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Academies Are Coming to Viva Learning

April 26, 2023
5 min read
Academies Are Coming to Viva Learning
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Video Summary

- Microsoft Viva Learning is now getting academies. Those features provide some new capabilities for organizations. Organizations are seeing Learning Academies as a next step in learning and development.

Video Transcript

Microsoft Viva Learning is now getting academies.

Learning academies, to be exact. And those features provide some new capabilities for organizations. So I thought I'd take a moment to do a video to explain why does this matter and what is this particular feature set and why is it exciting? So let's talk about why does this matter right now? Organizations have undergone a lot of change as it relates to employee growth, skilling and development.

And in that process, what we've learned is that we've transitioned from traditional LMS and capital L learning system modeling towards an employee learning experience. And that learning experience layer is something that Viva Microsoft Viva Learning especially sits really well in because what it provides is this way to socially share, it provides a way to connect with learning in the flow of our work. So inside of a teams message context or inside of the apps that I'm already using, like teams and that experience layer is a big deal because learning shouldn't feel like a thing I have to go and do, it should feel like a thing that I can do in the flow of my work.

And there's wonderful features that they've added over time, like the ability to book some time in your calendar, right? To explore that learning. Or the ability to create learning paths, which is the way we can structure multiple items. Of learning in a flow so that people can kind of complete that flow, whether it's bring your own learning from some SharePoint PowerPoints that people need to review and so on and so forth to traditional LMS systems that are brought into this experience where you have that full flow through of those capital L learning, mandatory learning objectives.

And if you don't know this, one of the things that makes Viva really successful in the market is that elective learning is very high when you use something like Viva Learning and mandatory learning is pretty good generally, but it's even better as well in terms of consistency because it's built into the flow of work. But that elective learning is really interesting. And what we've seen across the industry is that a lot of organizations are seeing Learning Academies as a next step in learning and development.

Essentially, they go beyond learning in the flow of the work experience and they focus on, instead of program quality or user adoption, which are important, they focus on growth, right? So you want to help people advance their skills so they can take on new positions or become a manager or a leader. That transition path and how we support that, often we do by creating focus places of learning that are structured, that provide different pathways going back to learning pathways that allow them to catalog and understand and engage with their learning. And that includes contextualized assignments, recommendations in the context of the academy and much more.

I like to present this kind of like the difference between traditional LMS systems and like centers of excellence, right? There's a divide there. And what learning academies kind of do is they start to get closer to bridging that divide, right? Because Centers of excellence have communities, they have other effective elements to it and an academy could benefit from those things in the same way. And this is why Viva Learning having academies is such a big deal, because Viva has Viva Engage, which is a community platform.

It has collaboration tooling, it has other tooling that helps you from a signal perspective, understand your gaps, whether it's pulse for understanding as a leader, what can I work on to improve? Or whether it's things like data signals from Viva, insights around what am I potentially doing digitally that could be a better digital behavior, like accepting meetings earlier, helping manage work life balance and so on and so forth. So these insights that we get from the Holistic Viva experience set or the employee experience set become really helpful when they're combined with a more advanced version of learning, which again, is something like an academy model. So that's basically why I think it's important today.

Now, what is it is also really interesting, essentially today it's this way to connect your learning paths and curate a number of different resources in a catalog that people can go to. These can be targeted to employees. So that's very, very helpful.

It can be used in a way that allows people to engage. It allows for different types of measures as you can think about like how do we measure a learning object, how do we measure learning pathway and its success, how do we measure a learning catalog, how do we measure a learning academy? So there's all sorts of benefits that this will provide over time when we think of our own learning data journey as we try and optimize and improve. And it certainly provides an organizational benefit that's pretty immediate in most organizations today, which is that there is this gap.

I'm providing my interests, I'm providing skill information, I'm doing all this wonderful stuff, but I'm now having to go and navigate to learning paths. And yes, Viva Learning allows leaders and peers to recommend those learning paths to you. And there's some wonderful benefits that that provides.

But having academies, I think, is, is kind of a no brainer for Microsoft. And I'm so glad that that's coming very soon to Microsoft Viva Learning. Now, the last comment that I want to make on this as we look forward is copilot is going to affect Microsoft.

Copilot will affect Viva Learning at some point in the future. And I want you to think about the fact that Microsoft still has arguably the strongest skill based platform in the marketplace, which is LinkedIn. And when you combine your interests and skills and how these things measure that, as well as your LinkedIn information on skills and those areas of interest, you can see why Microsoft might have a greater advantage in the marketplace.

To be a great growth partner for employee journeys on both sides of the fence, right on the much more external LinkedIn side and the much more internal viva learning side. And so I can't talk about Copilot yet for Viva Learning, but I will suggest that there's a lot of opportunities where it can help people make sense of learning, accelerate their learning and improve that experience. And having academies means that this is a little bit more organized, which means it's a little bit easier for those types of tools also to have an impact in the future.

Stay tuned for more and I hope this was useful and understanding why are learning academies may be useful in your own learning paradigm and patterns? And then what is this particular feature? Set learning paths with categories, with targeting, with the ability to have these integrated learning plans over time. Maybe someday coaching, mentoring like I suggest with AI and things. There's many, many ways that this can be improved.

But for now, we're just excited to have a better way to organize and share our learning.

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