Four ways Covid-19 has changed workforce learning

By the Feathercap team
7 minute read

1) Workforce training materials and interactions are not just pre-built on demand courses but any content or videos available to the organization in the form of answers from search.

As it becomes even easier to create learning content as seen by so many vendors, we now have the ability to search and find the right answer, video snippet, page of content to answer a user’s question. AI technologies to understand, index and enable a cognitive search experience make this happen. Companies like Coveo and Lucidworks have solutions for work at home or at work employees. Feathercap, our own predictive answer platform is designed for this as well and to track everything users view and do. Such as time spent viewing every answer, second of video or page of content. This lets us understand your content and provide the right answers matched to every team member’s need and role. All of these solutions feature sync with content sources from Box, Dropbox, Sharepoint and any PDF, video, or document.

Covid-19 has forced us all to rethink on demand learning however. In this new normal, having access to learning content and training isn’t enough. We are seeing both at work teams and those working from home need the right job answers immediately to stay agile. According to a recent article on remote workforces from Josh Bersin[1], the #2 and #4 biggest concerns for remote work at home workforces are having the right technologies to do their job and maintaining engagement and productivity remotely.

2) Curation of all learning, employee or any useful organizational content has become a whole lot easier and now in greater demand due to Covid-19.

Back in 2017, Box.com[2] one of the worlds largest Enterprise Content Collaboration Platforms announced they would be applying NLP to all 30 billion files that they manage for their clients. [1] The main methods currently used for content curation: 1) Social rating – what you experience when using social sites like Facebook by measuring “likes”, shares and votes. 2) Collaborative filtering based on users past actions and 3) Cognitive Analysis which understands the meaning of small segments of the content and then applying machine learning analyzes relationships between all these segments for future suggestion or recall of specific content. The third approach, cognitive analysis has grown substantially. Today, vendors as well as Feathercap are offering solutions using cognitive analytics. Projects may require set up and consulting to tune the system for a particular content set, employee or audience demographics for best success. Feathercap’s predictive answer platform combines tracking and success metrics to best reflect each user’s individual experience and goals to provide just the right answer at the right time. The advantage to this approach is that initial tuning and deployment are minimized. Users can be up and running in minutes.

3) The learning department won’t build it all themselves. Covid-19 has put learning demand into overdrive. No one had enough time before, now it’s worse.

As learning authoring becomes easier, what content that hasn’t been already curated or bought by the learning department teams won’t be only on their shoulders to produce. Team leads and even the rank and file employees themselves can create and share content they wish to contribute. Until the above curation methods came along, this idea has been difficult to follow through on. There would be too much content for any L&D department to manage in addition to their other duties.

4) Covid-19 has only helped the workplace learning systems and LMS cause. They are doubling down on their future. What about LXPs? Content providers?

Learning analysts and learning vendors themselves argue for or against the continued viability of LMSs (Learning Management Systems). [3][4][5] These are the enterprise wide systems frequently budgeted from the HR department for managing courses, classroom training, group training as well as the overall enforcement of training completion by employees. They are also the point of curation for most learning content found in the enterprise. Today, LMSs are predominantly used for longer form compliance training employees in most companies must complete to meet local and federal employment laws and standards. When we start to see voice enabled learning and AI driven curation current LMSs will surely have to transition to these approaches or fade to irrelevance. We have seen Cornerstone OnDemand acquire micro learning content company Grovo as well as the recent acquisition of Saba. This gives Cornerstone a combined customer base of 7,000 and cements them as the LMS top player. According to Bersin[6], over the next year mid to large companies will if anything double down on training and learning using LMS which will only bolster them.

LXP vendors such as Degreed[6] are “Learning Portals” a place to find desired learning paths, courses and to be assessed for skills. Analysts like Bersin think as a system of record for skills LXPs may face challenges in  their territory taken over by more talent management companies like Cornerstone, Workday, ADP who gather a great deal of skill related data and deal with hiring, onboarding and retiring of so many company employees.

In spite of Skillsoft’s recent bankruptcy Covid-19 forces everyone to embrace ondemand content and curtail in person training. So we still should see content providers such as LinkedIn Learning, Skillsoft and Bersin Academy prosper now and in the future.

About Feathercap:

Feathercap lets your people look up answers to their questions.

Employees, staff, partners and customers can instantly receive the right answer as a sentence or video segment found within any existing learning content, document, Powerpoint, pdf or video. Our AI driven predictive answer platform combines our deep tracking and success metrics to best reflect each user’s individual experience and goals to provide just the right answer at the right time.

To sign-up for a free trial check us out: https://feathercap.net

[1] “Remote Work Is Sinking In: And The Impact Is Bigger Than We Realized” , May 6, 2020. Josh Bersin. https://joshbersin.com/2020/05/remote-work-is-sinking-in-and-the-impact-is-bigger-than-we-realized/

[2] “AI will fundamentally change how we manage content” – https://finance.yahoo.com/news/ai-fundamentally-change-manage-content-131654635.html

[3] “The LMS is quickly losing ground”, Feb 23, 2017. Carol Leaman. http://www.clomedia.com/2017/02/23/lms-market-quickly-losing-ground/

[4] “Do we still need the LMS?”, April 5, 2017. Josh Bersin. https://www.clomedia.com/2017/04/05/still-need-lms/

[5] “Opinion: The LMS isn’t dead…yet”, July 21, 2017. Mike Rustici. https://www.clomedia.com/2017/07/21/lms-isnt-dead-yet/

[6] “Degreed acquires Adepto, let the LXP showdown begin”, December 13, 2019. Josh Bersin. https://joshbersin.com/2019/12/degreed-acquires-adepto-the-lxp-showdown-begins/


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