Our Digital Future

28th November 2016

As we are constantly reminded, the area of L&D is changing rapidly. As I’m from a digital background I’m bound to say that the future of L&D lies in technology and Andy Lancaster, head of learning at the CIPD agrees.

There are several key shifts in L&D, identified by Andy Lancaster, which are either driven or aided by technology:

Learning should be informed by metrics not guesses
Moving learning to a digital platform allows L&D professionals to implement before and after comparisons, track quiz results and receive valuable feedback in a much more streamlined fashion. Simply adding google analytics into a digital module will give a valuable insight into how a group is using learning and how they are performing overall.

Be a curator-concierge not just a creator
A term first coined by Jane Hart, the curator concierge leads the learner through the maze of materials available to them. With L&D departments having to do more for less why not take advantage of the huge amount of resources available on the Internet from Ted talks to Wiki pages. Learning portals allow professionals to pull relevant information together and can even tailor to individuals learning needs.

Social not formal
It’s a well known fact that, as animals, we are social learners who learn better from interacting with our peers than sitting in a formal classroom environment. Discussion boards and social media integration are a great way to introduce social aspects to learning. Dixons have gone one step further with The Edge, their learning platform which allows users to film instructional videos on their mobiles and upload for others to comment on and rate.

Just in time not delayed
If learning can align to business needs then it can be extremely powerful. However in a volatile and uncertain world the needs of a business can change rapidly. L&D professionals must be able to respond quickly and digital methods are ideal for this.

Bite sized not chunks
Research shows that working memory gets easily filled and we must reorganise information in our sleep before taking more in. It therefore makes sense that small amounts of regular information is the best way to learn. However traditional courses are not set up for this and we must again look to the digital world.

So it seems clear that technology will play a big part in the future of learning & development. However the 2015 L&D survey by the CIPD found that only a 1/4 of respondents felt ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ confident in their ability to harness technology to increase the effectiveness of their L&D interventions. If you’re in the other 3/4 then please do let us know if we can help. Thanks