Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2012 - (Page 15)

LeArNING 2020 | lisa Bodell face-to-face learning is no longer the only oPtion I tomorrow’s learning: Blended & Just-in-time n the Information Age, technology continues to touch every corner of our lives: how and where we consume, communicate, work and learn. Compared to just a decade ago, the ways in which we acquire knowledge have shifted tremendously. We are mobile, wireless, social and networked — yet we still recognize the power of a handshake, a face-to-face meeting, a handwritten card. In an era that is both digital and personal, how is the corporate learning sector adapting? What will the industry look like in a few years? To many futurists, blended learning will dominate the landscape of tomorrow. More than a research buzzword, blended learning combines traditional, face-to-face education with online technology in increasingly informal settings. The curriculum often includes online seminars, offline workshops and individual e-learning courses. It promotes individual and collaborative learning, utilizes high technology and offers an integrated approach to learners at all levels. adaptation and Personalization According to Tony Sheehan, director of learning services at Ashridge Business School in the UK, the future of blended learning is about adaptation and personalization. Sheehan predicts increased adoption of just-in-time learning; instead of scheduling department-wide trainings, individuals and teams will access relevant knowledge and skills when they need it and in real time. The employees will choose their learning style — MP3 file, text, or online discussion — and platform — laptop, phone, tablet — and responsive technology will take it from there. No longer will a traditional instructor be required to assess capacity or performance; smart technology will custom-fit content, activities and learning environments to the individual students’ needs. If avatars come to mind, they should. Learning in 3D: Adding a New Dimension to Enterprise Learning and Collaboration (Kapp & O’Driscoll, 2010) offers several insights from Steve Mahaley of Duke Corporate Education. While 3D worlds are not the norm in today’s workplaces, Mahaley envisions a future where employees — or prospective employees — at all kinds of companies can take a trial run at scenarios that would be risky or costly if mishandled. They will be able to rehearse, obtain feedback and course-correct before it actually affects the company. Mahaley is quick to mention that 3D costs will continue to decrease as the capabilities of standard hardware and networks in corporate environments come up and technical barriers come down. The very same economic crisis that has pressured L&D to operate with an eye toward ROI will persist in shaping tomorrow’s learning practices. The Towards Maturity Study 2011, the UK’s largest learning technology benchmark study, found 55 percent of 600 public and private organizations now believe that face-to-face learning is no longer the only option for improving workplace skills and performance. For many businesses, e-learning courses have eliminated the cost of trainers and training facilities as well as employee travel time and expenses. With today’s e-learning technology, companies have recognized they can train more people in more places for less money. The cost benefit of e-learning will remain a key selling point for tomorrow’s corporate leaders. But what about skills that are too nuanced for an automated facilitator — or an avatar? This is where the face-to-face aspect of blended learning comes in, according to Andrew Atzert, chief operating officer at Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Senior leadership curriculum should include face-to-face interaction, Atzert said, as people tend to do business this way. He emphasizes that certain skills, such as negotiation, are hard to teach online because it’s difficult to observe participants’ non-verbal behavior in the setting. This may be true today, but tomorrow’s technology could be capable of such sophisticated and nuanced training. Whether the blended learning of the future includes 3D or avatars, it will occur organically and just-in-time rather than on a rigid schedule. The programs will be increasingly intelligent, responsive and tailored for learners of all levels and styles across every industry. E-learning will continue to deliver cost benefits while training more people with less money. And as the industry itself evolves, we may find ourselves shifting out of the Information Age and into a Learning Age. Lisa Bodell is the founder and CEO of futurethink, a globally recognized innovation research and training firm. Email Lisa. 15 Training Industry Quarterly, Spring 2012 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2012

From Where I Sit: Training in Alignment
Table of Contents
Ad Index
Guest Editor: Leveraging Goal-Setting & Feedback
Learning at the Speed of Business
The Dark Side of Digital
Closing the Generation Gap Between Leaders
Tomorrow's Learning: Blended & Just-In-Time
Assessing Learning and Performance
The Science of Engagement
Engaging Senior Leaders in the Learning and Development Process
Six Critical Measurement Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
The Difference Makers: Identifying and Hiring the Right People
Casebook: DTCC Learning: Developing a Training Digital Nervous System
Leadership Competencies: Delivering Results
Tweet Suite
Company News
Closing Arguments: Measure For Measure

Training Industry Quarterly - Spring 2012