Sears Measures Readiness for 250,000 People Using Wax LRS

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Sears is a large retailer with a very broad range of products and services. To help their employee stay abreast and knowledgeable, they provide a number of online training activities and resources across multiple Learning Management Systems (LMS) and platforms. In order to transform into a multi-channel innovative retail organization, they needed to revamp their technology infrastructure.

The Problem:

Custom learning system integrations are expensive. Aggregating and normalizing LMS and other learning data is complicated. Bringing it all together to gain actionable insights is near impossible.

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Connecting Enterprise Systems to Wax LRS

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Our customers often say that they want an easy way to connect their existing enterprise systems to Wax Learning Record Store (LRS). To accomplish this, we’ve had to either build custom connectors or assist internal development teams with their own Experience API integrations.

It’s important that Experience API adoption is as smooth as possible for Learning & Development leaders. We’re excited that Wax LRS is the first to make tracking and connecting what people learn & do, and how they perform from multiple systems a lot easier!

Enter Zapier + Wax LRS!

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Experience API Debugging in Wax LRS

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As one of the first Learning Record Stores (LRS) available, Wax LRS has evolved over time based on actual usage and feedback from hundreds of people. Developers, training providers, and companies use Wax LRS to test their Experience API (xAPI) learning platforms, authoring tools, content, and enterprise integrations.

Strict xAPI standard compliance and interoperability is important for our customers as well as the Experience API ecosystem. This is why Wax LRS maintains the strongest validation and returns very detailed error messages, but developers and tinkerers need even greater visibility and improved xAPI development tools. Wax LRS now has a debugging page to help accelerate xAPI testing and development.

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The Rise of the Learning Record Store

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You’ve probably heard a lot about the Experience API and Learning Record Stores (LRS) like Wax LRS, and these technologies are quickly finding their place behind the scenes of workplace learning ecosystems.

Learning & Development leaders have to consider a number of factors about LRS functionality, selection, and implementation so the Corporate Learning Network has put together a useful field guide.

Katrina Baker (Regional L&D Manager, Whole Foods), John Delano (CEO, Saltbox), and Mike Rustici (President, Rustici Software) provide their practical insights on the topic with Ben Mueller. Read more.

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How the Experience API Is Similar to Legos

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At Saltbox, we really like the Experience API (if you couldn’t tell), and we’ve starting to do some really interesting work with very innovative enterprises. Over the past couple of years of helping companies decentralize their training infrastructure using the Experience API and Wax LRS, we’ve found a few key high level benefits.

This week I shared some of our findings on the Corporate Learning Network by comparing the Experience API to Legos…because who doesn’t love Legos!? Learn more.

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Why L&D Must Get the Customer Relationship Right

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As I described in my previous blog (Why L&D’s Customer Is Not The Learner), L&D’s customer can range from internal departments like Marketing, who may sponsor and pay for specific training to be distributed, to employees searching for just-in-time information at the moment of need. Just as the customer varies, the type of relationship varies. Without the right relationship, L&D’s success is limited.

Customer relationships fall into four categories: Strategic Partnership, Vendor, Broker, and Self Service. These relationships range from high-touch personal interactions to low-touch technology aided interactions. This is separate from learning delivery methods which can also be personal or technology aided.

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The Top 5 Business Learning Models

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As I previously discussed in Introduction to the Learning Model Canvas (LMC), a successful learning model is similar to a successful business model. The proper model provides clarity, maximizes resources, and delivers outstanding value.

As a result, the majority of learning organizations today operate in one of five business learning models depending on business needs; Mass Customization, Innovation, Multi-Sided, University, and Open.

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It should be noted that a large company may have multiple learning organizations, each having a separate model, while other companies may operate within a single model. In any case, a successful learning leader will execute a primary learning model depending on their scope of responsible and specific business objectives. Here are the 5 most used learning organizations models I seen in use:

LMS Innovation

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I came across LMS Innovation: One Simple Question from Ramesh Ramani, Founder and CEO of Expertus. It was a thought provoking blog and wanted to share my response.

I agree learner centered design is the key. It is more about legacy thinking than legacy design. LMS providers (Learning Management Systems) can innovate by adopting an “open” learning philosophy and providing actionable learning analysis. Here are my thoughts…

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Why L&D’s Customer Is Not the Learner

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When working with Learning & Development leaders I smile when I hear an emphatic “our customer is the learner!” Mostly because I look forward to the “aha” moment of discovery when leaders realize the majority of the time it is not. This moment brings a sense of clarity and understanding of why they often feel “squeezed” between what the company is requesting and what the learner prefers.

In the Learning Model Canvas (LMC) customers are often segmented into business units, employees, partners, company customers, and based on internal or external groups (e.g. Sales, Engineering, Partners), or roles (e.g. Line, Manager, Executive).

However, defining the customer requires understanding the difference between the requestor, sponsor, learner, and payer of the learning.

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