It's no doubt that technology is causing change. Uber revolutionized taxi cabs, Airbnb is shaking up hotels -- technology is constantly pushing us to embrace new tools and processes. While changes to learning won't necessarily be revolutionized, an increase in efficiencies from technology will inevitably cause change. I recently read an article titled, "How Technology Will Change the Learning Function's Role", which speaks specifically to how technology is going to change learning and the role learning professionals have in corporations around the globe.
The article sites a study that "asked respondents to anticipate how increases in learning speed, efficiency, and accessibility brought about by technological innovations might affect the role of organizational learning functions in coming years." Here's the list that followed:
- Track employee learning; 74%
- Assess learning effectiveness; 73%
- Use a blend of internal and external content; 63%
- Create individual learning plans to provide focus for employees; 60%
- Deliver content customized to individuals' learning preferences (live, mobile, microlearning, and so on); 60%
- Curate learning content (internal and external); 59%
- Identify appropriate learning assets available externally; 57% Create learning content internally to provide employees with assets customized to their individual learning plans; 53%
- Partner with learning vendors to create or adapt organization-specific learning assets; 53%
- Assess quality of externally available programs; 52%
- Recommend or approve specific external programs to address organizational learning needs; 52%
- Internally create collections of generic learning programs that address specific topics; 41%
The future is all about choice for learners and data for administrators.
This is obviously critically important. Afterall the very first two things on the list are: "track employee learning" and "assess learning effectiveness". That means you're going to get specific, granular, and ultra-focused with the information you are collecting and then use that rich data to iterate and change things for the better in your organization. xAPI is definitely a part of this conversation, but so is automation, product dashboards, and trending algorithms.
Learners are going to be able to customize and personalize their learning experience. They'll have access to internally and externally developed resources, lists of content that their manager curated for them, and articles recommended by a sales rep five states over. They could learn for 15 minutes on their commute to work and 30 minutes at the office or do it all while working out on the elliptical late at night. And, they can learn how they want to learn -- watching videos, reading documents, attending webinars, etc.; all on a system that you, the learning professional, have optimized for the learners to make choices on.
I'm sure there is no doubt in your mind that technology to change the way you do your job. Chances are it's already happening -- embrace it! Keep finding ways to add more data and more choice.
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