Learning and Development Trends


Next to m-learning  – discussed in an earlier article – there are more trends that Learning and Development (L&D) Managers should keep an eye on if they want to stay on top of the game. The decisions these managers make can have a great impact on the organisations, mainly on the progress of development of the employees. 2015 was the year of the millennial, 2016 was the year of personalised learning, and 2017 will be the year of micro and mobile. So, where do these L&D managers need to pay attention to?

1. Videos will keep enabling micro-learning

Videos are not unfamiliar in the L&D world. There has always been the capability to create video learning materials. However, usually, they were too long and boring for learners to get any long-term value out of it. Graig Weiss, CEO of E-Learning 24/7 stated that now, in 2017, it is expected that micro-learning videos between 90 to 120 seconds will go full-tilt.

Micro-learning has been a hot topic for quite some time now. It is the perfectly structured delivery vehicle for the learning capabilities of most people. It is short, focused, easily accessible and digestible, and memorable. Thus, one of the most effective learning strategies of today when it comes to increasing employee engagement.

2. Millennials will keep appreciating learning and development as the main benefit

The Bersin by Deloitte Future of Corporate Learning report stated that of all the benefits employers offer, millennials value training and development the most. The survey described that 22% of the millennials preferred learning benefits. Compared to 19% desired flexible work schedules and 14% wanted cash bonuses. This trend will continue to rise as more millennials enter the workforce. They seek for training opportunities so that they can climb the corporate ladder.

3. Gamification and virtual reality will keep enhancing the learning experience.

Knapp explains that gamification is a large trend that is growing in use and acceptance. When using a combo of the science of motivation, distributed learning and different neuroscience foundations, game elements will engage learners. This is eventually the goal as well, the engagement of learners. Below are three game elements that make learning more intriguing:

  • Element 1: Challenge

People love overcoming challenges. Kapp states that learning should start with a challenge, thus something difficult that requires deep thinking. Like a difficult scenario, in where the learner has to figure out what to do.

  • Element 2: Being at risk

In the gaming world, a player could ‘lose a life’ and lose all his obtained coins or have to start over. The player has to risk something and this makes him more focused and engaged in the task.

  • Element 3: Visible signs of progress

Games show you what you are doing. When you play Pac-Man, for example, you can see how far you are with observing the how many dots you still have left. Learners should receive visible signs of moving content. Like a badge or unlocking the next level. Clear evidence should be provided when progress has been made.

Virtual Reality devices are becoming more affordable and thus the use of virtual training will expand. This will truly enhance the learning experience in every industry, since its (if you ask me) pretty cool. The concepts of augmented reality could be used to create a real environment for teaching complex concepts.

4. Just-In-Time (JIT) Learning

Then there is YouTube, this online media platform is incredible for many reasons. When it comes to learning, one thing stands out: Just-In-Time Learning. YouTube is perfect for quick, easy and always available learning. For example, I needed to fix my bike’s flat tire the other day and I didn’t remember anymore how to do that, thus I searched it on YouTube. Thousands of instructional videos pop up with a detailed explanation. So easy!

5. Social learning

Lastly, you have social learning. This is not new, but there are two factors that drive the need to adopt to social learning in companies. Firstly, due to the absence of physical immediacy between employees, there are internal social media networks for learning and development or just for the exchange of ideas. Secondly, there is the increasing number of millennials on the work floor, who find e-mail an unproductive medium to communicate. They prefer social media, to share files or videos effectively. A good example is “Workplace” this recently launched platform by Facebook, is a perfect internal social communication platform for organisations (YTE, 2017).

To conclude, trends come from somewhere. The continuous innovation brings us new learning methods that work better than others. Hence, these methods go viral and become trends. When you are an L&D manager you should follow these learning trends critically and connect the new techniques with your current training methods in order to find the perfect training tool for your organisations.

This post is brought to you by one of AQ’s Undergraduates, Paula van Staalduinen. As part of our internship programs, undergraduates and classic interns are encouraged to take part in company culture. Paula’s primary project focuses on training programs and eLearning and how best to adapt this to industries under pressure.