The Future of Workplace Learning: Top Trends and Predictions for 2019-2020
Sanchali Ghosh | February 27, 2019
According to research conducted by Catalyst, Millennials are now the largest group in the global workforce, and by 2025, they will comprise three-quarters of it. 56 million Millennials between the ages of 21 and 36 are set to join the workforce in the next one year alone. This is bringing about tremendous changes in the learning strategies being adopted by organizations across the world.
With the pace the world is moving at, a learning intervention developed today runs the risk of becoming completely irrelevant the next week. Learning must be continual, responsive, and relevant. The need of the hour is to make learning at the workplace more self-driven and realistic.
The dynamic shift in the learning strategies at a global stage is palpable. Based on client demands and interests, here are our predictions for the global learning trends for 2019-2020:
According to live data calculated by internetlivestats.com, every hour there’s an average of 28 million tweets, 252 million videos viewed, and 208,000 blog posts written—staggering figures, right? Plenty is a problem for the learner today. There’s so much out there, we don’t know what to read and what not to. This is where content curation comes in and will possibly be one of the top learning trends this year. Simply speaking, it is the process of gathering existing information and content from social media, blogs, websites, videos, podcasts, and e-books, filtering it, checking it for accuracy, and then delivering it to the learner.
While content creation is still the foundation, curation could be of immense value in reinforcing the learning and providing a learning path for motivated self-learners. The data is “mined,” filtered, and authenticated before the Instructional Designers act as the intelligent human filter and turn the learning resources into entire portals of cumulative content, letting learners take the lead. The curated content presented to the learner is categorized and maps to their needs. This process is continual, keeping the content relevant and updated.
Bite-Sized Videos Nuggets
According to research by elearningindustry.com, 22 billion videos are viewed daily, across the world. Gartner says that by the end of 2018, 75% of workers at large organizations will have interacted with various kinds of videos at least three times a day. The change from traditional eLearning strategies to mobile strategies has been ongoing for quite some time now. It is therefore not surprising that organizations are trying their best to harness the average millennial’s mobile phone addiction. The need of the hour is short, targeted, microlearning modules, preferably in a video format. It is not only easy to deliver on mobile phones, but viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text format. To cater to the short attention spans of modern learners, the next few years will see a steady rise in the use of short animated videos, explainer videos, whiteboard animations, and interactive videos.
A study by Adobe suggests that an interactive video impacts learning 10 times more than a classic video. This approach combines interactions (corresponding to the learning interactions of the eLearning courses) to create high-impact learning experiences. It can also be used as a support to Instructor-Led Trainings (ILTs) or Virtual Instructor-Led Trainings (VILTs). Recently, Netflix’s Bandersnatch took interactive videos all the way to make an entire movie play out according to the user’s choices. When applied to business simulations or soft skills trainings, interactive videos could not only increase viewer retention, but also enhance interactivity through smartly placed decision points. With tools like WIREWAX, Rapt, DilogR, and Spotful, these videos can also be made trackable on the Learning Management System (LMS).
Most of the learning in a corporate environment happens on the job and from peer-to-peer knowledge transfer. Compared to traditional learning, retention rates are as high as 70% when social learning strategies are used. For example, people are increasingly trying to figure out a solution to their day-to-day tasks by posting their queries on social media or forums like Quora. It’s a long-standing joke that if a “how-to” video of a task doesn’t exist on YouTube, the task doesn’t exist at all. This is exactly what workplace learning can benefit from, in the long run. Social learning favors a more common sense-based, real-life approach to learning, with peer-to-peer or expert interaction forming the 20 of the 70:20:10 learning model.
Trends like content curation are already making extensive use of social learning through forums, chat rooms, and peer collaborations. Companies are increasingly moving away from structured LMS to learning portals with non-linear learning paths. Websites like Quora and Brainly are already massively successful and are making use of crowd-sourced knowledge.
With a few years of substantial progress in gamification behind us, it’s no surprise that 2019 will have more of it—blended with social learning. Organizations can make use of collaborative games where a concentrated team effort is needed to achieve the goals. With organization-wide leaderboards and proper incentives, gamification can be used as an effective tool for social learning and workplace communication and interaction. Dedicated forums, wikis, webinars, MOOCs, and similar platforms are currently the most feasible methods to deploy social learning effectively and quickly. The objective would be to create a one-stop platform where employees can interact and learn from each other through some kind of structured facilitation.
AI and Chatbot
The chatbot is a conversational agent that can simplify the teaching methodology by interacting with the learner in a human-like manner. Often called virtual assistants, chatbots have been popularized by Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. With deep learning abilities, chatbots can not only be “taught” necessary information, but can also learn from user interaction. Moreover, chatbots can be a key to increasing performance and productivity in the workplace by acting like virtual assistants which can help onboard new employees, provide feedback, and keep a steady flow of open communication.
The availability of chatbots can make learning personal, relevant, and a continuous process by breaking the cycle of ‘learn and forget’ and providing training support in small, incremental bursts.
This just-in-time, on-the-job performance support saves time, effort, and money, and keeps learning relevant and focused.
Adaptive AI-based algorithms in learning can be used to generate simple tests to gauge the pace and methodology for different learners and provide a specific learning path. For example, a course path set by the AI for a visual learner will have more explainer videos, as opposed to podcasts for the more auditory learner, and gamified solutions for the kinesthetic/tactile learner. Moreover, they can be useful for modules like quizzes, where the program can “decide” which questions to ask from its repository, based on the learners’ previous responses and problem areas. They can also help in the reinforcement of learning by delivering relevant information in response to triggers, like answers to a quiz or a knowledge check. Based on specific skills and experiences, they can have the ability to pair students with the most effective mentors. The result? Learning that is effective and personalized.
Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Media
According to a Capterra research, by 2021, one in every three small to medium-sized businesses in the U.S. will be piloting VR employee training programs and seeing their new hires reach full productivity 50% faster as a result. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are relatively new entrants to our learning universe. Combined with 3D-based learning, they can be used effectively for experiential learning by simulating an environment or an object. Workers, field engineers, and technicians can not only get hands-on practice, but also are more likely to retain the knowledge gained through extensive use of AR. They can also help prevent workplace accidents to a considerable extent. From the employer’s end, it significantly reduces the cost of training for all scenarios that require hands-on practice, since the need for maintaining and using the actual equipment is completely unnecessary. It helps in continuous learning, as the simulated environment can be made available to the learners at all times.
Realistically speaking, the list of potential practical applications of AR and VR are endless once the mobile readiness and resources of the organization are optimized.
Learning will be going through a massive and dynamic change in the next few years. To stay relevant, organizations have to cater exactly to the learner’s needs and adopt more practical and responsive strategies. While we should be open to developing learning interventions based on the market trends, it is up to the organizations and learning professionals to find the correct strategy that will work for their learners.
Indecomm Digital’s learning solutions have been continuously impacting the performance of more than 300+ enterprises, governments, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations across the world. You can find out more about our learning services for the digital age here.
Millennials are the Largest Generation in the U.S. Labor Force by Richard Fry – pewresearch.org
Generations: Demographic Trends in Population and Workforce – catalyst.org
8 Examples of Video-Based Learning for Corporate Training by Asha Pandey – elearningindustry.com
How To Incorporate Video into Your Social Media Strategy by Lyndsi Stafford – forbes.com
5 Ways to Increase the Impact of Your Interactive Video Based Learning by Asha Pandey – elearning.adobe.com
Virtual Reality Employee Training is Here. Should You Adopt? by Brian Westfall – blog.capterra.com
3D, Augmented Reality, and Workplace Learning by Nupur Avantika – indecommdigital.com