As the eLearning industry continues to grow, with the learning experience platform (LXP) industry growing by 50% each year, it’s time more companies move towards online learning to streamline onboarding, training, and courses for their employees. But what happens after you get all of your learning content online? With the right platform, you can organize learning content into lessons and learning paths to maximize its value not only for your management team, but for all of your learners.

The building blocks of eLearning

When it comes to eLearning, the number one goal should always be to make the educational paths to learning content as intuitive and easy to navigate as possible. Two ways to achieve this are by organizing learning content into lessons and learning paths. What are lessons and learning paths? How do they work? What value do they provide to learners?

Lessons: Target specific concepts and skills

You probably already have a rough idea of a lesson. In the context of learning platforms, a lesson is a single unit of content that teaches a targeted, niche skill. A lesson can be many things: closing a sale, PHP basics, and handling customer disputes are all topics that could be considered lessons.

Lessons are great for targeted skill building since they’re normally concise, quick to complete, and concentrated on a singular topic. When managers identify that an employee may need more training on a certain topic, it’s easy for them to assign a lesson through an LXP to that person to help improve performance. 

Lessons can stand alone when it comes to content on a learning platform, but they can also live within larger units called learning paths. We like to think of lessons as the building blocks to a larger learning structure in an LXP.

Learning paths: Build broad skill sets with multiple content pieces

Learning paths, like a course, are made up of multiple lessons and are designed to educate learners in a broad range of skills for a particular role.

For example, members of a development team that require training might use a learning path template titled, “Front End Development Training for Angular and Ionic.” Within this learning path could be folders, content pieces, and lessons like, “Web Programming and Fundamentals,” “Getting Started with Angular and Ionic,” and, “Building Your First App.”

When someone completes a lesson, they’ve learned about a specific concept and its application. When someone completes a learning path, they’ve mastered and acquired multiple concepts that can be used together to improve their overall role and responsibilities.

A learning path is holistic and thorough—because of this, they take longer for learners to complete than standalone lessons. Keep this in mind when selecting learning content for employees to avoid mismatched expectations when it comes to timeline for completion and other factors.

3 tips for organizing learning using lessons and learning paths

We’ve defined lessons and learning paths, but how can they be organized to maximize your learning platform for its users?

1. Offer specific lessons to learners based on acute needs

When you’re in a pinch and need to address a blindspot within a team or with one employee, managers can assign specific lessons around the skill that needs improvement. This saves time and also ensures that learners are getting the exact content they need to improve and tackle the challenges they’re facing at work. Loop LXP makes it transparent for managers to see an employee’s progress on the platform, and  easily assign lessons to a user based on that progress.

2. Place lessons in multiple learning paths

The beauty of digital learning is that content is inherently dynamic. You can easily incorporate lessons into multiple learning paths in order to reach every person that needs a particular skill or concept. A sales fundamentals lesson might be included in a learning path for onboarding a new sales rep, but there’s likely a learning path for intermediate and advanced sales that could benefit from a refresher lesson in fundamentals. These lessons as building blocks can be creatively combined as many times as you need to create the ideal educational path for each team member, no matter their job role.

3. Create collections to further promote skill building

Another way to organize learning content is with collections. If a lesson is a building block, and a learning path is a structure, you can think of a collection as a group of structures. A collection on writing could include lessons, learning paths, and folders of that content specifically dedicated to improving writing skills. Collections can be admin generated or AI generated, allowing each learner to receive recommended content based on job role, viewing history, and skills.

Your learning should leave an impact

With an understanding of lessons, learning paths, and how to organize them, we’re confident you will begin to see results among your employees in your LXP. When learning is presented in an intuitive, interactive way, it has the power to boost engagement as well as give agency to learners—contributing to a culture of learning in your company. There’s nothing more powerful than empowered learners.

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What is a Learning Management System? And is it Enough?

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