hile visiting this year’s Learning Technologies (LT) in London, I immediately noticed the vast amount of information coming my way. The various learning trends and the many meaningful conversations with learning professionals can be quite overwhelming.
With the conference now behind us we can take some time to reflect. What are the key trends which buzzed around at LT2017? What role will learning play and how do training providers adapt? Here are my 3 key takeaways:
1. Adaptivity: Why teach me something that’s not relevant for me?
The one-size-fits-all approach might soon be extinct, especially when it comes to knowledge training. Adaptive learning technologies can offer a learning journey that suits the needs of every participant without forcing the participants to go through content he or she has already mastered. Perhaps the content isn’t even relevant for the participant’s job. No surprise then, that these technologies are getting a lot more attention, especially when you realize that adaptivity is everywhere in our daily lives. Social media provides us with recommendations that fit our interests and Netflix shows us the movies and shows we love.
A growing amount of training providers experience the effectiveness of an adaptive approach and they experience how an adaptive approach fits the participants’ needs. Nothing is more frustrating for a participant than having to go through learning content they’ve already mastered, learning content that is way above their knowledge-level or learning knowledge that is not useful in their job.
Modern learning technologies can offer courses on a personal level. Mobile learning and intuitive interfaces make it possible for participants to find specific parts of a course the moment they really need it.
2. Social Learning: Adaptivity is important, but don’t we learn from each other?
Adaptive learning technologies are invented to offer a participant a course based on their specific knowledge level. Social learning technologies are used for bringing participants together with people who have the same interests, for exchanging ideas, questions and answers. The technology allows people to learn from each other without being in the same room at the same time. Because of increasing globalisation meeting a team member face-to-face isn’t always possible, but learning from team members is valuable and recommended for business success.
Social Learning technologies offer training providers a way to create a learning environment for participants to exchange ideas, write content, exchange experiences, curate content from others, and interact with each other when they can’t meet face-to-face. There is still a crucial role for a trainer to facilitate the online Social Learning process.
3. Virtual Reality: a Learning Technology with growing impact?
At the Learning Technologies conference I noticed a growing attention for Virtual Reality (VR). The examples which were shown were mostly from the technical and industrial sector. VR offers training providers a way to let participants practise in a technical environment without having to set up expensive scenarios that include access to machinery. VR also minimizes the risk of injuries, besides the occasional stumble when you wear the VR glasses!
While at LT2017, I had the opportunity to try out VR myself. See below.
When I put on my VR glasses, I was in a machine room, together with other people from around the world. We were able to prepare and investigate the various part of the machine. We even walked inside the machine to see the internal parts, pretty amazing! An online coach facilitated the process and gave advice.
Although the potential of VR is immense, the technical possibilities are limited and development costs for VR are still quite high so it doesn’t seem like the use of VR technology will be widespread, soon. Or will it?
What will you make?
Curious how to make your courses adaptive or do you want to add Social Learning aspects to your training? Don’t hesitate to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org to exchange ideas. Also, I recommend Ger’s Learning Notes to stay up to date about the latest in learning. Every two weeks my colleague Ger Driesen, Learning Innovation Leader, curates the best reads and shares his summary and key take-aways.