A unique global survey has sought to understand the ‘hot’ sentiment in the L&D community and assess whether trends and tools that were in demand last year have continued to fare well. Donald H. Taylor, Chair of the Learning and Performance Institute, has been conducting the survey over email and social media since 2014 and poses the question, ‘Is 2018 the year L&D finally gets serious about business?’
What is the survey?
The fifth edition of the L&D Global Sentiment Survey asked over one thousand respondents from 47 countries one single question: ‘What will be hot in L&D in 2018?’ Participants were allowed pick three options out of a possible 16. The results of the survey were released in March 2018.
Instead of eliciting long-drawn questions about plans, spending, and goals, the survey consciously chooses to identify the ‘sentiment’ in the L&D community and not the plan of action. Donald H. Taylor, Chair of the Learning and Performance Institute, while explaining a feature here says that he chooses to capture the sentiment of the global L&D community because otherwise respondents simply state that they plan to do more of everything. Furthermore, he says, “Sentiment has proved to be an accurate predictor of action... Respondents are invited to participate electronically – via email and social media. This means they are unlikely to be a representative sample of the general L&D community; they are more than usually interested in new ways of doing things generally, including new technology. They are generally early adopters. The result is that the feelings of this group about what is hot regularly translate – after a year or two – into what is seen in the wider L&D community.”
“The respondents in this survey are generally early adopters. The result is that the feelings of this group about what is hot regularly translate – after a year or two – into what is seen in the wider L&D community," said Donald H. Taylor, Chair of the Learning and Performance Institute
What did the survey find?
The survey results show that some technologies, like the artificial intelligence, are really popular, whereas other trends that dominated the priority in the recent past have been given a back seat already; case in point, gamification, and MOOCs. Probably the biggest indicator of what lies ahead was the reaffirmation of the fact that focus on personalized learning is increasing at the cost of collaborative learning.
At the time of publication, here is how the L&D trends fared up:
- Personalization/Adaptive Delivery – 11.9%
- Collaborative/Social Learning – 10.11%
- Artificial Intelligence – 9%
- Consulting more deeply with business – 8.51%
- Micro- Learning – 7.84%
- Showing Value – 7.06%
- Virtual and Augmented Reality – 6.87%
- Next Generation Learning Platforms – 6.58%
- Curation – 6.24%
- Mobile Delivery – 5.71%
- Developing the L&D Function – 4.5%
- Neuroscience/Cognitive Science – 4.5%
- Video – 4.35%
- Games/Gamification – 3.39%
- Other – 2.23%
- MOOCs – 1.21%
What do the results indicate?
Taylor explains that owing to a larger pool of respondents this year, the share of the top three responses has decreased marginally, yet there is a palpable sentiment building around the personalization of L&D interventions at the cost of collaborative learning. He adds that the popularity of mobile delivery, micro-learning, gamification and MOOCs has ebbed, owing to them not fulfilling their potential. He says, “... (the) respondents were not primarily concerned with technology. This year’s key findings were of a continued emphasis on personalization at the cost of collaborative learning, and a greater interest in attuning the L&D function to the business.” The rise in the popularity of artificial intelligence is also evident, as it has witnessed a progressive upward movement in the last five years like no other option.
A short, definitive and simple survey that catches the pulse of L&D professionals from all over the world is a refreshing change from extensive reports that struggle to communicate the message. The fact that the responses allow for a comparison between the same tools and devices over the years, indicating their relative rise and fall in popularity as well, is worth examining deeply. The fall of micro-learning, MOOCs, games, and mobile delivery shows that these approaches have not been able to produce the desired result that was expected from them. On the other hand, the continued thrust on artificial intelligence points to its ramped up usage in the domain of learning in the future. This experimentation with new technology and tools, alongside working towards the development of business-oriented goals in a personalized way is a challenging, yet stimulating, a proposition for L&D professionals globally.