Earlier this month, Wranx surveyed a number of Learning and Development professionals to ask for their opinion on thelearning trends that will have the most impact in 2020. We wanted to gain insight into the most relevant trends and what skills will become most essential for leaders to foster and encourage effective learning within their organisation.
Looking back at the beginning of 2019, a wide range of different trends were anticipated. The talk of automation was a hot topic, as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning was becoming a cheaper resource to utilise. AI-driven L&D solutions can give employees real-time guidance and personalised paths for their individual growth. In addition to this, 80% of the global workforce is also thought to be deskless workers, so mobile learning was becoming far more favourable over classroom training, due to the accessibility and customisation of learning.
Trends to watch out for in 2020
70% of our survey participants believe that on-demand learning will have the most impact on organisations. Although this ties in with the accessibility of mobile learning and the ability to complete training ‘anytime, anywhere’, on-demand learning will take a new approach in 2020.
On-demand learning is defined as a training strategy for how a learner gains access to knowledge-based content in real time. The Wranx Media Hub is an example of this – it is a central repository which can store multiple formats of learning resources, such as PDFs, presentations, training manuals, videos and diagrams. By doing this, learners can gain access to resources and fill knowledge gaps that have been made evident in their online learning. The rapid growth of remote workers (up by 44% in the US alone, making 4.7 million people remote workers) means this additional performance support will be even more significant, as they will have equal learning opportunities compared to in-house employees.
50% of participants also believe blended learning will be significant in 2020. This trend consistently appears, as combining e-learning modules and face-to-face classroom techniques improves knowledge retention and refutes the ‘one size fits all’ approach to learning. As an example, Wranx can be used as a reinforcement tool in conjunction with a LMS or classroom training. Wranx can then be used to repeatedly present the information to the learner to help embed it into the long-term memory, as opposed to a one-off learning session. Without this regular reinforcement, learners are likely to forget 40% of the information just 20 minutes after their initial training session.
Video-based learning and self-led online learning closely followed this trend, both voted for by 40% of participants. We consume video-based content several times during our day for a variety of reasons, including for entertainment and learning, so it makes sense for L&D teams to take advantage of this in their strategies. A core component of online learning, it is thought to be more engaging than just completing a module online. Platforms are even taking inspiration from Netflix by organising content into categories and suggested content that the system’s AI recommends to learners, based on the consumption behaviour of other users in the same job function. This also ties in with self-led online learning, as L&D may get to a point where face-to-face methods are obsolete since everything a learner could need is available online!
Essential Skills for L&D Teams in 2020
80% of survey participants believe that creating a culture of continuous learning will be an essential skill for L&D teams in 2020. ATD recommends various ways for building this culture, including sufficient communication across teams and dedicating time and resources to L&D. If your budget is small, then adapt it! Learning can always take place – it may just require more creativity and informal approaches. Facilitating mentoring and embracing new technologies is also important, as this enables accessible learning rather than relying on organised training sessions.
Finally, 70% of participants believe evaluation of the impact of training will be another essential skill for 2020. Determining the return on investment of training is vital, as organisations want to be spending money on training that is worthwhile and changing employees’ behaviour – for the better! Setting learning goals and objectives is a good start, while also focusing on their data gathering strategy. L&D teams need a data-driven picture of the effectiveness of learning, which they can create from other areas in the business to start building evidence of business impact.
This evidence can come from employee assessments. Wranx is able to create customised learning modules and sandwich this content between a pre and post-assessment. This creates an a/b test and paints a clear picture of progression. Combining this with Certainty Based Marking assessments, where learners are required to rate how certain they are of their answer, further highlights knowledge gaps. These knowledge gaps let learning leaders know how effective their current training is and informs future training decisions.
Learning and Development teams have a lot to anticipate moving into 2020. Trends that were predicted to be important last year have taken a backseat, such as the implementation of AI within the workplace. According to our survey, independent online learning that is available anytime, anywhere is most significant for 2020. The idea of Learning Experience Platforms (LXP) is favourable, as they can provide learners with what they need in one place, while promoting more engaging and effective learning, compared to the LMS.
A workplace that promotes continuous learning was also seen as an important skill for L&D teams to have, for the simple reason that learning should always take place! Skill gaps, a growing problem in a technology driven society, can also be filled through nurturing and regularly training existing employees to satisfy skills demands as they arise across the organisation. Providing opportunities for growth benefits organisations in the long-term as there are clear correlations between workplace learning and productivity.