Which is more important: quality of content or the end-user experience?

September 26, 2016 Jamie Raines-Overley

Cisco Systems Provides a Road Map to Their Learner’s Success

In a recent webinar hosted by Xyleme, networking infrastructure giant Cisco Systems Inc. discussed some of the challenges they are currently facing educating their modern learners on using Cisco’s products.  Today’s learners have forced an evolution of the way education is distributed and received; learners want information to be available in multiple formats to accommodate learning preferences, on any device, and available when they need it.  Providing high quality content is no longer the singular objective for learning success, providing a high-quality learning experience is of equal or more importance to the success of the learner.  

I have personally been a part of the technical training industry for ten years and I have seen a giant shift in the way that technical education is delivered.  Live instructor-led training used to be the primary source to educate people on the latest technologies, and content was king.  With the introduction and convenience of video-conferencing and cloud-based technologies, remote-training and self-paced pre-recorded training sessions have become the new mainstream way to receive new education.  Take that concept one step farther, integrate in eBooks and mobile devices and now the need for on-demand learning has elevated to the number one requirement for today’s learners.

In the webinar, Kathy Yankton, Learning Architect for Cisco shared a significant amount of research done on learning strategies and what is optimal for retention.  Hands-down, the research shows people learn best by doing and practice. Relying on a lecture-format for delivering information does not enable success.  How does a company like Cisco achieve success? Here are a few recommendations from Cisco.

Put your learner first!  By having a user-friendly portal that works on any device, your learners can focus on your content and not waste time on navigating the platform.  Develop consistent templates and use a detailed hierarchy structure that allows you learner to find what they need easily. 

Know how your learners consume your content.  Today’s learners are faced with more distractions than ever before; work, personal lives, social media, and smartphones – do I need to say more?  All these distractions have driven shorter attention spans.  How do you compete for your learners’ attention?  

Getting to know your learner and their habits, combined with knowing the difficulty of your content is important to putting together a good program. Make sure your content is interactive – keep your learner engaged.  If you have a lot of information to deliver, ask questions at the end of every topic or incorporate quizzes at the appropriate time to ensure you learner reaches the “Desireable Difficulty” level.  

 

Analyze what is working and what isn’t. Use analytics to understand which pieces of content are truly driving success and which content your learners are struggling with.  How many times do the learners have to re-read or re-watch before they are capable of answer the questions correctly? You want your learners to succeed, so if there is a section of content that frustrates your learner then change it. 

Summary

Without having an easy to use platform that enables learner success, your audience will not have the patience to continue to interact with your content.   Joe Strattman, Senior Manager Learning Enablement and Software Development Manager at Cisco showed the award-winning Cisco Digital Learning platform.  

Watch the webinar now to see it for yourself - How Cisco Delivers Amazing Learning Experiences through Effective Content.  

So which is more important, content or a user-friendly experience? The answer, without a doubt is both! 

 

About the Author

Jamie Raines-Overley

Jamie Raines-Overley is the Marketing Campaign Manager at Xyleme. Xyleme delivers content management for learning and development. Jamie has over ten years of experience in sales and marketing specialized in technology.

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