Category Archives: Corporate Learning and Development

eLearning Trends In 2019: How To Use Them To Enhance Your Learning Strategy

At this time of the year, you look out for trends that can enhance your training delivery. In this article, I share the eLearning Trends in 2019 you can use to enhance, measure, and maximize the impact and returns on your learning strategies.

eLearning Trends In 2019 You Can Use To Enhance Your Learning Strategy

As I began my exercise to predict eLearning Trends in 2019, the fourth one in this series, I took a step back to see why anyone seeks upcoming trends.

The top 5 reasons why L&D teams look at trends are listed here. They prompt them to adopt new or better approaches that:

  1. Keep the learners engaged.
  2. Ensure knowledge acquisition happens.
  3. Facilitate the application of the acquired learning on the job.
  4. The desired performance gain and ROI occurs.
  5. A positive ROI on training spend is established.

In this article, I take this need as the thread to share the eLearning Trends in 2019. I have grouped them as follows:

  1. Section 1: I list the trends that help learners learn and, more significantly, apply this learning to show better performance or the required behavioral change.
  2. Section 2: I list trends featuring learning strategies with a proven track record of delivering a better engagement quotient and higher training impact.
  3. Section 3: I follow this up with a list of trends that organizations must invest on to measure, enhance, and maximize the impact of their training.
  4. Section 4: I wrap up with trends that are clearly emerging as front runners for investment in the very near future.

With this approach, I am confident that the featured eLearning Trends in 2019 in this article will offer tremendous value in enhancing your learning strategies in the New Year.

Upcoming Release: I also have a free eBook on eLearning Trends in 2019 releasing on Jan 15th.

  • Designed as a guide that you can practically use, it features a typical learner journey that highlights how modern learners learn and what they wish to see in their online training delivery.
  • I use this backdrop to highlight how the featured eLearning Trends in 2019 can be used to add value to learning and its application plus measurement and further gains.

Without further ado, here is my list of eLearning Trends in 2019 banded logically to facilitate their impact and application.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 1: The Trends That Help Learners Learn And Apply This Learning To Show Better Performance Or Behavioral Change.

  1. Mobile Learning
  2. Digitalization of ILT (to Blended or Fully Online)
  3. Performance Support Tools
  4. Informal Learning
  5. Social Learning
  6. Self-Directed Learning

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 2: Learning Strategies With A Proven Track Record Of Delivering A Better Engagement Quotient And Higher Training Impact.

  1. Microlearning
  2. Gamification
  3. Video-Based Learning (Videos and Interactive Videos)
  4. Mobile Apps for Learning
  5. Personalization
  6. Curation and User Generated Content

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 3: The Trends That Organizations Must Invest On To Measure, Enhance, And Maximize The Impact Of Their Training.

  1. Learning Engagement Platforms – LXP
  2. Learner Analytics
  3. Big Data-Reporting and Analytics

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 4: Other Notable Trends To Watch Out For—The Future Is Here!

  1. AR/VR and MR for Immersive Learning
  2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Learning

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 1: The Trends That Help Learners Learn And Apply This Learning To Show Better Performance Or Behavioral Change.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #1: Mobile Learning

Over the last 4–5 years, the adoption of Mobile Learning has been on the rise. This is on account of the flexibility it provides to learners (learning on the go, multi-device support – including smartphones, tablets or laptops/desktops, and anytime and anywhere access).

From an organization’s perspective, this is clearly an approach that resonates better with learners, offers higher engagement, provides better completion rates, and can be used to support both formal and informal trainings.

What I see changing in 2019 is the maturing of Mobile Learning solutions, leading to a bifurcation into mobile friendly or adaptive designs and mobile first or fully responsive designs. The latter will align better to the way learning is expected to be consumed (notably on smartphones) and will feature learning interactions optimized for them.

Additionally, Mobile Learning will be used to offer almost the entire spectrum of corporate training needs. It will feature high-impact formats including videos, Microlearning, and apps for learning.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #2: Digitalization Of ILT (To Blended Or Fully Online)

While the ILT mode is not dying, it will soon start getting limited to niche programs. 2019 will see further increase in the Digitalization of ILT (to blended or fully online). Even the core ILT delivery will get supported by online resources including pre- and post-workshop material and assessments.

