Article: The future of learning: to Infinity and beyond

Learning & Development

The future of learning: to Infinity and beyond

Social, media and analytics are the top three trends that are disrupting learning today. An interactive session by Olivier Pestel, senior director solution consulting, Cornerstone gives us an insight into how can we solve certain learning challenges due to these trends.
The future of learning: to Infinity and beyond

Due to disruption, world is changing at an unprecedented scale.  Learning remains and still is at the core of all functions and processes that we do. Today, learning is enabling employees to realize their full potential across entire development of organization. 

The modern learner 

There is no doubt that, learner today is very different from the ones in 90’s. There are 5 attributes that represent modern learner of today:

Impatient -The modern learner is impatient and its attention span is shrinking rapidly from minutes to seconds. It is akin to a gold fish i.e. 8 or 9 seconds of attention span. 

Distracted – The distraction is very high today because we are surrounded with ample of things such as emails, texts, wats app, instant messaging, phone calls and even lights. All these things make it difficult for us to focus. 

Overwhelmed – As too much of information is available today, we need some guidance and we need to structure our learnings; the way we access information etc. 

Empowered- As more than ever, we have access to self-service tools, we feel empowered. We have really great sources of information available today which we can easily use and access. The advantage is that we can get information when we need it and we can consume it at our own pace and in our own environment. 

Collaborative –Digitization has made organizations more collaborative.  They are not only collaborative within their core team but they also have opportunity to collaborate within different parts of organization and also beyond the organization.

Keeping in mind these attributes of modern learner, organizations are refreshing and rebooting their learning strategies and philosophy.

What learning should be today?

 L&D practitioners should design and build learning experiences for new employees and beyond. So learning should be:

Social – It is an environment where employees collaborate with peers, SMEs, alumni and think beyond the enterprise.  Also, they can engage within their extended network including distributors, dealers, and partners.  It is an environment and an experience sourced by other employees & internal experts, thereby breaking the silos within the organization.  

On-Demand – Shifting from content centric ‘push’ to a learner-centric ‘pull’ approach. One needs to make sure that information is provided when people need it.  

Mobile – Employees should be able to access information anytime, anywhere. 74% of learners use mobile devices for e-learning. There is demand for ‘consumer -like’ mobile experience.  

5 stages of learning 

Learning in the workplace has evolved in 5 stages. There is shift from traditional to modern learning. From classroom training method, we have to evolved to collaborative learning technique. 

Stage 1 : Classroom training  - The traditional learning method that has only 5% retention rate . 

Stage 2 : E-learning – It is the next stage with  10% retention rate . 

Stage 3 : Blended learning – It is combination of both  classroom training activities and  e-learning . 

Stage 4 : Social learning – This stage includes use and adoption of intranets and other techniques of learning. 

Stage 5 : Collaborative learning: It is a modern learning technique with highest 50% retention rate. 

Most of the organizations today fall under stage 3 i.e. e – learning but slowly they are moving to stage 4 and 5 i.e. social and collaborative learning. 

Predictive analytics 

Big data is of much relevance. Our actions today are based on what machines learning and data tells us. There is high volume data available and data scientists are trying to identify correlations and patterns between the data to provide solutions to questions like - What data factors provide higher level of compliance in training for the employee? What data factors affect mobility of your employees? Which is the most typical career path and learning path chosen by people?

Therefore, no longer we are looking at the past and guessing about the future, rather we are predicting it. In this process we are also trying to decode solutions to critical challenges i.e. onboarding, utilizing learning data and making learning available to all easily. 

This story has been built from the session delivered by Olivier Pestel, senior director solution consulting, Cornerstone on demand at #L&DLeaugue Annual Conference 2016 on 20th October, 2016

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Topics: Learning & Development

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