“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn.”– Benjamin Franklin
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Let’s have a look at using Microsoft Viva to gather and funnel self-produced learning elements* and make them available via the lens of Microsoft Teams.
*Learning elements = any item, document or file that is defined for learning and added as a part of a learning source in Microsoft Viva Learning.
Table of content
In an ever evolving technology world it may seem a daunting task to stay up to date with the latest and newest of digital apps and tools, how and when to use them, at the same time manage current toolbox, empower an innovative, skilled and dynamic organization and do business as usual.
This challenge is not new, it has just become more visible. As a result of the shifts happening after the pandemic, there is a shift from the employers market to now being the skilled workers market. More people have realized it is possible, and sometimes even better, to work from home, or remote compared to a physical office, some have realized they want a combination, and perhaps more than this, they want the freedom to choose. For some companies this might be a challenge for others it is an opportunity. Most companies are currently working to find a good balance for allowing freedom for their staff and how they want to run their business and manage their employees.
👉🏽📚Read more here about
The Microsoft Viva Modules is a layer added to Microsoft 356 to help facilitate what is Microsoft’s mission statement; to help every person and every organization to achieve more.
The modules are organized within 4 areas:
Click the links below to read more about the specific module:
- Role-based experiences
- Microsoft Viva Sales
Fragmented learning sources
A company may have fragmented learning tools, e.g. HR (= Human Resources, Employee Development or how the department responsible for the employee’s competency and development is called) has perhaps one set of learning systems and tools, the Security department has other and the different business units may use other means and ways of learning.
Traditionally learning in an organization is that HR, or management, provide employees with a link or access to a learning system and being told to learn “THIS”. In addition people have in all time learned from each other in their every day work.
There is a shift in the way we can learn, both off and on work, and the Microsoft Viva modules are supporting this shift. In a forward leaning company each employee has ownership of their own learning and are given time and space to gain, as well as empowered and inspired to seek, new knowledge and insights. As well as how to incorporate these insights and knowledge into their everyday work, and even in their life in general. This principle is not new, Socrates, Plato and Aristoteles were discussing these principles and quite possibly enlightened people discussed these topics far before and after that as well.
“Ignorance of all things is an evil neither terrible nor excessive, nor yet the greatest of all; but great cleverness and much learning, if they be accompanied by a bad training, are a much greater misfortune.”
“The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future life”– Plato in his work “The Republic”
The first quote above highlights the importance of education and the danger of knowledge without proper moral and ethical guidance. The second quote the importance of providing individuals with a strong foundation through education and training, which can impact their success in their future endeavors, including in the workplace.
Microsoft Viva Learning IS NOT a, NOR is, replacing an LMS solutions, NOR producing learning elements*
Microsoft Viva Learning is not intended to replace any current learning systems, it is intended to gather and funnel all learning elements from different learning systems and bring it into a hub for learning via the lens of Microsoft Teams.
Before turning on Microsoft Viva Learning for your organization there are some steps to take:
- Map current and planned learning sources
- Map ownership and roles involved in learning and knowledge development (create a RACI Model for roles and responsibilities related to learning)
- Go through Microsoft Learn documentation and courses: Overview of Microsoft Viva Learning | Microsoft Learn
- Make a plan for curating learning content and how it should be managed, including roles and responsibilities
- Map need for learning, create strategy for learning and make a plan for the competency journeys
- Follow instructions in Microsoft Viva Learning docs: Set up Microsoft Viva Learning in the Teams admin center | Microsoft Learn
- Read these resources:
- Add SharePoint as a learning content source for Microsoft Viva Learning | Microsoft Learn
- Add learning management systems for Microsoft Viva Learning | Microsoft Learn
- Alexander Holmeset’s blog about how you can add a blog/website as a content provider in Microsoft Viva Learning: Update a custom content provider for Viva Learning with an RSS feed | A blog about automation and technologies in the cloud (alexholmeset.blog)
- My blog and check the resource links provided: Bring Learning to the front with Microsoft Viva Learning – MeretheStave (merethesharepointstave.com)
- Empower your people and your company with Microsoft Learning Pathway and Microsoft Viva – MeretheStave (merethesharepointstave.com)
- Viva Learning – Microsoft Adoption (Scroll down to the bottom of the page where you find many good sources and material)
- Manage content sources for Microsoft Viva Learning in the Microsoft 365 admin center | Microsoft Learn
- Try the Guided, role based, simulations Microsoft Viva Learning Guided Simulation (regale.cloud)
- Read and learn from these blog about learning paths and collections here:
There are several ways to organize learning content in Microsoft Viva Learning
- Own produced learning elements
- Integrate LMS solutions
- Use included learning sources from Microsoft and LinkedIn Learning
Own produced learning elements
After you have mapped current and planned learning sources, defined ownership, roles and responsibilities and made plans and strategies for learning and knowledge development it’s time to put the pieces together.
It is possible to define learning elements in all SharePoint online sites. However, this will require that each SharePoint site owner(-s) (hereafter Site Owners) need to define a folder with relevant metadata in their respective SharePoint sites where the learning element is stored.
