Three learning predictions for 2015

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Filtered's Nick Fernando gives us some quick predictions for the development of learning this year. 

With ever increasing pressure falling on businesses, educational institutions and Government to find solutions for the UK’s growing skills gap, this year, we are going to see L&D professionals find new ways to encourage staff to undertake the right training required for their positions in order to stay competitive within their markets. With this in mind, I have pulled together its top three predictions for the HR market in 2015.

Adaptivity is efficiency

Adaptive learning, where the style, context and even content of digital training materials adapt to the need and proficiency of the learner, is likely to have a big impact on the market this year. The shift in the market generally toward this kind of learning shows a recognition of the real value in this method and industry heavyweights are working hard on this too. Last year, Skillsoft partnered with IBM to harness the vast amount of data that workplace IT systems capture during learning, and are using this to tailor training for staff. Initial results from pilots have shown increased engagement and improved outcomes. Skillsoft’s acquisition of SumTotal, an LMS provider, will likely also help to facilitate the company’s goals for adaptivity. Similarly, Cornerstone has partnered with the HR and Talent pipeline giving it a plethora of data to support adaptive solutions, as have PeopleFluent. As such, we expect to see adaptivity having a huge impact on workplace learning in 2015.

Simplified complexity will dominate

Responsive design, where the content and experience adjusts to the computer, tablet, smartphone or device the learner is using, was a big focus in 2013 and 2014 and we’ve seen some incredible leaps in making once complicated things, like writing and publishing content (for example Medium.com and Microsoft Office Sway) to visualising data (such as Tableau and QlikView) become very easy to do. Due to these developments we can expect Learning Management Systems/ Learning Content Management System providers to be working hard in 2015 to make their systems more usable without losing complex functionality, in order to help HR staff and L&D professionals to provide tailored and concise learning materials for their staff. 

User-generated content and curation

This year, we expect to see even more learning content being generated and shared within an organisation. It won't be controlled by the HR department though; instead L&D professionals will enable and facilitate it. Staff are the greatest conduit of learning 'know-how'- able to fill in the gaps in training to ensure content is relevant and effective. Providing them with easy-to-use tools to create, publish and share their knowledge, will unlock a great deal of value for the organisation.

With a vast abundance of content and know-how already around, we expect this year to see a curation of useful learning content generated both in the organisation and externally. There’s a huge opportunity to harness content from multiple sources and let employees determine its usefulness and build on it. The work Pathgather is doing is a great example of this. Unlike Pathgather we expect to see some providers offering more granular curation of content rather than just at the course level.

In a similar vein, social and collaborative learning is still going strong and we expect there to be a renewed emphasis on getting value through social groups in 2015. With a predicted global skills shortage in 2020, there will likely be increased effort to simplify the capture and centralisation of employee know-how.

Nick Fernando is head of content at Filtered.com

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