Workplace Dynamics Amidst Shifting Business Landscape Makes Learning Industry to Rethink its Strategies - Key Trends

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Learning today is in the midst of a dramatic change. Days of learning for learning’s sake are evaporating. Focusing people towards business application and deployment is now the only driver of learning. The more closely learning providers work in partnership to fulfil business strategy with measurable ROI or RoE, the more rapidly L&D will be viewed as catalysts for innovation and learning rather than course or program providers. Following trends are being witnessed in the learning and development landscape.

Gamification : The old saying that “learning can be fun” is truer today than ever before.  Instructor Led Training  (ILT) is still key…for the moment.  But it is evolving quickly toward more blended learning, where gamification and other technology enabled applications play a key role.  Gamification is about ‘game mechanics’ – taking the principles that make games addictive and applying them in a learning context – to improve retention and recollection of knowledge, better application and practice of skills, etc. Properly implemented, gamification has the potential to make learning ‘stickier’, increase uptake of learning content and also provide a more comprehensive record of learning than is possible using conventional measures in courses. 

Augmented reality (AR)  - As per Wiki, AR is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented (or supplemented) by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics etc. While it may take many more years to get commoditized, however, there is a lot of buzz in the industry about shaping up of learning practices leveraging Augmented Reality. 

Mobile Learning - Personalization & Customization - Be it the phone, or tablet, mobile devices are changing the game of learning delivery and interaction and sharing. Rather than looking at how mobile is evolving, the year ahead will see organizations developing mobile approaches to facilitate learning. Through mobile we are all becoming more used to content and experiences that are tailored only to us and are managed by us too. These personalized experiences are powerful and provide huge potential for the way our learners learn.

Curating : Listen to what people are looking for, source ‘for them’ and then provide access ‘to them’. Types of Curating: Aggregation: Gathering and sharing relevant information, Filtering: Apply criteria and share information, Mashups: Taking two stories and creating a new story. Digital Curation: means that everyone can curate, everyone is sharing. L&D has a big role to play in the balancing of opening the channels and monitoring the quality within the channels.

Use of multimedia and open education resources : Digital media, YouTube videos such as TED talks or the Khan Academy, and, increasingly, open educational resources (OERs) in the form of short lectures, animations, simulations, or virtual worlds enable professors and students to access and apply knowledge in a wide variety of ways. 

Learning through/via Social media –  social media technologies have enabled us to communicate and share at a completely different speed and on a different scale . Social media can also be utilized to train or assess skills.

Skills training Vs Knowledge training (Focus on How and not Why) Emergence of experiential learning through games, simulations, theatres, “learning by doing”

Video based learning: The two biggest motivational factors driving video-based learning are Learner engagement and interesting blended/virtual learning .YouTube/ Ted Talk etc continues to enhance its user experience with developments such as in video polling and clickable links

Hybrid Learning: closer integration of classroom and online teaching under the generic term of hybrid learning, where classroom time is reduced but not eliminated, with the rest of the time being used for online learning.

As we see, ‘gen Z’, the generation born after millennials would rapidly enter the workplace and by 2020 they would make up the bulk of the working population. These ‘digital natives’ tend to behave differently from those who came before them. They are less concerned about privacy, share openly, and are mostly mobile. It makes sense to leverage these characteristics to assist learning, possibly through gamification.


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