AI and the Netflix Approach to eLearning

• 3 min read
Netflix and eLearning

Could the Netflix model for content serving be applied to eLearning?

Who among us is unfamiliar with the ‘Netflix Binge’ – “coming to” after somehow winding up 4 episodes deep into a TV show, hours after we had intended to hit the hay? (…guilty as charged!)

A quick recap: the hugely popular entertainment platform and subscription-based service delivers movies and TV shows to 103M+ customers worldwide, all of which are likely familiar with its intuitive user interface. Netflix makes it easy to find new content by bundling related media in groups while its recommendation engine – on the basis of an individual’s activity history – suggests other content to users they may not even have known they wanted served to them.

In light of Netflix’s success, we’ve seen other companies try to copy its model, but mainly in the B2C space. So, what about applying aspects of the Netflix model to a corporate strategy, particularly eLearning?

Imagine you’re a learner selecting courses within your LMS, and instead of simply being handed a link to content or searching a database for the courses you need to take, a series of basic, intuitive, and Netflix-like lists populate on screen as you log into your system. These groups of courses – or “catalogues”, as we call them at Docebo – are aggregated according to your role or function within your organization.

For example, if you are entering an organization in a sales capacity, you’ll see course catalogues related to sales training, sales enablement, etc. You’ll also see suggested content that the system’s artificial intelligence (AI) recommends you consume based on the consumption behaviours of other users – things like when users tended to watch content, the viewing completion rate, how long they viewed the content compared to other users, and so on, based on the xAPI data within the LMS.

The benefit of the Netflix model here is that, instead of simply sticking to a list of required content, learners will be exposed to content that they might not otherwise have seen. This will set learners up for success within the organization by organically enriching their learning journey with a wider array of content.

On the other side of the fence, consider the LMS administrator. The primary function of the LMS administrator is assigning courses to individual users based on their role or function. When we group courses within catalogues while also enabling the LMS’s AI to suggest other relevant content to users automatically, we streamline the repetitive administrative processes and reduce costs for the organization.

Now, if you’re a little concerned about the involvement and potential of AI in this new model, fear not. Yes, it is true that AI and machine learning have increasingly become a central topic of conversation in news media, and there’s a lot of fear-mongering related to the topic. Concerns range from worries that AI could take over our jobs to the fantastic risks that AI will one day take over the world.

But at this juncture, these concerns are far-fetched fears – each being monitored and managed by leaders in the digital disruption space.

Right now, what’s more useful to understand is how AI is evolving and enriching eLearning, how it can affect our jobs directly (from the end-user or administrator perspective), and how we stand to benefit from AI in the workplace.

Bottom line; if your end users are binge-watching job-enriching courses, that can’t be a bad thing.

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