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Talented Learning Greatest Hits – 2018 Edition

What were the most popular LMS blog posts, webinars and podcasts of 2018? Find out in the annual recap from independent analyst John Leh of Talented Learning

Another year is drawing to a close – already? Hard to believe, but the calendar doesn’t lie. So as you prepare for what’s ahead, join me as I reflect on topics that mattered most to the extended enterprise learning community in 2018.

If I could choose a keyword to describe this year’s learning systems landscape, it would be “dynamic.” At every turn, new issues, opportunities and solutions have been vying for the market’s attention. Never a dull moment, for sure. It’s a huge challenge for anyone trying to make sense of it all. But that’s what we love to do.

Regular readers know that this blog isn’t the only way we share advice with learning technology buyers and sellers. We also produce monthly webinars and podcasts featuring conversations with leading practitioners and innovators.

Below is a round-up of the most popular content we’ve produced this year across all three categories. Plus, in honor of our 5th anniversary, we’ve added a bonus section to highlight our most popular posts of all time. We hope you find this “greatest hits” list helpful as you prepare to navigate through 2019 and beyond. See you on the other side!


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Top 3 Podcasts of 2018

This year we launched our new podcast series, The Talented Learning Show to showcase one-on-one conversations with experts from across the learning technology community. Of the 16 episodes we’ve produced, these three sessions attracted nearly twice the typical audience:

#3  Modernizing Certification Programs – with Arleen Thomas of AICPA

How do associations develop profitable learner-centered online education programs? How can certification better serve young professionals? And how can this educational content be leveraged to help existing members update their knowledge and skills? Arleen Thomas shares her experience as Managing Directory of Chartered Global Management Accountant certification at AICPA.

#2  The Business Benefits of xAPI – with Mike Rustici of Watershed

What is xAPI? How does it improve learning analytics? And what business benefits should you expect when educating customers or others outside of your organization? Mike Rustici, one of the chief architects behind xAPI, talks about how this emerging standard is redefining learning measurement and advancing training initiatives for businesses in all industries.

#1  Gamification and Learning in Business – with Karl Kapp

How do gamification and learning strategies work together to improve business results? What real-world impact do simulations deliver? How can organizations get started with gamification? We explore real-world solutions in-depth with one of today’s foremost gamification experts, Dr. Karl Kapp.


Top 3 Webinars of 2018

As soon as we finish our monthly live webinar events, we post the recordings in the Talented Learning Center – a free library of low-hype, high-value, on-demand resources. All sessions are designed for business-minded professionals who want to make better use of their learning systems. To sample our webinars, try three of this year’s most popular sessions:

#3  Franchise Performance and the Modern LMS

What role does learning technology innovation play in franchise business success? Listen and learn as learning leaders from International Dairy Queen and Hooters of America share their experiences and advice in this expert panel discussion.

#2  Customer Education Meets Customer Success – Understanding Salesforce.com/LMS Integration

How can you realize measurable results by combining the power of a modern customer-focused learning platform with a customer relationship management platform (CRM) like Salesforce? Sandi Lin, CEO and Co-Founder at Skilljar, shares practical, proven insights for learning professionals who want to drive business results by educating customers more effectively.

#1  Building Successful Learning Experiences

What can associations do to develop more profitable learner-centered online education programs? Get useful insights from examples discussed in this roundtable with practitioners from New Teacher Center and the American Institute of CPAs.


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Top 3 Blog Posts of 2018

Blogging was our first form of outreach – and our commitment to this blog remains stronger than ever. When people like you take time to read and respond to our posts, it helps us better understand how learning technology actually fits into the business world. These topics attracted the strongest interest this year:

#3  Association Learning Systems: Why and How to Invest in a Specialized LMS

Does your member-based organization want to provide more valuable education to more people – and charge more for it – so you can fund continued expansion? You may be ready for a specialized association learning system. Find out why this kind of solution is so useful and how to make it work.

