Maxwell Stephens

Learning Trends for 2017 - What's New?

How many training courses have you been on that took days of your time, had such an abundance of content that you could not possibly hope to remember everything, and then when you finally get back to your desk the torrent of emails you have received are enough to wish you had not bothered in the first place?


Then when you do want to reflect upon a piece of learning at a later date, you have to trawl through a bible sized manual that is probably at the bottom of a drawer. It sounds pretty miserable and certainly sub optimal – but this is unfortunately a pretty commonplace scenario for delivery of training. The good news is that the learning trends of 2017 recognise these shortcomings and try to encourage learning at the point of need, bite-sized learning, and gamification to incorporate fun to aid content being committed to memory. You will also be unsurprised to know that technology plays a central role in these trends.


Micro learning


We know that individuals learn more when content is presented in bite size nuggets. If you consider the amount of content delivered on a 2 day training course – it is impossible for most to retain even a fraction of what is taught. Learning is more efficient when done in smaller chunks more frequently. This also allows employees to more effectively manage their own workloads and not feel the pressure of taking days away from their responsibilities. 


Adaptive Learning


We all learn at different speeds and also have different base levels of understanding. Therefore blasting exactly the same content to everyone at the same speed will not produce optimal results. Adaptive technology recognises this fact and responds to the real time input of the individual. So for example, on the basis of responses to a quiz, it can determine which areas of knowledge need additional work, and serve content on that basis. This gives individuals a learning experience based on their own requirements.




Gamification provides interactivity in the learning process through gaming. We are not talking about gaming consoles but a quiz or other type of challenge used to engage the individual and help them to commit that information to memory.


Content curation and aggregation


I said in the introduction that employees don’t want to have to rifle through a stack of training materials to find the answer to something they need on the job in that moment. Content curation and aggregation recognises that individuals are used to knowledge at their fingertips due to the likes of Google. Therefore organisations need to think smarter about how they store information and allow employees access to it.


In Summary


All of the trends above were on the radar in 2016 but I would expect to see more wide-scale implementation of these concepts in 2017. This is good news for employees who are bored of traditional learning methods, who would like to try something fresh and new. 

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