The triggers include push from learners to reduced training budgets and shorter cycles to train employees.

My assessment is that in 2019, we will see a higher percentage of programs going to the fully online format that can be consumed on the device of the learner’s choice (ranging from smartphones/tablets to laptops/desktops).

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #3: Performance Support Tools

Performance support tools or PSTs are learning aids or job aids that are designed to address a specific learning need.

They are available to the learners within their workflow and hence can be easily accessed and used without having to log on to an LMS.

Designed to support formal training (focusing on knowledge acquisition), PSTs can facilitate learning application thereby improving the training impact and learner proficiency. They can be used to support ILT as well as online training, and they effectively serve as a measure to offset the “forgetting curve.”

2019 will see further adoption of PSTs riding high on the increase in mobile learning, Microlearning, and video-based learning.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #4: Informal Learning

The fact that learning happens through multiple channels (and not just formal training) is an established one.

Many of us may be familiar with the 70-20-10 model for Learning and Development. According to this model,

  1. 70% of the learning is experiential (that is, happens on-the-job).
  2. 20% is through social or collaborative learning (that is, learning with or from others).
  3. 10% is through formal training programs.

While we may debate on the percentages shown here, the model does affirm the need of organizations to create a support system and the opportunities to promote informal learning in their workplace.

The usage of measures like performance support tools or PSTs as well as platforms to promote social learning will see significant increase in 2019.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #5: Social Learning

In our early years, our learning is purely from others and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is true for learning at the workplace too. Over the last 3–5 years, L&D teams have seen value in adopting and promoting social learning.

With the options of platforms, next gen LMS, and learning experience platforms, social learning is finally poised for growth in 2019.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #6: Self-Directed Learning

In general terms, self-directed learning is the approach of moving the onus of learning to the learner rather than the teacher. As an extension, in the context of corporate training, it maps to empowering learners to choose how they want to learn.

Unlike training programs that are “pushed” through LMS, self-directed learning is all about giving this control to the learners. They can decide on what they want to learn, how they wish to learn, when they choose to learn, over what time frame would they want to learn and so on.

As you will note, this approach provides control to the learners and gives them the option to decide their learning path. Alongside social learning and informal learning, organizations are recognizing the value of promoting self-directed learning that can help them create learning as a continuum. This trend will continue in 2019.

eLearning Trends For 2019 – Section 2: Learning Strategies With A Proven Track Record Of Delivering A Better Engagement Quotient And Higher Training Impact.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #7: Microlearning

The debate on the value and impact of macro learning (or traditional eLearning) and microlearning (bite-sized, short learning nuggets of 2–7 mins run length each designed to meet a specific outcome) goes on.

However, the fact is that the usage of microlearning-based training has revolutionized training delivery over the last 2 years, and I see this trend accelerating further in 2019.

Today, you can opt for microlearning-based training to offer formal training and informal training and support ILT. Its flexibility to be delivered as a single, short nugget to meet a specific outcome to a learning path that can have an array of learning nuggets makes it a powerful choice for corporate training. I see an increased adoption of microlearning in 2019.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #8: Gamification

Till a few years ago, the impact of gamification-based training had a big question mark associated with it. While gamification provides fun-based learning to users, does it indeed help them achieve a specific learning outcome?

The usage of gamification for serious learning has been on the upswing in the last 2 years, and I see this trend increasing in 2019.

The application of gamification, including the game-based approach, or partial gamification will see an increased application across various corporate training needs. With the reduction in development costs and shorter time frame to develop, L&D teams will see higher value in this investment in 2019.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #9: Video-Based Learning (Videos And Interactive Videos)

Video-based learning is fast becoming a standard piece of online training. This includes its usage in traditional eLearning formats to its extensive usage in the microlearning-based trainings.

In 2019, I see this trend continuing. Equally interesting is the wider adoption of interactive videos that overcome the passivity of traditional videos and increase learner engagement manifold through interactivities and assessments.

