Article: The Learning Landscape of 2018 – Five trends to look for!

Learning & Development

The Learning Landscape of 2018 – Five trends to look for!

Keep a pulse on the trends in L&D space to cut through the noise and steer your organizations resources, effort and time in the right direction.
The Learning Landscape of 2018 – Five trends to look for!

As the digital workplace is truly disrupting all business verticals, L&D too is not left untouched. The role of learning function is changing and leaders are excited to drive this strategic change within their organizations through new ways of learning. Putting every learner at its core, organizations are trying their best to create a learning culture with innovation and tech tools. Most of the critical discussions are laid around on how fast can learner access information they need to do their jobs or how fast can a learner’s behavior change to improve the performance of the business. 

Setting the context straight, let us briefly look at the five trends that are shaping up the learning landscape of organizations in the year 2018 and beyond.

Learner experience will be driven by mass customization

Mass customization is about truly understanding the specific needs of each and every learner and then bringing together the right combination of training modules as solutions that they really want. The unique needs of learners have paved way for adaptive technologies that help to design content differently. Also, the new breed of micro learning platforms will drive L&D’s content strategy and push organizations to modernize their LMS systems.  Social media tools, learning libraries and micro learning elements are being curated for modern learners of today who are no more concerned about just courses but more on the entire learning experience.

Training is being leveraged as an assortment under Employee Benefit

Promoting a culture of learning is crucial for a positive organizational growth. And training is quickly becoming a key differentiator between companies competing for talent. Employer value proposition is based on personal and professional development journeys used for hiring and retaining in a majority of organizations. By providing training and development, employees are more motivated, engaged and successful within their roles. Hence, companies have started to leverage this as an employee incentive by adding it in the benefits composition alongside health, wellness and other benefit options.

Technology is the way forward

With the pull towards an app-based culture, mobile learning will be in the forefront. A trend for more complex gamification using Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) simulations will be used where it’s safer to learn virtually rather than in real life. With YouTube becoming the ‘go-to resource’ to learn by seeing how things are done; video-based learning has a great future in years to come. Podcasts are seen as an extension of mobile learning and are relatively less expensive. Organizations are also using podcasts to share product training, marketing insights, and best practices knowhow effectively. Learning will be quick, relevant and specific; and will continue to move fiercely toward curated micro learning.  

No more a trainer, but a coach

Due to the shrinking size of the classrooms, there has been a change in the role of a trainer from a facilitator to a personal coach. The traditional facilitator skills are moving beyond to acquire the coaching skills for personalization of the learning experience. This also encompasses a range of storytelling skills as modern learners want stories that make the content relatable to them. Learners want to be at the center of the story and the overall learning experience.

Shift towards a performance consultant role from a mere instructional designer 

Have you ever delivered a learning program and found that nothing has changed as a result? Of course, many a time! Now, it’s time to start thinking more as performance consultant than a mere instructional designer while creating learning modules. The focus is shifting towards managing the entire learning experience by transforming the training function from event managers to performance consultants. Tirelessly analyzing and working on the content to create classroom sessions by Instructional Designers sometimes gives rise to a beautiful product that may not be what is needed to the modern learners of today. On the contrary, donning the hat of a performance consultant during the process of content creation helps in analyzing the real business need by defining the skill Vs performance gap between the current state and the desired state. Hence, this meaningful role change is evident and is the need of the hour.

To summarize, in this era of significant learning transformation, it is imperative to keep a track on what all changes and trends are shaping up so that the organizations are geared up for the adoption of such new and immersive approaches that have the power to create impactful performance gain. 

To know more about learning trends, register for the People Matters L&D Conference 2018, to be held on the 23rd October in Mumbai.

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Topics: Learning & Development, #PMLnD

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