The needs of today’s learners are changing in challenging ways. On one hand, learners’ thirst for anywhere/anytime digital learning is increasing. On the other hand, they crave human connection and collaboration in the learning process.
The larger thrust of digital transformation is also changing the methods, places, and processes of work, requiring significant reskilling to remain competitive. With everything going digital, how do we rehumanize the learning process and build a future workforce that thrives in a competitive landscape?
- Behaviorally focused digital apps
- Design thinking
- Immersive learning, including augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)
- Artificial intelligence (AI)
- Learning experience platforms (LXPs)
Of course, none of these learning and development trends for 2020 has any value unless it fits within the organizational culture and ties back to business outcomes. For these trends to align, organizations of the future also need to focus on leadership development, soft skills, better communication, coaching, and data literacy (among other skills) that make a human workforce more impactful than an automated one.
We’re at a critical juncture in building the workforce of the future. If you missed the learning trends 2020 webinar, a recording is now available for you to watch online.
After the presentation, several great questions came up from the audience that I want to share with you. Below are those questions and my best answers. This is an ongoing conversation, and I encourage you to keep the questions coming in via the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Q: Do you think that AR and VR are mature enough to trend? Are they more distracting than being disruptive?
A: I believe that AR and VR are definitely mature enough to trend. In September 2019, Fortune Business Insights released a study on the VR market that showed a 42% CAGR through 2026. Specifically, the report stated, “Training and Simulation is seen as a major contributing application to this growth.”
Q: The use of chatbots to improve the learning experience on adaptive learning strategy could be considered as a trend for the future. What are your thoughts?
A: I absolutely agree. We have successfully used chatbots in our Leadership Essentials MOOC with great feedback from the participants.
Q: Where do you think an instructional designer should focus their development time in the next year or two?
A: I would focus on design thinking and MOOCs.
Q: AR/VR seems hard to use those for leadership training. Any ideas?
A: Here is a great article from Forbes that was published in September 2019; it discusses using VR for diversity training, which is a critical part of leadership training.
Q: Do you see accessibility issues impacting the ability to implement AR/VR in your client organizations? How do you overcome them?
A: I think there are definitely challenges with accessibility in AR/VR. However, a number of VR apps are compatible with VoiceOver, TalkBack, and other popular screen readers, which can describe the environment with information from alt text in the images and videos. We can use AR apps’ own descriptive audio to describe surroundings and integrate other sounds as well. Or, most phones today provide several accessibility options, such as large print and triple-tap magnification, that can be enabled within the device.