An Interview on Changing Learning Trends with Learning Technology Expert & CEO, Mark Hellinger

May 18, 2016 Cristine Lipscomb

What's happening with learning in 2016 and beyond?

Guest blogger and learning expert, Cristine Lipscomb,  finds out in this post!


I sat down recently with Mark Hellinger, CEO for learning content platform Xyleme, to discuss the changing learning landscape and see what he’s been up to.


So Mark, it’s 2016 – what’s changing about learning today?


There’s been a ton of advancement in learning approaches and technology, but I think one of the biggest changes is the way learning professionals are building training.  They’re rethinking the way they develop the content learners consume to become better at their jobs.

Learning is no longer about desktop eLearning. Content needs to be designed for mobile upfront. Content needs to be easy to maintain (update). It needs to be easy to integrate with external systems, like a CRM if you’re training sales people, or maybe a proprietary learning portal if that’s what your business uses to engage learners. Content needs to be to delivered on-demand to a learner (employee, customer, partner, franchisee). More than ever before, content needs to be managed in a modern LCMS, not an older generation technology or your Learning Management System – the reasons being that LMS’s were not designed to create content efficiently, and you can’t get insight into what training is actually helping learners.

An LMS can tell you if someone completed a compliance course – and hey, there’s value in that – but what if you want to know what parts of an in-depth course are actually being accessed by learners?  It’s hard to do that with an LMS.


Yes, L&D has their hands full.  What about learners’ needs themselves though? What are the folks who actually consume this learning wanting?


There’s lots of things but learners are experiencing content overload.  The majority of organizations simply have too much content – which gets outdated really easily. Much of it is redundant too. Learners complain they can’t find training that is valuable to them, so they end up searching the web to find what they’re looking for. And that’s not something you want your learners doing as we all know how reliable information on the net can be.

This content overload problem can get compounded exponentially if your L&D team needs to train multiple departments in multiple geographies.  If you don’t tailor your training specific to your learners’ needs, they’re going to recognize that right away and assume the training isn’t going to help them – and they’ll probably be right!

So businesses are starting to address this issue head-on.  Take our customer, Dell, for instance. They have to train different groups of professionals throughout the globe, which means they need to translate that content into different languages. And the type of training they deliver can vary widely as well – sometimes they might create a simple training course on how to fix a laptop, but other times it could be a 6-week program that guides their employees on how to implement a really technical project. Creating all this content from scratch without an LCMS is costly, time-consuming, and ultimately the business gets behind on keeping employees up to speed.  So we’re seeing a huge shift in the way companies are approaching learning to fix this overload problem, and get only the relevant content in front of the right learners at the right time.


OK, so you mentioned ‘LCMS,’ and this is a term that might carry some historical baggage – can you talk more about what an LCMS is and why it’s important today?


Ha, some baggage, yes.  I suppose it’s understandable, given the limited capabilities of many early LCMS products. The idea was right but the execution did not favor the learner. Because of that, some people believe that you can’t build beautiful eLearning in a learning content management system. But like other technologies that take more than one generation to “get it right,” we are now in the “next generation” phase of the LCMS. This time around, we are not only capable of creating amazing digital content, but it's easy to use and easier to implement with a much faster ROI. 

For example, we recently introduced Xy5, which we feel is the greatest LCMS on the market. If you compare Xyleme with any of its traditional LCMS competitors, you will see how different we truly are. And by different, I mean built for the future, capable of delivering beautiful content that's much more than just eLearning and instructor/student guides

Also, we are seeing a new breed of companies adding or integrating LCMS-type  capabilities to their tools. They are working to position themselves as modern solutions for content curation, content organization and content distribution. The new generation of LCMS is emerging, and while people may call it something else, they are content management solutions for learning and development.  And again, the reason these companies are coming about is that L&D is starting to boost their efforts in meeting the demands of modern learners. And what they don’t demand are long, boring eLearning courses. They want training that actually helps them do their jobs better, teaches them something. And how do you create quick, actionable learning content that accomplishes that? Well that’s where Xyleme’s LCMS comes in.

We like to say that with Xy5, learning content management has never been easier.

About the Author

Cristine Lipscomb

Cristine (Duckworth) Lipscomb is a Sr. Learning Strategist, owner of Intrac Inc., and partner of Chapman Alliance.

More Content by Cristine Lipscomb
Previous Article
Five signs that you have a content problem
Five signs that you have a content problem

Are you considering upgrading your LMS? Consider your content first.

Next Article
What is your Content Capability Maturity?
What is your Content Capability Maturity?

If you have a content strategy, you will get better ROI from content development processes.