Digital Platforms

Overview

A digital or electronic platform is a technology-enabled software solution, an interactive online service that allows exchanges of information, tools, and resources. There are many types of platforms that serve components of the learn-and-work ecosystem including those focused on learning, business and workforce development, and career navigation.

Learning: Learning platforms create robust educational experiences in a variety of ways. Platforms can be presented across computers, cellular phones, and tablets. Platforms offer interactive engagement with instructors, peer discussion, activities, and quizzes. Content presented on learning platforms can include articles, reports, blog posts, slide presentations, and videos. Platforms are increasingly used to enable the seamless sharing of learning and employment records among groups (schools, higher education institutions, employers). 

  • Blackboard Learn supports instructors and students by storing and sharing course materials in the cloud or a course management system.
  • Google classroom offers free tools for classrooms and schools—as well as more advanced tools and resources for a set rate.
  • Microsoft Learn offers training, Microsoft certifications, and other content that allows learners to tailor their training and development pathways to their skill levels and areas of interest.
  • Merlot provides access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners, and researchers. The MERLOT collection consists of tens of thousands of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and Content Builder webpages, together with associated comments, and bookmark collections.
  • Internationally, a city-focused innovation platform that is a learning tool for students and innovation lab for companies is Demola. University students, education institutions, organizations, and foresight (futures) experts use the platform to develop products and services as prototypes to find solutions to address real life issues.  Students (typically in a 3-month project) work with companies and selected stakeholders, supported by a Demola futures analyst. Demola takes responsibility for project management, clarification of deliverables, and the quality of the project. Students receive experience working in real-life business projects as part of their studies, and companies get new perspectives and ideas. The first Demola was established in Tampere (Finland). It has since been extended to other cities: Vilnius (Lithuania), Budapest (Hungary), and Oulu (Finland). To date, some 1,500 students and 100 corporations have participated in about 250 projects, of which more than 90% have been claimed for business use. Source: (DEMOLA, n.d.)

Business & Workforce Development: Using a digital platform, companies can share information to innovate new products and services and enhance collaboration. Digital platforms can create powerful network effects as more members participate. Many companies use digital platforms to aid in their hiring and recruiting process by matching their job descriptions with candidates’ resumés. 

  • Monster.com focuses on the recruiting industry. The company leverages advanced technology using intelligent digital, social and mobile solutions, including the website Monster.com®.  products and services.
  • Training platform company Litmos provides content designed for employees, partners or customers.
  • HackerRank is a platform used to evaluate programming skills for hiring tech workers.
  • The SkillUp coalition helps workers transition to better careers with coaching, training, and job resources aligned to the fastest-growing industries in the country. The nonprofit coalition includes over 90 training and education providers, tech firms, employers, and philanthropies. It is  dedicated to supporting the upskilling needs of workers who earn less than $40,000 annually and were displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Career Karma offers workers personalized matches with job training programs and connects them to a community of peers, mentors, and coaches. Its current focus is to help users find computer-coding boot camps.
  • Drafted’s recruiting and referral platform searches employee networks to source open roles. The platform integrates outreach and tracking tools, syncs with the client’s applicant tracking system (ATS), and disregards demographics to remove bias. Drafted also offers a solution to help companies manage external referral programs that reward non-employees for referrals, and a “network intelligence” tool to identify candidates’ points of connection within the company. This can  help companies refine their talent-sourcing approaches.
  • Fuel50 helps companies transform their talent development strategy by matching employees to internal opportunities based on their skills and talents. Through skill gap analysis, connections to mentors and learning opportunities, 360-degree feedback, gig assignments, and AI-driven growth experiences, Fuel50 also provides organizations with workforce data to inform strategic business decisions. FuelMarketplace is an offboarding platform that helps workers with outplacement transitions and career development—as well as offering personal coaching and other resources.
  • PAIRIN matches individuals to optimal careers, professional development opportunities, and jobs. The PAIRIN Survey measures 102 attributes. The My Journey platform personalizes career, education, and development recommendations based on individuals’ unique abilities, situations, and life stages. It also facilitates direct connections to state government resources and offers assessments, tools, and applications that aid career navigation.
  • Demola is a platform that is both a learning tool for students and innovation lab for companies. At this global publicly funded open innovation platform, university students, education institutions, organizations, and foresight (futures) experts use the platform to develop products and services as prototypes and set up experiments with user communities to find solutions to address real life issues. Students receive experience working in real-life business projects as part of their studies (a typical student use is a 3-month project), and companies get new perspectives and ideas. The Demola trademark and innovation platform is owned by Demola Global. Demola Global was established in Tampere, Finland. Now Demola operates in 18 countries: Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Spain, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Portugal, Mexico, Namibia, South Africa, Slovenia, Japan, China, Nepal and Tunisia. The innovation challenges bring together over 50 universities, 750,000 students, and leading companies from around the world.

Career Navigation: Digital job boards and career development sites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed, and Google Jobs offer features that allow for more user-friendly employment searches and application processes2. Applicant communication tools allow companies to connect with workers via text message, and new assessment technologies have begun to break down bias in hiring evaluations.

  • Mentor Spaces is a community-driven mentorship platform designed to make it easier for companies to attract and retain diverse talent. The platform is designed for underrepresented students and early-career professionals from diverse backgrounds. Members are identified as either Protegés or Mentors.
  • CareerExplorer by Sokanu helps people find and pursue their best career fits through a free 30-minute assessment of interests, past experiences, and personality. The platform draws on job satisfaction data from millions of prior assessment-takers. This data offers users ranked lists of career profiles that include job descriptions, salary scales, and training pathways. Users who pay for a premium membership can obtain a complete list of their career matches and additional insights on how a given career may or may not be a good fit.
  • MyBestBets is an interactive web and mobile application incubated by Jobs for the Future. It helps low-income, under-credentialed young people make their  “Best Bet” for career pathways. Ideally, these choices will lead to an in-demand, family-sustaining job that maps to career advancement through training and/or higher education. The platform is deployed through education and workforce systems and intermediaries that focus on individuals ages 16-24 who are not connected to school or work.

Ecosystem Relationship

Platforms offer new pathways or means of service to many components of the learn-and-work ecosystem. They enhance information sharing and provide easily accessible tools to support learners, employers, and other groups.

Alternative Terminology

Platforms

E-Platforms

Digital Platforms

Employer Platforms 

Skills Platforms

Navigation Internet Platforms 

Open-platform Schemas

Electronic Learning Platforms

Learning Management Systems

Hiring Platforms

Learning Experience Platforms (LXPs)

References

SAP Litmos. (2022, September 7). What is an eLearning Platform and How Do I Choose One? https://www.litmos.com/platform/e-learning-platform-definition 

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