A recent article in The Economist called "Lifelong learning is becoming an economic imperative" stresses the fact that "In many occupations workers on company payrolls face the prospect that their existing skills will become obsolete, yet it is often not obvious how they can gain new ones." The article also states that "to remain competitive, and to give low- and high-skilled workers alike the best chance of success, economies need to offer training and career-focused education throughout people's working lives."
In lifelong learning, the learner throughout their career is in charge of developing their own skills and finding the optimal learning resources that apply to them. Instead of being an isolated activity, learning should be embedded in everyday activities. Post-formal education learning and development happens consistently by utilizing online expert articles, communities, MOOCs, company internal communications, intranet, and the online learning tools provided by the employer throughout the entire career.
Online and modular learning is being investigated as a key solution to help people develop new skills throughout their working lives. Employers can support lifelong learning by making learning resources available and supporting expert communities developing and interacting within their organization.
Can traditional LMS cover new learning requirements?
It is clear that a more traditional Learning Management System (LMS) approach cannot cover these types of integrated and social learning settings. What is needed is a learning solution, which is an integral part of the digital workplace, not a separate system or function where people go to learn formal company courses. The solution has to be device-independent, allowing access and rich user experience with both mobile and desktop devices 24/7.
There is a huge opportunity for organizations to support and motivate their employees to acquire new skills and facilitate their learning to the mutual benefit of individual and organization.
Valamis is designed to digitize learning for different industries and learning needs. The platform extends the boundaries of traditional LMS solutions – it operates more as a learning service platform for all learning and HR development activities within organizations. The platform supports learning in all potential contexts: formal learning, informal learning and social learning.
Measuring learning impact
Learning analytics is a powerful approach for increasing and measuring the efficiency of workforce development. Analytics can be used to make online learning visible, help connect the learning to actual work performance, optimize online learning activities, and to extract data that is helping people achieve better learning experiences.
In Valamis, learning analytics are an integral part of the solution. Valamis gathers data from learning processes via xAPI and stores it in the Learning Record Store (LRS), which is a key feature in the out-of-the-box platform. Organizations that run Liferay can easily increase the value of the platform by adding Valamis and almost instantaneously offer self-paced learning to their employees, partners etc.
Lower total cost of ownership
Often times we are confronted with hesitation from customers to begin using Liferay & Valamis due to a misunderstanding of the cost of a full-fledged e-learning installation.
It is quite easy to calculate the ROI of Liferay DXP and Valamis as compared to point solutions comprised of silos that are not integrated.
Liferay DXP is a complete solution that includes a CMS, Repository for Documents, (Social) Collaboration features, Workflows, Forms engine, etc. Let's keep that in mind since a true learning experience is enhanced with features like sharing documents, responding to forum and blog posts, collaborating across teams, and personalization of content for each individual user.
The combination of Liferay DXP and Valamis not only deliver a lot more in terms of functionality, but they also seamlessly integrate better than point solutions. The integration saves valuable time in implementation and IT management. It is important to not underestimate the value of single sign-on and a consistent user interface for learners, trainers and managers.
Many point solutions overpromise and underdeliver, and end up costing easily four to five times more than the cost of Liferay DXP & Valamis combined.
The comparison chart on relative cost/complexity factor describing the complexity of integrations, maintenance and total cost of ownership:
*Comparison chart data is based on market insight from Liferay & Valamis experts.
Best platform is the one that is being used
We have successfully shown that Liferay DXP and Valamis combined can't be beaten on price or functionality. Because the integration is seamless, there is no arguing that the customer experience is as good as it gets. Let's face it - a great experience means the user will actually use the platform and enjoy using it. Features, price, and usability make the combination of Valamis and Liferay better in all aspects than traditional LMS options.
Ruud Kluivers, General Manager, Liferay Benelux BV
Jari Järvelä, Vice President, Sales Europe, Valamis