Learning is what we do - thoughts from a week on the road

At Kineo we’re always listening out for new trends and themes that we can use to continually improve the learning we develop for our clients.  Kineo Managing Director, Matt Johnson, sums up this ethos in his twitter bio by declaring himself a ‘lifelong learner’.

The Kineo Asia Pacific team has been on the road recently in Australia, attending the National VET conference, LearnX Live and Learning@Work, and there have been many common themes that have been cropping up throughout, both in the way of conference sessions we’ve attended and conversations we’ve had on the Kineo stand.

4 key trends everyone in L&D is talking about:

  1. Demonstrating the value of the L&D department

Proving the ‘return on investment’ of an L&D department never seems to be off the agenda. Whilst it serves an important role, it is an overhead to a business and there will always be pressure to prove the value that it brings.

The continual development of technology keeps moving the goalposts. A few years ago, board members may have been satisfied by being presented with numbers, such as how many people undertook a formal learning object; how many people passed the eLearning course etc. But as the range of learning experiences increases, and the range of technology increases, the challenge is on for L&D teams to be able to present insights that show how learning in the organisation has impacted the bottom line.  As illustrated by Matt Johnson during his LearnX keynote, many learners will instantly turn to Google to find the answers to the questions or problems they have. (To put this into context, Google now processes over 3.5 million search queries a day… or over 2 trillion per year!)

So, if your learners consistently use Google or collaborate with their colleagues to learn – that is, not doing any ‘formal’ learning (or fulfilling the '10%' of 70:20:10), how does the L&D department prove its worth? Can it ever prove its worth? Check out Matt’s slides from the Learning @ work conference on bridging the learning impact gap  for a few ideas.

Of course, whilst technology can appear to be a potential hindrance, it also offers ways in which we can prove the value of learning – Experience API was also a topic of many conversations but it doesn’t appear to be something that has been widely adopted and there seems to be more question marks around where – and how –  to start embedding it into a learning strategy.

 

  1. Understanding learners

Understanding exactly how learners want to learn seems to be another question causing L&D professionals to scratch their heads – but also understanding the motivations to learn was also a prevalent question.  How do L&D teams supply bitesized and just-in-time learning ‘Google-esque’ style to those with a growth mindset? Is this something can ever be done? Are L&D teams flexible enough to deliver this?

Matt discussed the language of learners in his LearnX Keynote. Do learners and employers have the same perception of what constitutes learning? If it isn’t a ‘formal’ learning object do learners believe that they are learning something when are invited to take part in new projects or collaborate with colleagues?

At Learning @ Work, we discussed the role of the manager, the learner, the L&D department and HR and the gaps that may exist between all of those parties in delivering learning. There is no doubt that managers need to understand why their team members may want to learn about a particular subject in a particular style.

 

  1. How to encompass new technology in learning strategies

Interactive video was top of the list for technology, and was something that was a particular hot-topic at LearnX. Matt Johnson answered several questions about it after his keynote and Kineo is sharing our best ideas on how and in what situations you should branch into interactive experiences using video in our next guide - make sure you pre-register for our interactive guide to get first dibs. Video is something that has become more prevalent over the last 5 years, but now technology offers organisations the chance to make a more exciting and scenario driven learning experience. 

If interactive video was top of the list, virtual reality was hot on its heels. Of course, VR is becoming more accessible due to products on the market such as google cardboard and Oculus Rift.

A lot of people were talking about VR and how this can be used as part of learning in their organisation. Of course, some industries and sectors lend themselves more to VR than others, but gaining an understanding of how it can be used across different industries was definitely at the forefront of many people’s minds. Leading the way were the healthcare and health and safety subject matters.

  1. Social learning

Now, on a slightly different note, it was surprising perhaps that social learning wasn’t on many people’s agenda- despite numerous conversations about it. Social learning is the subject of a lot of chatter and it’s a subject that comes up time and again – but actually embedding it into an organisation and understanding the value it brings is often brought into question.

There seems to be a lack of case studies about how social learning has been successfully implemented or, understanding the neuroscience in social learning. Kineo is currently working on a guide to social learning, which you can pre-register for here. To find out more while you wait for the guide read James Ballard’s blog on social wave. James also presented some top tips on social learning  at LearnX, or check out the case study from Vodafone’s award-winning social learning implementation.

In summary...

There are some recurring problems cropping up in L&D departments across the country – but the greatest means to solving those problems – technology - is consistently changing which makes it hard to keep up.

Get in touch for a consultation on how to evaluate your learning, how to embed social learning or how to use new technologies in your learning strategy.

 

 
 
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