3 learning and development trends that will outlive lockdown

by Viv Cole on May 15, 2020

As the lockdown continues without an apparent end in sight, there are three trends in L&D that have accelerated. The longer the lockdown, the more likely these are to become the new business as usual. Here are some ideas based on this week’s conversations with @MylesRunham and many others…and a link to Andrew Cotter’s excellent Zoom conversation with his dogs.

1. Removal of the day as the unit of L&D currency

As @DonaldHTaylor has mused, in the ‘old world’ a day was the standard unit of ‘learning currency’ and this was as wrong-sized as a can of baked beans! We hired venues by the day, facilitators by the day and it optimised costs of accommodation and travel.

Simply copying and pasting a face to face (F2F) course into virtual classroom is a recipe for disaster. Imagine how overwhelming it would be for learners to spend 2-3 solid days of focused attention online whilst juggling family commitments at the same time.

All high priority courses should be rescoped into journeys that maximise for learning effectiveness e.g. virtual classroom sessions of no more than 90 minutes, small chunks of relevant content, spaced learning so that people have opportunities to try things out, do individual learning, be coached, reflect and be tested in between group sessions.

As we all get more familiar with various digital channels, time will tell which new units of learning currency emerge…

2. Blended learning 3.0 emerges more consistently

Blended learning 1.0 involved taking a face to face (F2F) course and moving the parts that could be delivered asynchronously to pre-work and follow-up. Blended learning 2.0 included greater use of synchronous web technologies and social learning.

Both of these approaches still assume that F2F is the primary channel where learning happens and use other channels in service of F2F. Blended learning 3.0 is a fundamental design re-think – F2F is no longer king, it is one of many channels considered as part of a holistic approach that addresses the needs of the learners, subject matter and learning experience.

If you’d like to explore how you can move your learning offer into blended learning 3.0, do get in touch for a free 30 minute virtual cuppa.

3. Distributed access to learning to reduce clicks

Learners want to minimise the number of clicks between workflow and the learning they need. Whilst having an LMS or LXP with a strong search function is a good start, we can reduce the number of clicks if people can access relevant learning more directly from within their workflow.

Companies are investing in putting the cues for and links into learning into more places in the workflow. As MS Teams becomes more prevalent as a core work environment , several suppliers are offering integrations/plugins e.g. Filtered.

Working remotely increases the need to make relevant content findable (it feels harder to ask colleagues in the moment). Although this takes governance and teamwork, technology can accelerate people finding what they need to learn.

Conclusion

Different industries and organisations are moving through these trends at different speeds. Can your organisation afford to return to the old ways?

To explore digital learning after the re-set, more deeply, also check out this eLearning Network event.

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