Work-life balance? Trends in L&D delivery

If you blinked you’d have missed them, but we really are over two months into the new year. Learning Technologies 2017 is behind us and we’ve already seen countless lists of trends in L&D.  But do they have any basis in fact?

The recently-published list from eLearning Art has been crowd-sourced – a trend-of-trends style affair. With input from many of our friends in the industry including Laura Overton, Lesley Price, Clive Shepherd and our own Cammy Bean, it’s an interesting read. And not just the top 9 trends that were mentioned by 10% or more of the panel – what really adds value is their commentary and rationale.

But are these truly L&D trends?

When a list like this appears, our instinct at Kineo is to ask each other ‘is this really the case? Are we seeing this reflected in what our clients require and what we’re delivering?’

In this case, the answer pretty much seems to be yes. From microlearning to video (interactive or otherwise), from gamification to social learning – it’s all familiar ground for us. And a look back at our latest Learning Insights report shows that these things are on the radar for our clients too. Not only that, they’re being put into action.

What stands out for me about this list – and our own research - is that the trends all fit together and tell a coherent story. The scarily-named, seemingly doom-laden sixth item on the list – ‘elearning decline’ – actually sums up what’s happening here. Rather than a complete decline in elearning per se, what we’re seeing is a shift in how workplace learning is delivered. The tech we use to learn or gather information in our everyday lives and, more importantly, the way we learn is more and more present at work. Think browsing YouTube for a tutorial, Googling recipes, using an app to help practice a skill or learn something new.

We’re WISE to the changes

So, what does that mean for those who deliver and design learning and development at work? How can we make sure we’re moving with the times here? We’ve been giving this a bit of thought lately and we’ve come up with an approach to learning design that we call WISE:

  • Web-style – mirroring how people browse online in everyday life
  • Interactive – attention-grabbing and encouraging interactions
  • Self-directed – at the point of need, led by the learner
  • Erudite – useful, to the point, and suitable for the purpose.

James, our Head of Learning Design, shared his thoughts about WISE on this blog.

With these principles in mind it’s easy to see how digital learning is shifting quite naturally. It’s nothing mysterious – it’s a case of looking around and working out what we can borrow from ‘the real world’. And that, for me, is the biggest trend worth tracking.

Want to know more? Our recent week of webinars took a stroll through these themes – from social learning on Monday, via content curation and interactive video, and ending with a Friday session on the WISE approach. Although you’ve missed the chance to get involved live, the recordings are still available – catch up at your leisure!



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