Another usage of video-based learning in 2019 will be through the curation of public domain videos.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #10: Mobile Apps For Learning

The widespread adoption of mobile learning and its updated avatar of mobile first or responsive design leads to an important fact that the learning experiences on smartphones must be optimized to the devices. The interactions must mimic the way we use these devices.

On similar lines, similar to Apps that learners use, mobile apps for learning can provide a very effective strategy for online training. The training can be personalized and updated with ease.

The cost and longer lead time to develop mobile apps for learning have led to its limited adoption. I see this as a very powerful approach; I see it play a significant role in training formats.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #11: Personalization

Today’s learners do not have the patience or the attention span to go through learning that is generic and doesn’t map to what they are looking for.

This is where personalization of learning fits in and provides a custom learning path to learners. You can personalize learning based on the learner’s role, proficiency, area of interest and so on.

The Microlearning-based training approach provides the required granularity to draw up highly personalized learning paths for various learner profiles. Rendered over mobile devices, this approach can provide a highly relevant and personalized learning path to each learner.

This trend is worth a watch in 2019 wherein we will also see the usage of machine learning and AI to create more meaningful learning experiences.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #12: Curation And User-Generated Content

While we may be spoilt for choice on data and information that is easily accessible on the Internet, tagging it and identifying the relevant info is a time-consuming process.

Content curation addresses these pain areas and provides relevant learning resources to users. Learners have the flexibility to opt for the recommended learning path or configure their own version.

Furthermore, the exercise also promotes user participation by encouraging user-generated content to keep the knowledge base current and relevant.

This is not all. Content curation enables organizations to tap into resources that are available in the public domain, and they do not need to re-create them.

This trend has been on an upswing, and I see a similar traction in 2019. This too will benefit from emerging techniques like AI for learning, machine learning and so on, to create even more relevant learning paths to the users.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 3: The Trends That Organizations Must Invest On To Measure, Enhance, And Maximize The Impact Of Their Training.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #13: Learning Engagement Platforms – LXP

Learning Engagement Platforms (LXP) provide a highly personalized learning experience to users through learning pathways. Besides this, they feature social or collaborative learning, inclusive learning, content curation and facilitation of user-generated content.

In contrast to LMS, the LXPs empower learners to define their learning path from a set of learning assets featuring varied formats. Besides facilitating self-directed learning, they encourage learner participation through user-generated content.

They feature social learning and offer recognition to active participants. They do feature assessments along with badges and certification.

They are fun, more engaging, and relevant for learners, and they will help learners meet specific learning outcomes.

In the short term, including in 2019, they will co-exist with LMS. Many existing LMS players are already offering the LXP option as an add-on. Then, there are new participants that offer AI-based recommendations and aspects like “career pathways” that resonate very well with the learners.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #14: Learner Analytics

2019 will continue to see the usage of learner analytics to review learner behavior and what additional measures can be adopted to increase engagement, motivation, and facilitate the application of acquired learning.

A wider adoption of Tin Can API will provide the relevant cues in this endeavor. Furthermore, the usage of Artificial Inteligence (AI) in learning will further facilitate the usage of this analytics to create more relevant and personalized learning experiences.

I see this trend seeing further traction in 2019, resulting in learning designs that appeal to learners and create the required value and ROI that businesses seek.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #15: Big Data-Reporting And Analytics

Big Data refers to voluminous data that is aggregated from various sources (typically, LMS, LCMS, learning portals, and surveys/polling or assessments in the context of eLearning). Given its volume, complexity, and the fact that it is dynamic, there is no tool that can manage and analyze it.

Big Data-reporting and analytics refers to the methodology to present the data in formats that are actionable. When processed right, this can give us tremendous insights on how learners learn, the impact of training on skills or behavioral change, and the impact on business and eventually ROI determination.

I see an increase in Big Data-reporting and analytics in 2019, leading to further optimization of the training delivery. This analysis can be used to understand learner behavior, the way they want to learn, the learning paths chosen, and how to update the existing training delivery. These cues can then be used to create personalized and more effective learning paths that enable learners to learn, practice, obtain feedback and remediation, and so on.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 4: Other Notable Trends To Watch Out For – The Future Is Here!

