December typically welcomes trendy articles about, well, trends for the coming year. Something – usually technology – is going to revolutionize the way we do something. And a lot of times, it actually happens – but more often it occurs over a decade, not the coming year.
Forward-looking articles about training, continuing education and professional development, for instance, typically include references to learning management systems (LMS), mobile applications and even social media as coming game changers. Each has become a bigger part of the training ecosystem – over time. Change is gradual, and the teacher-student interaction at the root of so many of these programs can be enhanced by technology, but not always replaced.
Our view of 2013 is a bit practical. It’s possible that we are misreading our customers and the market. Perhaps our crystal ball has glaucoma. But for the most part, we see 2013 as similar to 2012, with training providers incorporating some new bells and whistles as a complement to their core programs. We expect accountability to remain very high with regards to budgeting, reporting and measuring the training’s impact.
Assuming the Mayans are worse at this stuff then we are, here are a few things we feel confident will happen in the training world in 2013:
Providers will do something ‘mobile’
It could be as simple as making an edit on an event page or recording attendance on site, but training providers will more frequently use their cell phones or tablets to continue to administer programs, even as they are on the move. The same will apply to participants, whether its “tweeting” questions or comments or simply registering on a mobile device.
‘Reactive’ trainings will grow in demand
Through technology and communications, everything moves to market faster – be it products, services or ideas. Those charged with training are typically on the front lines when the organization decides it needs its workforce to become experts on these products, services or ideas – by tomorrow.
More prevalent use of webinars and other online training
Certain training will continue to be accomplished more often by giving participants access to online videos, PowerPoint’s or LMS-created content online. Similarly, online conferencing tools will continue to expand virtual classrooms as an alternative to on-site instruction and the costs associated.
More focus will be placed on learning outcomes
Nothing ground-breaking here, but you can bet those who fund training will continue to demand tangible results and those participating in the training will be required to demonstrate their new skills or knowledge. It’s an everything-is-auditable world.
Training budgets and employment will remain mostly flat
With so little growth and uncertainty in the economy, coupled with the unknown impact of healthcare legislation, organizations remain in a mostly defensive posture. When and if spending finally ticks upward, training will stand ready to benefit – but probably closer to the back of the line than the front.
Training participants will sometimes be late and uninspired
It seems some things never change. Perhaps this year, your programs will have an even greater impact in improving participant punctuality and purpose.
Presenters will be sometimes be late and uninspiring
More of the same, part two. Again, maybe this is the year more training providers strike gold in deploying on-time, on-message and on-fire presenters.
Online registrations will continue to make life easier for the registrant and the administrator
How did this get here? In all seriousness, one trend we feel very confident about is the mode of signing up for the gamut of training programs will continue to migrate online. It’s already standard operating procedure, and those without it put themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
What do you think? Seriously, what’s the view from your perspective? Please use the Comments section below to assail our ideas, build upon them or add your own thoughts on trends you foresee in 2013. We would greatly appreciate more insight from those out in the field. Share your thoughts below – it’s free, and might prove helpful to others.
As always, if you want to know more about ABC Signup and registration software – or want to discuss how some of these trends might play out in software enhancements – please contact us. You can reach us quickest by phone (866.791.8268) or by e-mail.