Personalized Learning at Scale? Enter the Virtual Coach

• 3 min read

Personalized learning at scale with Virtual Coach

It’s no secret that the world has gone digital. Whether its concert tickets, social media, or product brochures – everything is in a digital format, and the spotlight is on how the user experiences these resources.

In an era coined the “Experience Economy”, society has moved away from a material mindset and towards a greater appetite for experiences. Unsurprisingly, leading the charge in this new economy is the largest generation in the workforce: Millennials, a group forcing entire industries to adapt to their changing expectations of work and life – and enterprise learning is no exception.

Learning products were typically passive catalogs of one-off training materials, designed purely to be consumed to acquire more knowledge before moving on. This was an overly formalized process in which impact didn’t matter as long as the activity was completed.

That approach won’t work nowadays because of the growing emphasis on experience and the many ways on-the-job, in-the-flow-of-work learning experiences influence knowledge retention, professional development, and performance.

Enter the digital personal trainer, or ‘Virtual Coach’, a tool within a learning platform that’s built for optimizing the learner experience and getting results.

The Virtual Coach offers personalized guidance at scale by leveraging the ‘forever learning’ nature of Artificial Intelligence. As your learners interact and progress within the platform, the coach learns about them and their preferences, suggesting learning paths that are best suited to them and prompting them to complete courses. Learners can ask questions, receive snippets of relevant content, and receive feedback on their progress.

Convinced? Let’s see what makes this digital personal trainer so special –

A Virtual Coach is;

  • Mostly proactive
  • Learner-oriented
  • A trainer : Makes learners improve
  • Goal-driven : Long game

“Digital Personal Trainers are infused with AI capabilities that can make assumptions about your intentions. It knows that what you’re asking relates to X,Y, and Z. That concept of relating some information to other information, I think, will become much more prevalent. People want to save time and organizations that are deploying bots want them to do more than just answer predictable questions.”

Steve Goldberg, VP and Research Director, HCM at Ventana Research

E-Learning Personal Trainers

It’s easy to see where these “virtual coaches” provide value relative to performance support by having an on-call, digitized expert that you can turn to for immediate answers. But what if this conversation wasn’t always instigated by the learner?

The exciting potential for L&D is when artificial intelligence-powered tools become more of a coach that engages without prompts from the learner while becoming the go-to source for answers and directions to the most useful and relevant content to support the query.

This digital trainer would recommend content to learners based on their progress and even send a nudge when new content is available that’s relevant to the needs, or skills they’ve identified that they would like to develop. This facilitates a personalized and 1-to-1 learning experience that guides their journey while reducing the need for admin intervention.

The end goal of this smart personal trainer is to ultimately help learners improve over time through continuous, interactive learning. This starts with a natural conversation, directly within the learning platform, at the point of need.

Solutions Already in the Market

Excitingly, Docebo recently launched a new Virtual Coach in the market that acts as a proactive coach for each and every user in a Learning Platform. Learners are able to ask for recommended content, monitor learning progress, ask questions related to content in their platform, receive notifications about content that may interest them, or even just have a conversation. As learners interact with the trainer, it learns from this feedback to evolve and improve its coaching.

“The big development with digital personal trainers will be – can it see into the various systems like, ‘Oh, this is a question about learning, I can go dig into learning to find relevant content.’ Or ‘This is a question about your performance goals, let me go pull from there.’ I think that’s going to be the key because people aren’t going to want to have seven different conversations.”

David Wentworth, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

Watch This Space

As the e-learning industry continues to evolve, we continue to push the boundaries of what a learning platform can do and how it can help you scale your learning efforts.

The Virtual Coach is just the start of personalizing the learning experience and preparing your teams for the future of e-learning.

Download our free report on the key trends set to impact the learning and development sector in the year ahead to get insights on the future of e-learning.