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #16: AR/VR And MR For Immersive Learning

L&D Teams’ hunt to evaluate immersive learning strategies is an on-going endeavor. Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) are acknowledged as superb approaches to provide highly immersive learning experiences for a few years now.

High price and substantial lead time to develop them have been two factors that have limited their wider usage. Also, the use cases that justify the investment and ROI are limited.

With main authoring tool providers like Adobe and Trivantis getting into VR solutions, the price points have dropped. Their design approach also makes it easier to author these learning experiences in a short time. I see further traction on VR solutions in 2019 as these solutions become more affordable and can be offered to supplement the formal training.

In my opinion, 2019 will see a wider adoption of AR-based training, including mobile apps that embed VR features. The use cases will expand to include soft skills training as well as learning to trigger behavioral change.

eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #17: Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Learning

The usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in learning is one trend in 2019 that you should watch out for.

AI can facilitate the creation of highly customized learning paths by analyzing the data it collects. This data can then be used to understand the learner’s interest, proficiency, and recommend further learning assets that they may not be aware of. Potentially, personalized learning will not only engage the learner better but also help L&D teams gain the impact they seek.

I hope this article helps demystify the value and impact of each eLearning trend I have listed and provides the context of why you should use them.

By Asha Pandey, Chief Learning Strategist at EI Design

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Design Thinking: The Future Of HR Learning And Development

L&D and HR leaders deal with some pretty large-scale people development problems, starting from managing attrition and creating learning engagement, to managing to stay abreast of technology trends in Learning and Development.

What The Future Of HR Learning And Development Looks Like

In a fast-changing world, incorporating design thinking into the design of employee training can help to solve problems like maximizing learning, improving engagement, reducing drop-offs and managing attrition.

In most organizations, employee training design has more of a top-down approach, where employers decide what learners should learn and how they should learn it, rather than catering to what and how they want to learn. This process has been seeing diminishing returns as a rising proportion of Millennials and Gen Z has joined the workforce. While some organizations have tried to solve this by building access to MOOCs such as Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning, these sort of learning options only cover self-development. What gets left out is functional knowledge or product/process training, which needs to be put out as structured learning.

So, how can design thinking help? The central premise of design thinking is a solution-based approach to problem-solving. Design thinking requires that the client (in this case the employee) is placed at the center of it all.

Step 1

Empathize with learners to understand their experiences and motivations. Leaders need to put themselves in the shoes of employees and figure out what motivates them. Tools to help with this can be surveys and interviews of employees, to get a thorough picture of different learner profiles. This is different from a Training Needs Analysis, since it focuses a lot more on behavior, likes, dislikes, motivations, and challenges in their daily life.

Step 2

Define the problem you want to solve. Very often learning outcomes falter because the learner and organization do not agree on the intended outcome of the learning. Defined problems will yield much clearer solutions.

Step 3

Ideate with all relevant stakeholders. Creating a multi-functional team that can contribute to this can help to introduce more perspectives and ideas into the mix. This team should know the learner, understand the problem you are trying to solve and brainstorm possible solutions. Approaching this as an open-ended discussion can help bring out as many solutions as possible before you start converging on one for the next step.

Step 4

Prototype a potential solution. Often the response to arriving at a potential solution is to select one and jump right into implementing it. This is exactly what the design thinking process tells us to avoid. The next step is to produce a scaled-down, inexpensive prototype of the most favored solutions, such as a tech platform or digital content. These are then shared within the design team and with a small group of people outside the team. The aim of prototyping is to identify the best possible solution for the problems identified in Step 2. These are investigated, accepted, improved, accepted or rejected based on the learners’ experience.

Step 5

Test the product using the best solutions identified in the prototyping step. While this is the final step in this 5-stage process, design thinking is an iterative process and testing phase results often indicate that you need to go back to the prototyping or ideation phase to get things right. If new insights present themselves about your learners or market realities have changed, then this may need a new set of solutions.

