netflix

By now, Netflix has successfully made it from Blockbuster disruptor to a cultural phenomenon. From original series to all of your old favorites, the sheer availability of entertainment is part of the appeal. You find yourself on the couch with a playlist of TV, movies, and documentaries that seem tailor-made to your interests. It’s what makes Netflix so totally bingeworthy: It always has new suggestions queued up and ready to go.

Imagine if corporate training operated more like Netflix. In the digital learning world, it might be called something more along the lines of “adaptive learning,” but make no mistake: this strategy is designed to keep learners binging on great content. While it might not get the online buzz of Orange is the New Black, it’s possible to use a Netflix-like strategy to zero in on what learners want and deliver more of the content they crave. Here’s how:

1. Build a Library of Content 

Before you can offer learners more content, you actually have to have a library of videos, microlearning bursts, tips, and articles in play. By having a library of content ready to go, it’s easier for users to see what’s available and continue their learning once they’ve completed a module or video.

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It might sound like a daunting task, but chances are that you already have plenty of content on hand. For now, uploading what you have into the library can start you off on the right foot, even if some of that content needs to be repackaged, rewritten, or updated. Partnering with a digital learning vendor is a great way to assess the content you already have and find ways to create new, compelling programs and modules to better serve your learners’ needs.

2. Create Algorithms 

It sounds complicated and techy, but stay with us: algorithms are simply rules. In fact, they could be summed up using the principle of “if, then.” For instance, if a learner is watching a product training video, then he or she might appreciate a sales course. If someone is interested in learning more about leadership skills, then he or she should check out another module on building communication skills.

Building algorithms into your adaptive learning library will likely require some tech know-how from a learning designer, but it’s well worth the investment. It’s the same principle that gets you into watching The Walking Dead after you finish Zombieland. You don’t even realize the seamless transition from one type of media to the other; all you know is that you’re interested.

3. Track Learner Behavior

What good would Netflix’s strategy be if its viewer behavior wasn’t monitored and assessed to offer better programming? The same goes for adaptive learning and a comprehensive content library. By allowing managers to see statistics and learners’ chosen paths, it can create a conversation around an employee’s aspirations and interests. If someone from marketing keeps checking out videos that are in the HR sphere, what could it mean? Tracking autonomous learner behavior can give you insight into different employees, where they are, and where they’d like to be.

So, the next time you’re binge-watching The Crown and decide to parlay that session into a marathon viewing of documentaries about the British monarchy, consider how Netflix capitalized on your interests. You might get some ideas on how to make digital learning and training just as bingeworthy as your favorite series.