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What are the top learning trends for 2014?

WE’RE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE YEAR AHEAD AT IMMERSE LEARNING AND WE’VE HAD OUR EARS TO THE GROUND LISTENING TO THE LATEST DISCUSSIONS ON THE TOP LEARNING TRENDS FOR 2014.

 

So what will be big in learning this year? Here is a compilation of our favourites:

 

SOCIAL AND COLLABORATIVE LEARNING

Donald Taylor cited the rise of the “networked individual” as one of the main trends for 2014. Tools such as the internet and social media are becoming more and more prevalent in learning, allowing learners to share knowledge and learn from one another informally. The role of Learning & Development is then to complement and support this with formal learning. How can learning become more collaborative in a formal setting? How can information be shared among learners effectively and learning become more interactive? These are the kinds of questions learning professionals should be asking. Sharlyn Lauby also suggests that social collaboration tools for organisational communication will be big in 2014.

TECHNOLOGY WILL BECOME EVEN MORE IMPORTANT TO SUPPORT A GLOBAL WORKFORCE

Business is changing. Companies are becoming even more global and a significant number of employees are internationally mobile; one of Bersin’s predictions for 2014 is that talent, skills and capability needs will become even more global. Training needs to become more flexible to complement busy schedules and technology is giving learners more freedom in how, where and when they learn, meaning that training can keep up with the same pace of change experienced by the rest of the business.

Mobile learning has frequently been suggested as one of the biggest trends of this year. According to a Forbes article, over half of Americans own a smartphone and this trend is expected to increase worldwide. Mobile allows workers to learn on the go and with greater control.

ANALYTICS AND TRACKING PERFORMANCE

According to Richard Bolton, partner in KPMG’s global HR centre of excellence, “if growth is to be stimulated, organisations need to re-skill, up-skill and reinvigorate their staff. Yet, only when HR teams capture and provide the boardroom with metrics that clearly outline what action must be taken will it be possible to deliver HR programmes that build business results.”

It has always been difficult to measure the ROI of training within an organisation. When budgets are cut, training is often one of the first areas to be affected, which makes demonstrating the value of training and learner progress even more essential. Bersin cited a focus on talent analytics and the “datafication of HR” as one of their biggest trends for 2014.

GAMIFICATION AND SERIOUS GAMES

Gamification has been one of the buzzwords of 2013 and looks set to be a key trend in 2014 as well. Gartner has predicted that by 2015, more than 70% of Global 2000 organisations will have one gamified application. The benefits for learning are clear. One of the issues that learning departments are constantly struggling with is engaging their employees in learning. Using gaming elements allows us to learn more effectively by addressing the psychology of our learning. Passive learning, or just sitting and listening, doesn’t yield results. Instead we need to learn through exploration, experience and reward. Incorporating game-based learning elements into training can improve engagement and memory retention. Sharlyn Lauby included it in her list of top learning trends.

PERSONALISED LEARNING

Generic e-learning courses are of little benefit to learners, as they don’t address how individuals learn. Training needs to become more personalised and address the way people learn more accurately. Personalised learning was one of the trends to come out of Kineo’s Learning Insights report. Learning technologies have revolutionised the way that learning is delivered, enabling organisations to deliver consistent training on a global scale but now they need to provide more empathy and personalisation for the learner. Kineo suggest that this requires more input from training managers and a greater emphasis on experiential learning, feedback and coaching. An important area of focus is providing personalised and relevant feedback to each student, providing them with areas for improvement and helping them to achieve their learning goals.

Immersive technology is one of the methods organisations can utilise to engage learners on a more personal level by allowing them to learn by doing and interact directly with their teacher and fellow students. At Immerse Learning, we value the importance of assessing and reporting on learners, providing feedback on each individual after every lesson and guiding them in their learning.

 

2014 looks set to be an exciting year in learning. What are your learning predictions for the coming year? Leave your comments below.