When you think about learning and training within your Industry Association, chances are, you're thinking of formal learning scenarios. That is, dedicated training seminars, instructor-led classes, e-learning modules, and similar direct teaching activities. However, formal learning doesn't appeal to everyone, and not all members of your association are going to want to spend their free time taking training classes, even if the classes are industry-relevant.
That's where informal learning comes in. Fundamentally, we are learning creatures. Every moment of our lives, we're exposed to new information that we can potentially learn lessons from. By understanding and utilizing this idea, a Learning Management System (LMS) or similar software services can encourage your association members to learn and grow through their everyday interactions. Examples include:
Chatrooms and Message Boards
Sometimes the best way for people to learn, especially people who are socially-minded, is simply to let them talk amongst themselves. When you have a whole bunch of industry experts in one place, they're naturally going to 'talk shop' and share ideas with each other. This can happen at live events, of course, but the great thing about having chatrooms and message boards in your LMS is that the conversation can go on 24/7.
This can be particularly helpful for younger/newer members of your association, who can stand to benefit from the wisdom and experience of older members. Providing forums where they can post questions and inspire discussion creates a perfect opportunity for highly-effective informal learning.
Beyond messaging systems, your industry association members should be encouraged to share their ideas in slightly more formal ways as well. Having a digital environment where members are encouraged to upload, or link to, content they've created such as blog posts or YouTube videos is a great way to keep your Association on the cutting edge of current ideas about your industry.
You shouldn't underestimate the drive some people have to self-improve. Many people may dislike formal educational settings, but will happily spend hours diving into wikis and technical documents that they find personally relevant. Given that such libraries are extremely cheap, from the standpoint of data storage and bandwidth, you should seek to provide as much relevant content as possible.
However, you should be willing to engage in curation, particularly if you allow members to add their own documents to the library. It needs to be kept relevant and to-the-point, rather than becoming a dumping ground for random content.
Webinars don't have to be 'all business,' or have a test at the end. Often, people will learn just as much - if not more - in a more unstructured environment without any end goals beyond sharing ideas and experience. A webinar is a great way to invite experts from outside the association to give talks, conferences, or discussion-based roundtables, without putting any additional pressure on the participants. You might even gain some valuable new members this way, or at least spread word of your industry association to a wider degree.
Elevate Value Through Learning Capabilities
LogicBay’s technology and services help Industry Associations achieve tighter connections with their partners and members, and deliver key learning capabilities. Here’s the icing on the cake: your digital environment can be launched inexpensively in a matter of weeks, with customized styling to align with your brand.
Allow your members to establish a private environment leveraging powerful tools for engagement and collaboration and includes proprietary resources, tools and courseware.
Promote your association to a targeted audience within your region or industry sector.
Enable tighter connections and collaborations among partners and members.
Elevate your value and drive results and new streams of revenue.