TrainingIndustry.com annually publishes its assessment of trends likely to impact the training industry. In the 2014 outlook posted in Training Industry Magazine (pages 24-28), central to their trends is what they perceive as a major shift from a “learner-centric” model of training to a “business-centric” model. In short, the author sees training today becoming more aligned with the needs of the business as opposed to training geared more toward what the learner wants/needs.
In an area ever-pressed for more efficiency, this seems like a natural evolution, especially in internal corporate training environments. It’s about accountability, about making sure business expenditures produce results. And according to the report, trying to align training with business needs – then finding ways to deliver that training efficiently – is driving all sorts of innovations.
At least five of the 11 trends listed in the article, for instance, entail leveraging new technologies and platforms to better facilitate training.
“Conformance of Content to Modality,” as an example, suggests that instructional designers develop content that can be configured to whatever type of device (e.g., smartphone) the learner uses. Similarly, “Customization of Services & Content” points out that there are now four generations of learners in the workplace, and content must be designed for any learning style as well as device.
For training providers, these trends advocate making your programs more accessible to technologies and methods of learning. So, maybe you add a virtual program to complement your classroom version. Deploy “gamification” for the Millennials. Or, put your conference materials in a mobile format.
A third trend, “Open Access to Content,” addresses the wealth of courses and “how-to” content available through MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) and YouTube, and the challenge this mass of material and opportunity poses in keeping the learner focused on what offerings actually meet the needs of the business and the learner. A fourth, “Integration of Video,” acknowledges that human learning is mostly visual and there are close to three billion how-to videos available on the Internet and that number is growing exponentially.
With both of these trends, training programs are challenged to not only harness and focus all of the new offerings that are available, but in the case of videos, also create and incorporate their own video productions into the learning experience.
A fifth trend, “Digital Content” speaks to the conversion of classroom training content into digital format, as in course materials being converted to easily accessible e-books. This is already happening in schools, and the technology to do it yourself with your training or course materials is readily available.
Other trends listed included “Consistency,” “Demonstration of Knowledge” and “Blending of Content.” Consistency stressed the importance of effectively delivering learning initiatives across geographies, business units and learners’ levels within an organization. Demonstration of Knowledge, while self-explanatory, highlighted the growth in social badging, certifications and the credentialing bodies that issue certifications. Blending of Content related how learning is achieved through a combination of informal means and structured training.
TrainingIndustry.com also provided its usual macro trends, offering its projections on corporate training spending growth (will increase by 1%), job growth (to remain flat) and what’s happening in the world of training industry source engagements (deployment will continue to be very tactical).
This assessment is just one of a number of resources offered available on the market to help training providers prepare for what’s around the corner. If you want to share your thoughts on these trends – or share other valuable trend-related resources and ideas – please use the Comments section located below this blog.