Three Key Trends for the Future of Learning

Three Key Trends for the Future of Learning
October 7, 2020 Linda Murray

A huge percentage of Australia’s workforce is currently “deskless”, working remotely or on the road, supported by both advancements in technology and by employers recognising the benefits of remote working arrangements.

From providing office workers with the technology they need to work away from the office, and field workers with the tools they need to perform their job efficiently and effectively, being connected whilst out of the office has never been easier.

Although working practices have changed significantly, the need for employees to remain upskilled and knowledgeable is more important now than at any other time in history.

Unfortunately, learning and development has lagged well behind all other advancements in workplaces this year with attention and budget being allocated elsewhere. Companies have simply moved day long workshops or lectures online, with little consideration for requirements of the learner.

Recent global events, including the pandemic, have forced employers to sit up and take notice about how they’re keeping their workforce upskilled, up-to-date, and informed. The result? We’re seeing a significant and important shift in the way companies across the globe are providing learning and development programs for their workforces.

The three key trends for the future of learning are centred around:

  1. Engagement
  2. User experience
  3. User needs

Engagement

Simply moving the team workshop and training sessions online with video linkup and chat dismisses the one factor that makes workshops powerful and effective in knowledge transfer: the human interaction and participation.

It’s easy to be distracted or to slip under the radar when you’re physically removed from the people-filled environment. It’s even easier to become insanely bored with being talked at for hours with a lecture-style webinar.

Even the best presenters lose their audience when the environment around them is filled with distractions.

Break down day-long workshops and training into a series of shorter, high energy, interactive sessions that provide the information in a clear, concise, and engaging way. We are also creating short, content rich yet personable videos which allows learners to complete sections in their own time, in and around their lives.

Adding short answer quizzes or gamifying the content provides opportunities for viewers to actively engage in the learning whilst they’re doing it. This not only caters to the different ways humans learn, but also significantly increases the likelihood of information being retained.

User Experience for self-driven learning

Despite employees having access to a mobile device, either a tablet or smartphone, many learning platforms and providers have missed the opportunity to put learning in the hands of potential students – literally.

Up until very recently, learning programs and platforms have been designed around a desktop or laptop experience.

Improving the overall user experience involves making sure the content suits the screen being viewed, whether desktop or smartphone, making sure video content can be viewed easily, and ensuring buttons, text fields, and drop-down menus are easy to find and use.

The inclusion of handrails or progress bars helps to guide the learner through the training. Adding support text or hints aids the learner, particularly those unused to online learning.

Redesigning learning for mobile devices not only allows learners to access information where and when they want to, it allows for consideration and seamless inclusion of those features that support user engagement.

User Needs

The needs of the user extend beyond their learning style and the device they’re using. User needs must take into consideration the information and knowledge employees require for their role.

Although the internet is filled with readily available information, employers who provide their employees with the information they need, when they need it, in the format they need it, put themselves ahead of the game.

This type of just-in-time learning enables positive customer experiences and a team of satisfied employees.

Technology, customer expectations, and the talent market have progressed exponentially over the last few years. Learning and development not only needs to catch up; it needs to join in the technology game.

Knowledge and training, whether standard business practices or skills-specific, is no longer just about the imparting of information in a training room. Providing learning in ways that meet the needs of the intended audience and account for changes to the workplace and external environments is now the priority.

If you’d like to learn more about the programs offered by Athena Leadership Academy, call Linda on 0405 322 005 or email linda@athenaleadership.com.au.

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