Now that it’s officially six months into 2019, it’s time to take another look at some of the hot topics across business eLearning and what they mean for L&D professionals around the world. Although some tried and true favorites like microlearning and personalization are still on the rise, new conversations are starting to spark around the rise of internal Online Program Management, or OPM, and the benefits of incorporating machine learning into your training or business productivity strategy.
Keep reading for a look at some of the most talked about topics of 2019 so far, and what they mean for business enablement strategies everywhere:
Microlearning was one of the hottest topics of 2018, and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon. As the pace of the modern day workplace continues to speed up alongside technology, microlearning has become the most accessible, affordable, and effective way to support L&D in the workplace.
This tech-enabled format of learning helps to support performance by breaking down big ideas or processes into more easily consumable parts. Creating short, interactive, and immersive learning materials that support engagement and overall retention remains one of the most effective ways to boost overall results within your L&D initiatives.
Let’s face it. Mobile learning is a must-have for every L&D initiative. You can deliver this on-the-go experience using an LCMS, a responsive website, or through podcasting. Given the fact that the modern day professional only has an average of 1% of their working week to dedicate to their individual development, having an accessible mobile learning strategy is no longer just a ‘nice-to-have’ for organizations that are looking to scale.
Roughly 40% of organizations are currently using mobile devices in their training programs, and these numbers suggest that mobile learning not only increases overall engagement and course completion, but also knowledge retention. Mobile learning is becoming the new standard for L&D initiatives, and organizations who don’t embrace this challenge risk losing out on some of the top talent that the next generation has to offer.
Adaptive & Machine Learning
Implementing an adaptive learning plan is a lot like providing personalized learning support (or virtual tutors) for every one of your learners. And although personalized learning is not necessarily a new concept, it is definitely taking on a new meaning for 2019. The democratization of technology has made this kind of L&D more accessible than ever, but creating custom adaptive learning systems is still a big commitment.
As adaptive learning systems continue to evolve with time, they become more and more automated. That’s where machine learning, or artificial intelligence, is beginning to find its place in the overall eLearning world.
Many high profile organizations, from Boeing, to UPS, to Walmart, are turning to augmented reality and virtual training solutions as a way to support performance and development on-the-job. VR training is helping employees engage with real-world scenarios in realistic simulations that illicit practice and overall performance support.
But virtual reality can do more than just inject an air of excitement into your L&D materials. For example, Josh Bersin, learning analyst and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, points out that augmented and virtual reality can be an excellent avenue for training situations that are too expensive or dangerous to replicate in real life. Organizations that provide immersive experiences that emulate high-risk and high-cost scenarios will be getting ahead in terms of L&D, efficiency, and most of all – workplace safety.
To put it simply, xAPI is a new spec for learning technology that makes it possible to collect data around the wide range of experiences that a learner may have, either online or offline. Also known as the Experience API, this simple and flexible approach empowers different types of tools and technologies with the ability to integrate with more traditional systems and LMS’.
xAPI is an open-source tool that makes online content creation easier for everyone involved. Organizations that empower their teams to tap into this network are able to increase their own datasets, and deliver knowledge that reflects a more accurate picture of current needs and success.
The Rise of Internal Online Program Management
Last but certainly not least, the rise of the internal OPM is taking the knowledge management world by storm. As the edtech market continues to boom, so too does the number of third-party vendors looking to provide new ways to capture, measure, and report on content use and effectiveness.
While leveraging vendors to generate content and to report on the use of it may be a more cost-effective approach, intellectual capital and internal knowledge management and support is best done internally where the day-to-day context of business needs can be assessed and addressed in more real-time.