#2  Best Customer Education Blogs: 25 Must-Reads for Learning Professionals

Companies everywhere are striving to gain a competitive edge by improving their customer experience. As a result, interest in customer education is skyrocketing. But with so many voices in the burgeoning customer training space, where should you look for credible advice about strategies, technologies and business practices? Check our choices from some of the best minds in the industry!

#1  Top Learning Systems Trends to Watch in 2018

Hands-down, year after year, our most popular posts focus on learning technology trends. Although we don’t pretend to forecast the future, we do share first-hand observations about factors that influence extended enterprise learning systems. As you prepare for the year ahead, consider the 18 trends we outlined early in 2018. How many of these are shaping your learning experiences? And going forward, what kind of role are they likely to play?


BONUS: Top Blog Posts of All Time

With 5 years of blogging under our belts, which posts have attracted the most attention, by far?

#3  For LMS Vendors: Why It Pays to Wake Up to Extended Enterprise Learning

If you’ve been following us, you know that we serve both sides of the learning systems negotiating table – buyers and sellers, alike. We hope that helping learning systems vendors elevate their game will improve their solutions, as well as the relationships they develop with prospects and customers. In this case, we shine a light on business opportunities in the extended enterprise market.

#2  Defining Your LMS Requirements Like a Pro

The best way to find a learning system that works for your organization is to start with a strong set of requirements. As consultants, we’ve seen far too many situations where buyers neglected this step, with disastrous results. Requirements definition isn’t complex, but it does take a desire to understand your learning audiences and related use cases. This guide walks you through each phase in the process.

#1  The 3 Licensing Models of an LMS (or Any Enterprise Software)

Interestingly, our most popular post of all time was a smash hit right out of the gate in April of 2014. Since then, it has continued to attract more daily activity than any other post we’ve published. Why has software licensing intelligence attracted so much attention? Here’s our theory: we were among the first independent sources of information about learning systems pricing issues and trends. We believe it’s important to educate the market about how to make informed technology choices, and pricing transparency is a key to software selection success. Readers seem to agree.


Conclusion

The first 5 years at Talented Learning have coincided with a remarkably eventful stage in the evolution learning systems. Clearly, 2018 contributed its fair share of highs and lows. But as your eyes and ears in this dynamic market, we’re only beginning to hit our stride!

What should you expect from us in the future? Even more fiercely independent, boots-on-the-ground blogs, webinars, product reviews, podcasts and reports to help you create business value from extended enterprise learning.

If you want to see more coverage of specific topics, contact us anytime with suggestions or feedback. We’re always interested in ideas that help us serve you better.

Thanks for reading!



Learn more in this webinar replay:

Choosing Your Next LMS: How to Kickstart the Process with an Independent Consultant

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In a market packed with 700+ possible solutions, how can you be sure your next learning platform will work for your organization? What budget parameters makes sense? How can you avoid overpaying? Do you even know if an LMS is the best solution?

Where should you start?

Before making your next move, why not tap into the experience of independent learning technology consultant, John Leh, CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, as he tackles today’s trickiest buyer challenges:

  • How to make sense of today’s expansive LMS landscape
  • How to determine if you can afford a new LMS
  • Why requirements definition is essential to sort through the learning tech “specialist” market
  • How to narrow your options from 700+ vendors to a qualified shortlist
  • When and how to use an RFP (or not)

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John Leh
About John Leh (166 Articles)
John Leh is CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning, LLC. Named among the “Top 20 Global Elearning Movers and Shakers” in 2018 and 2017, John is a fiercely independent LMS selection consultant, blogger and podcaster who helps organizations develop and implement learning technology strategies – primarily for extended enterprise applications. His advice is based on more than 20 years of industry experience, serving as a trusted LMS selection and sales adviser to more than 100 learning organizations with a total technology spend of more than $65 million. You can connect with John on Twitter at @JohnLeh or on LinkedIn.