value to you as an L&D professional?

Rohan:I attended an in-person conference for the first time after the pandemic. So, meeting exhibitors, attendees, and participants in person was a wonderful treat. We spent some good time over lunch and coffee sessions, discussing the outlook of the L&D industry as well as what they are currently witnessing.

This time, at the conference, there were a lot of learning platform companies who had their booths, trying to solve different challenges. Every individual whom I spoke with had different perspectives of where we are headed with a boost of technology in learning.

For me, I got a chance to learn a lot about new platforms, solutions, and pain points of different organizations. It was great to learn from different content creation and delivery platforms out there. I also got to dive deep into a few known challenges like learner retention and engagement and how organizations are using more game-based or gamification-based learning to resolve them.

Attending the Learning Solutions Conference & Expo was a great experience and Harbinger looks forward to connecting with L&D stakeholders for their various eLearning needs. For any questions on how Harbinger can help with gamification, eLearning accessibility, and learning technology development, do write to us at info@harbingerlearning.com.

Content Modernization: A ‘Must Have’ Transformational Strategy

It is the time of the year, when L&D practitioners take a stock of the months gone by and turn towards strategizing for the critical focus areas of the organization. This primarily includes planning the budget for different tools and systems and utilizing the budget effectively to gain maximum returns on the investments made. However, at times, what tends to get overlooked is the legacy content stuck in old technology and systems. Content modernization – the answer to tap existing learning materials and align those with the new-age learners’ needs – is the strategy L&D stakeholders need to actively consider.

This is not about “repackaging content” but is in fact, a transformational strategy to deliver business results by creating new and unique experiences for the learners. Modernization makes content more accessible for the learners and presents it in a format which learners would love to go through. Simply put, modernization is the key to improve content usage and adoption.

To make it easier for organizations to understand the several aspects of modernization, Brandon Hall Group, the leading HCM research and analyst firm, recently launched an eBook titled, ‘Why Modernize Learning Content? Things You Need to Know’ in partnership with Harbinger Interactive Learning. By leveraging Brandon Hall’s research-based analysis and Harbinger’s extensive experience in implementing content modernization solutions, this eBook combines industry insights and business intelligence to illustrate the importance of taking a strategic approach followed by a well-designed execution plan for content modernization.

Why Content Modernization Matters

According to Brandon Hall Group’s Learning Benchmarking Study, content accounts for as much as seven figures worth of L&D budget in many large organizations.

These figures emphasize that when it comes to strategizing, it is worth considering what an organization already has and how it can make the most of the content. Typically, organizations have a massive volume of documents in their existing legacy systems. The problem arises when deciding on which ones should be moved, and which should stay. What can be safely archived or deleted? The eBook is unique, in that sense, as it rightly points out the intelligent approach to what can be reused, repurposed, and replaced. It helps organizations identify the criteria to sift through the existing content and achieve their goal of making curated content easily available.

A Smart Framework for Content Migration

Harbinger, a Brandon Hall Group Smartchoice® Preferred Provider, has a “SMART” Framework that organizations can leverage for the modernization of their learning content. It provides a comprehensive solution to cover all the aspects of content modernization, namely, making the content searchable, accessible, responsive, trackable, as well as curating bite-sized learning elements. The expertise that Harbinger brings in is well covered in the eBook. In fact, Harbinger has recently assisted in the modernization of eLearning courses for a catalog learning solutions provider. The client had developed over 500 courses in Articulate Presenter and wished to keep up with the changing technologies, advancement of devices, and the need for a modern learning experience for the learners. Harbinger provided an innovative and rapid course development approach that unified experience across the courses in the catalog.

Harbinger has also helped in the modernization of legacy courses for a digital publishing company. The client had a library of over 500 courses which were developed using legacy tools like Flash and Articulate Presenter. Unfortunately, the end-users faced issues accessing these courses as the latest browsers do not support Flash. Harbinger converted the legacy Flash content to HTML5 XML framework so that the courses were moved to a more modern format.

Modernization: The Need of the Hour

Looking at the requirements of modern-day learners as well as the requirements of the future workplace, organizations need to increasingly focus on modernizing their legacy content. Topped with other factors like technology disruptions and scaling digital transformation, it becomes all the more imperative to look at modernization as a transformational strategy to deliver business results. To achieve this, L&D practitioners need to find an industry partner to optimize technology, to craft unique learning experiences for modern learners. This partner will help in optimizing the content, both in terms of the money spent as well as bringing in the content effectiveness.

If you are considering content modernization to align your strategic business objectives, download a free copy of the eBook to know how the L&D function can maximize its content value.