5 Trends Changing Learning and Development


It is an exciting time to be in the field of learning and development. The introduction and mainstream adoption of technology tools is enabling better learning in the workplace.

There are many trends influencing the design and implementation of learning, but here are five picks:

1. Mobile Learning

Most people will admit to not going anywhere without their mobile phones. In fact, without their phone, they feel quite lost. This demonstrates the degree in which mobile technology is influencing modern-day lifestyles.

Mobile phones are not just used to connect with friends and family. They are used to read and respond to business emails, interact on social media, navigate to destinations, shop, pay bills and look up information.

This makes mobile the ideal platform for learning because people can access a knowledge database whenever they need to, wherever they choose to.

By integrating e-learning modules with mobile apps, L&D managers can increase employee engagement and learning participation, so it’s a win-win for all.

2. Collaboration and Knowledge Sharing

The days of working and learning in silos are numbered. Industry disruptors have already shown that collaborative learning not only drives greater productivity and innovation, it strengthens organisations from within, making them more competitive in the marketplace.

Knowledge sharing is not just about passing on expertise either, it’s about sharing all learning experiences. These experiences should include failures, because people can have as much to gain from learning how not to do things as they can from learning the right way to do them.

It applies the concept of failing forward and that every experience carries with it an opportunity to learn. Companies that are managing to successfully embed this as their culture are reaping the rewards in terms of innovation and business success.

3. Cloud Authoring and templates

Cloud platforms are facilitating the culture of learning by providing an easy way for employees to log their learning experiences. This information can then be catalogued into a learning database, which can easily be accessed by other authorised employees.

Setting up templates guides people through the process and ensures the right information is captured in the right way. This makes it easier to file the information for future reference and for the employees making the effort to log their insights.

4. Gamification

Whoever said that work can’t be play hadn’t ever experienced gamification and how effective it can be as a learning tool. The old style of classroom learning used to be tipped as the most interactive, as people talked face to face. However, gamification challenges that.

With the advent of social media, email and text, people have become more comfortable communicating through an online interface. In fact, for some people it gives them a level of confidence they don’t have in person.

Gamification allows employees to take on characters and learn in a fun and interactive way. They can get recognition and rewards that boost their confidence, and knowledge gained empowers them to perform better at work too.

5. Video Learning & Scenarios

Theoretical learning has limited benefits, but applied learning helps to embed the learning experience. The 70:20:10 principle promotes the idea that most learning occurs through experience. But the challenge with that is having the time and resources available to facilitate learning while working.

Videos and scenario training provide a way to simulate this experiential type of learning in a way that can be rolled out to multiple learners in multiple locations at the same time.

A video can be used to demonstrate a particular situation – for example, a customer interaction. Taking this a step further, scenarios can be used to demonstrate different responses and different possible outcomes. Learners can then see in a practical way the impact that different approaches can have on achieving a positive outcome.

Similarly, video can be used to demonstrate technical aspects of a product; and because it can be replayed, paused and slowed down, it is almost as good as physically seeing and experiencing a product in person. Additionally, when comparisons between different models or features need to be explained, video is a great tool to demonstrate this.

While there are many other trends shaping the landscape of learning and development, the common theme is very similar. Experiential, engaging and practical learning applications, using technology, are gaining the most ground.

Additionally, people in the workplace are aware that knowledge is the key to career progression and personal growth, and are more open to learning opportunities.

When companies provide the right platforms and tools to facilitate learning and make it fun and engaging, people are more willing to put their time and effort into it.

You needn’t be on the cutting edge of L&D – just get the basics right, and you will already be a step ahead in achieving positive learning outcomes.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Ember Group – View the original post

To find out more about Ember Group, visit their website.

About the author

Ember are a professional services group providing specialist management consultancy, training, analytics and executive search in customer engagement and customer experience. They are joined by a shared ethos, of doing the right thing for their clients, and a shared focus on the customer experience and how to improve it – with the end goal of increasing value for clients.
Their people are industry practitioners who have spent most of their careers in the roles that our clients often hold. They bring together specialist skills, honed in diverse sectors and on successful programmes for organisations across the globe.
They are proudly independent and inspired by innovation and change.

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