The process outlined above may seem linear and structured, but in reality, these steps are followed in quick succession and in a non-linear fashion, to ensure that speed is achieved. Design teams can delineate themselves to do parts of the process.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

This article was first published on elearningindustry

3 Types of Startups Who Need a Learning Culture to Succeed

Service-driven startups like cab hailing apps, e-commerce apps, delivery and logistics enterprises, etc. thrive on very specific yet highly competitive ecosystems.

Most startups work towards the one thing which matters most – Survival. In the crucial early years, startups are consumed by solving critical challenges like getting their product/service off the ground, creating differentiation with consumers, hiring the right team and raising capital. Most times this leaves no bandwidth for anything else and lower order priorities like training usually take a backseat – and, rightly so. Most startups can do without structured learning for a very long time, and instead, driving a culture of ‘figuring it out’ and self-learning can help teams remain cutting-edge and current. However, if you are a particular type of startup, then learning is actually quite critical to the success of your business model.

1.    Startups with large field forces

Startups that depend on a large field force to either sell or deliver their product/service to customers, need them to be knowledgeable and be skilled at selling. But, with large field forces come issues such as high attrition and the need for training their replacements faster. As a startup, balanced on the thin edge of efficient capital consumption and delivering a world-class brand experience to customers, these costs can prove very dear.

Startup founders typically, expect field force managers to teach incoming employees on-the-job or through 1-2 day-long classroom sessions, to equip them with all the knowledge regarding the product/service, its differentiation, processes, and skills related to selling and issue handling. That can be a lot to absorb in such a short time span! However, what startups don’t realize is that the willingness to commit this time to train may differ from manager to manager as may the ability to train, resulting in a lopsided field force where some are trained to deliver better than others. And one of the fastest ways to kill a brand is inconsistent brand experience with customers.

Such startups can benefit enormously from having structured learning and onboarding programs, that incoming field force is mandatorily required to go through in their initial few days. With advancing learning technology, such structured programs are now delivered with ease through mobile devices with micro-learning that is consumed on-the-go. Ultimately, the cost of such a program is offset by the benefits of consistency of brand experience resulting in growth and scale.

2.    Startups who run an ecosystem

Service-driven startups like cab hailing apps, e-commerce apps, delivery and logistics enterprises, etc. thrive on very specific yet highly competitive ecosystems. Features such as one-day delivery, pick-up & drop services, returns, and home trial add enormous pressures on logistics teams in startups. Conversely, the differentiating factor is not always the product/service itself, but the quality of hospitality and customer care provided, which is actually delivered by the ecosystem.

Compared to the previous type of startup, the need for training this ecosystem comes from two fronts – Process and Brand Experience. Ecosystem partners deal with both major stakeholders involved – with the startup (seller) and the customer (buyer). Understanding processes which may include critical aspects like authentication, cash handling, timely delivery and pickup, returns etc. is imperative for ecosystem partners. And every partner of this ecosystem doubles up as a brand ambassador, therefore they need to understand the brand experience they are supposed to deliver.

If such an ecosystem is at the center of a startup’s business model, then founders need to ensure that the ecosystem represents and communicates the brand experience founders have envisaged. This, however, cannot be done quickly and is a long-term process. Startups need to analyze the role of each partner, design training programs accordingly and ensure the same is communicated to them on a regular basis.

3.    Startups with complex product/service offerings

Startups with complex product/service offerings such as technology products, fin-tech or medical tech have a unique requirement. Their offering is typically based on a thorough understanding of the domain and the issues with existing products/services, which can be sometimes fairly complex subject matter. Not only historical context, it is important for such companies to keep abreast of the advances and latest developments in their domain. Sometimes, the requirement can be as simple as knowing new regulations in the industry that affect your product/service.

As such startups grow and hire, whether it is sales and marketing, product development, Operations or HR, translating this context and understanding is important and needs to be done continually. Such startups would benefit from building up a repository of knowledge that is available for reference or learning as needed.

By Kamalika Bhattacharya, CEO & Co-Founder at QuoDeck

This article was first published on BWDisrupt