Workplace Learning Trends in 2018

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Here’s wishing all our readers – ‘A Happy New Year’. The beginning of a year is a great time to take stock of the year gone by and plan for the year ahead. In this blog post, we will have a quick glimpse of what we believe would be some of the key trends in workplace learning this year.

AR and VR

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality – these two topics have been on a number of technology trend lists for the past four to five years. But it was 2017 when the AR and VR bandwagon really got a big push with technology companies providing affordable VR/AR accessories. Innovative AR and VR solutions are helping medical students become qualified surgeons and trainee engineers become qualified aircraft maintenance engineers. AR- and VR-enabled learning solutions are beginning to make a mark in workplace learning as well. With a steady decrease in the manufacturing costs of AR- and VR-enabled devices and smartphone apps simulating the learning environment on the phone screen itself; exciting times lie ahead.

Workplace Learning Trends in 2018

Artificial Intelligence

Did you notice the smart reply tags that are getting auto-listed in your Gmail service? Did you spend some time to check how Facebook prompts you to set up a reminder for an event when you are having a chat on FB Messenger? Well, these are some of the simplest forms of AI in play today. Full-function chatbots have been built using AI. We have Google and IBM building programs that can help predict weather trends. Programs are beating people at games like Chess and Go, predicting top-performing stocks, and making tougher and complex jobs in the manufacturing sector easier by streamlining activities. Imagine a scenario wherein your corporate LMS has an in-built bot/learning wizard that guides you to pick up a certification when you are assigned to a specific project? Yes, this is possible and it is the way forward as data-crunching, project-mapping, and resource management unite to power learning at the workplace.

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App-Based Learning

Who would have thought that Nokia the ubiquitous market-leader in telecom would be relegated to an ‘also-ran’ and Apple’s iPhones and Google’s Android OS would completely change the game? If someone would have predicted that one could book a train or movie ticket by fiddling with a phone a decade ago it would have evoked laughter. Today ‘apps rule us’, be it travel, food, cinema-tickets, stock-market tips, GST, fitness tracking, mindfulness, or yoga; there’s an app for every conceivable task. In such a scenario, it is inevitable that a major chunk of workplace learning moves fully to smartphones and tablet devices. Yes, the LMS will not die; it will continue to exist but the mobile learning ecosystem will keep growing. Stay tuned for mobile-only learning content!

Bite-Sized Learning

“Small is beautiful!” This applies to learning as well. Learners need precise and crisp just-in-time learning solutions that can be accessed with ease. A combination of instructional video capsules and mobile learning has ensured that the popularity of bite-sized learning keeps increasing. Easier to build and deploy and requiring a smaller budget to create; organizations around the world are actively incorporating ‘bite-sized learning’ into their learning strategy. The added advantage of using these ‘learning nuggets’ is that one can update them easily.

Are you ready to tap into the benefits of bite-sized learning?    

The Video Revolution

The 2017 LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report states that “7 out of 10 organizations are starting to incorporate video-based online training into their learning cultures.” This opens up a whole new world of possibilities. In sync with app-based learning, a number of organizations are creating video-based learning nuggets that employees access via mobile devices. With ‘YouTube’ becoming the ‘go-to resource’ to learn by seeing how things are done; video-based learning has a great future in 2018. There is room for innovation wherein interactive video simulations can be used as an effective training tool to boost learning outcomes.

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Podcasts continue to fascinate us with their ease of setting up and the sheer amount of knowledge that gets disseminated through them. Thought leaders across industries are using podcasts to build a steady fan-following and are creating an online brand identity of their own. This interesting infographic from Concordia University – Saint Paul shared on the MarketingProfs website shows that educational podcasts make up to 40% of podcast listeners in the USA.

Organizations can use podcasts to share product training, marketing insights, and best practices knowhow effectively. Podcasts are seen as an extension of mobile learning. Being relatively less expensive to set up, L&D teams around the world are looking to harness the power of podcasts effectively. A number of BPOs in the Asia-Pacific region have used podcasts effectively to improve the English speaking skills of their employees. Podcasts are here to stay!

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What do you think will be a key workplace learning trend in 2018? Share your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.


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