Access to learning elements
The Site Owners would need to manage access to the learning elements in the SharePoint sites where learning elements are stored. If a learning element is stored in a folder with limited access, then it will not be available for all employees via Microsoft Viva Learning. In some cases this will be necessary if a certain learning element should only be available to some of the employees. However, I would recommend to make as much as possible of learning elements available for all employees, as it is our shared knowledge and insight that is the gold in our organization.
Considering using Microsoft Learning Pathway as main hub for curating own learning content
Microsoft Learning Pathway is a (SharePoint Online Communication site) template that you can add to your tenant. Ref. link above to my blog: Empower your people and your company with Microsoft Learning Pathway and Microsoft Viva.
🏫A hub for learning content creators
Let those who produce learning content in the organization get a folder or a document library for uploading their learning content, and then add these folders/libraries as learning sources to Microsoft Viva Learning. Simsalabim, or after a day or two, the learning element can then be found in the Viva Learning app in Microsoft Teams.
🔓Access permission is managed on folder or library level where necessary, otherwise learning elements are per default open to everyone in the organization.
🏭Considering collaboration spaces in Microsoft Teams for learning source
If the organization has a champion network to run adoption of new technology tools, they might have a collaboration space in a team in Microsoft Teams, where on the associated SharePoint Team site there are folders with learning elements, e.g. webinars, guides and presentations. These folders can be defined as learning source and added to the Learning source list in the Viva Learning Content Catalogue
Considerations to make:
- 🔓Access to learning elements for all or for a few
- 👩🏽💻Ownership, roles and responsibility for the learning elements
- 🗂️Storing location for learning elements
- 🪄Use vs produce learning elements
- 👨🏽💻Employees use/consume learning elements via Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Viva Learning
- 👩🏽🏫Employees (some) produce learning elements and upload/copy/move these to a central learning hub which is defined as learning source in Microsoft Viva Learning
If your company uses LMS solutions or are planning to implement these it is possible to integrate these with Microsoft Viva Learning.
👉🏽📚Read about it here: Add learning management systems for Microsoft Viva Learning | Microsoft Learn
Even if you do not add own produced learning elements, stored in SharePoint, or integrate LMS solutions with Microsoft Viva Learning it comes with a set of learning elements from
- Microsoft LEARN
- Microsoft 365 Training
- LinkedIn Learning selected free content
These learning elements can be a great source of learning for all employees. However, each organization need to define for themselves what learning should be prioritized and how much time each employee can spend on learning during work hours.
You can choose not to make the learning elements from Microsoft and LinkedIn available. See guide in Microsoft docs Manage content sources for Microsoft Viva Learning in the Microsoft 365 admin center | Microsoft Learn.
Using the readily available learning elements is like a shopping menu for learning. It is up to the employee, management and those responsible for learning and competency to decide how it should be organized, and process for training.
The new learning pathways and collections functionalities in Microsoft Viva Learning can help set up structured learning based on roles, combining learning elements from different learning sources.
Se resource links above for further information and this blog by Laurent_Tech 💭🌏 (@TechLaurent) / Twitter : 🔰 Microsoft Viva Learning infographic 💚 How to order training course into a learning path (teams2simple.com)
*Learning elements = any document or file that is defined for learning and added as part of a learning source in Microsoft Viva Learning
Technology is a great helping tool, still, technology alone cannot solve all challenges or be the full solution. A shovel can’t do much before someone uses it, the same goes for technology. Building a culture of trust and sharing is imperative for a modern company these days, and needs to be lead by management walking the talk.
Making a clear strategy and plan for competency and training, how our employees can learn and develop, is the step before using technology. When this is in place turn on the technology and use it to mind your gold; the collective knowledge and insights in your organization and the world around you.
Who is your gold minder?
I some times challenge my customers, asking; who is taking care of the money in your organization? Answer: The Finance Manager. Who is taking care of the people? Answer: The HR Manager (and management should). Who is taking care of technology ? Answer: The IT Manager. Who is taking care of information flow? Answer: The Communications Manager. Who is taking care of the knowledge and insights? Answer = many times “?“. Some times it is “hidden” in HR, some times in IT, some times in business units. Still, to give it the focus it deserves it needs to be on the top level in management.
Across all of these are managers and employees as well equally responsible. However, around the management table there should be someone owning knowledge and insights. This is your gold and this is why “bad people” try to hack your company. Somebody needs to own the gold!
Multiply your gold
Bringing your collective knowledge into self produced content and make it available for your employees can strengthening both your individual as well as collective gold, and multiply it. Still, it doesn’t happen by itself and you need someone to run it, and you can use Microsoft Viva Learning, as well as the other Microsoft Viva modules, to mind it.
More resources to explore:
- Unleash manager superpowers with Microsoft Viva
- Employee Experience E-book | Microsoft Viva
- WorkLab: Hard Data, Compelling Stories, Vital Insights (microsoft.com)
- Josh Bersin employee experience assessment tool Welcome Page (perceptyx.com)
- Reach your learning goals with learning paths and collections – Microsoft Community Hub
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💡🥰PS! This blog is my personal opinions and sharing. I am working in a fantastic team in CloudWay and we are running great workshops covering these topics. We can help you, and your partners, to remove blockers on your way to the cloud! We love to share what we know – to help everyone having secure productivity in the cloud!