Event Blog: Where to next? The Emerging Learning Landscape

17 February 2022 1pm – 2pm

The future of learning in four quotes:

“It’s all about skills.” – Peter Gillis, Learnovate

“Learning professionals are looking for ‘learning ecosystems’ that connect easily.” Ciara NiFhloinn, SOLAS

“Learning technology needs to be holistically integrated into the way people work.” Nigel Paine, Learning Now TV

“It’s time for [L&D professionals] to step up to the plate and drive the business value conversation.” Page Chen, Learning Pool

The first Learnovate Link and Learn event of 2022 took the form of a ‘horizon scan’ of the world of Learning and Development and we asked each of the four participants to give us their top three emerging themes. 

Kicking off the event, Learnovate’s Innovation Lead Peter Gillis began by highlighting the increasing role of skills in the world of work citing as evidence the fact that many employers are moving from hiring for a specific role to hiring for a particular set of skills. This presents many challenges for those working in Learning and Development: how and when should we teach these skills? How do we (or even should we) assess them? 

Secondly, Peter talked about the impact of COVID-19 and how career development and well-being are no longer ‘nice to haves’ but have become a central part of workplace learning and development.

Peter’s final theme was that of the role of L&D teams as strategic partners within an organisation and no longer as just a ‘service provider’.

Ciara NiFhloinn from SOLAS, an Irish government agency overseeing Further Education and Training, said that, in this new world of hybrid learning, the L&D professionals she works with are looking for learning ‘ecosystems’ that seamlessly combine learning platforms, content and analytics.

The second theme highlighted by Ciara was the emergence of Virtual Reality as a mainstream training tool (particularly for dangerous and high-risk environments).

Finally, Ciara sees the evolution of Learning Management Systems and Learning eXperience Platforms into solution combining the best of both worlds.

Nigel Paine, the host on Learning Now TV, who is based in Australia and the US to give us his take on the emerging trends in L&D. 

He highlighted the need (now more than ever) for L&D teams to see themselves as central to transformation of organisations (or risk being left behind). This echoed Peter Gillis’s point earlier about L&D teams as ‘strategic partners’.

For his second theme, Nigel highlighted the fact that buying the best learning technology won’t cure all your L&D woes – these solutions are only effective if they are holistically integrated into the way people work.

Finally, Nigel spoke of the need for L&D teams to take agency to help drive business (and not just follow behind).

The last panelist, Page Chen, Chief eXperience Officer with Learning Pool, spoke about personalised learning and the emergence of learning platforms capable of delivering multiple learning experiences.

She also highlighted the growing use of information-led learning experiences where clever use of data is helping build better solutions. 

Finally, she spoke about the need for L&D to take a more strategic role within organisations given how integral learning is in every single business.

This more critical role for L&D team was touched on once again during the Q&A session, with Peter highlighting the stark reality that if L&D aren’t up to the learning challenges organisations are now facing, then the function will simply be taken off them.

Page Chen pointed out that hiring is such a costly exercise that organisations are now focusing on retaining and re-skilling their existing workforce. This has transformed employee training from being a ‘value add’ to being a core part of any benefits package.

Nigel spoke of his ideal world of learning, where L&D teams focus on delivering solutions to self-determined learners that allow them to acquire the skills they need to drive business growth.

Oh, and I’ll finish with a tip of the day – if innovation is your thing, then take Peter Gillis’s advice and read The Mom Test by Rob Fitzpatrick.

To request access to the recording of “What’s next? The Emerging Learning Landscape” contact us info@learnovatecentre.org.

Learnovate is a global research and innovation centre in learning technologies. An industry-led technology centre funded by Enterprise Ireland, Learnovate provides thought leadership to the world’s learning and development community on the innovative use of learning technology for maximum organisation success. Global experts in learning technology, Learnovate help companies transform employee, student and customer learning experiences.

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