With telecommuting and distance learning taking off this year, more applications of new technologies are expected in 2021. Find out the latest trends your organization should adopt this year. The trends in professional learning in 2020 have made it easier for us to learn in the workflow. We’ll see some of these trends again in 2021, but there are other new learning technologies to watch for.
The unprecedented changes experienced in 2020 have encouraged global organizations to use more technology and promote effective collaboration and better communication at work. Distance learning has revolutionized professional training, gradually taking the place of face-to-face training! So here are six trends and technologies to watch out for in 2021.
1. LEARNING ANALYTICS AND BIG DATA ARE ON THE RISE.
In 2021, as organizations begin to leverage the capabilities of data and analytics in the design and delivery of effective training programs, learning data analytics will become increasingly important.
Indeed, some organizations are creating data stories now. This data journalism, in simple terms, is about creating a narrative around a set of data or analytics with visualizations that translate the meaning of that data in a powerful way.
In this way, training leaders will be able to visualize the data and present the impact of training programs to their learners and other stakeholders in an engaging and compelling way.
For example, goFLUENT customers can access learner reports, placement test results, and evaluations on the training portal. One can simply extract these data and reports and create graphs, infographics, or presentations that can be used to conduct a case study for language training. And of course, you can do the same. Here’s how to do it:
- Gather data and create reports: First, gather the important data and translate it into the graphs, charts, and images you will need to create a compelling report. Note that the data set you collect should be a combination of engagement and performance data.
- Stay on top of trends: This step involves observing certain trends based on the data collected and reports generated. It would be best if your current learning system, LMS or LXP collects large amounts of data, hence the usefulness of learning data analysis. From this data, trends and correlations will emerge that will allow you to understand the why and how of certain phenomena
- Predict and analyze based on trends. Then intervene: For example, you may notice a drop in performance after a learner stops completing activities and taking assigned courses. In this case, you need to motivate and encourage the learner to resume training. You can ensure regular follow-up of the learners’ performance with a team of pedagogical advisors who contact them regularly and motivate them. This is an example of a possible intervention.
- Take action: If you see a decline in the number of participants in a particularly important course, you need to look at it. Through a survey, get information from your learners about certain
courses. Based on this feedback, you can improve the content or format of the course.
2. DATA LITERACY OR DATA CULTURE
Given the critical importance of Big Data and learning data analysis in the world of professional training, it is essential that your employees know how to manipulate and interpret it. According to Udemy for Business, « data literacy is the new computer literacy », which means that the ability to read, understand and use data is now the foundation of computer literacy. Indeed, with the beginning of the digital age long behind us, it’s no longer a matter of hiring a data scientist to analyze, manipulate and visualize data and get the most out of Big Data in your business. The entire staff should be able to do it.
Those with the ability to interpret the data, derive insights, and communicate the resulting ideas to key stakeholders are major assets to their business. The bottom line is that learning leaders should expect a sharp increase in demand for data literacy training. This will enable your learners, regardless of function or industry, to understand dashboards, visualizations, and analytics.
Interestingly, according to Jose Portilla (Head of Data Science at Pierian Data and Data Science Instructor at Udemy), these skills will become just as fundamental to the job as basic computer skills. So here are some simple tips to keep in mind:
- Learn to talk Data
- Evaluate existing software
- Let the data tell its story
3. INTUITIVE LEARNING SYSTEM POWERED BY A.I.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a key topic in several fields of study, from business to psychology to corporate communication, for a few years now. With the benefit of hindsight, it is not surprising that it will be of major importance for the next few years to come. On the one hand, an increasing number of companies and professional circles require more and more personalized learning. This makes learning more attractive and appropriate to the jobs, industries, interests, and learning styles of various learners.
This is where an individualized learning system can be implemented. This is a teaching method where the learning content, instructional technologies
(edtech), and the pace of learning depends on the interests and abilities of each learner. There are three levels of individualized learning:
- Differentiated learning: The learner chooses the path that best suits him/her from among several predefined categories (without automatic orientation).
- Personalized learning: The learner can, for example, take an assessment test, and depending on the answers given, the system will suggest a particular course or content. The software will then match each learner’s profile to the educational resources that best suit them. However, contrary to popular belief, this form of learning is not based on A.I.
- Adaptive learning: A.I. uses data and analytics to continuously adapt, modify and improve the learning path according to the learner. This level offers a unique experience similar to that of Netflix, Amazon, or LinkedIn.
It is therefore critical that your organization has an intuitive, adaptive, and intelligent A.I.-powered learning system. It will provide your learners with the most relevant learning content, carefully selected for their unique needs.
4. SOCIAL NETWORKS FOR LEARNING
In the past, leaders in professional education have argued for social learning in the workplace. However, with most teams working remotely these days, scattered around the globe, you would assume that this is impossible by now. You wouldn’t be entirely wrong, but that doesn’t necessarily eliminate the possibility of social learning in a largely virtual work environment. The solution? Social networks.
With millennials and Generation Z representing a growing proportion of today’s workforce, the increasing influence of social networks on corporate culture and professional training comes as no surprise. Here are a few examples of popular social networking platforms that you could use for your learning initiatives:
- Training blogs where learners can comment and discuss what they have learned, or answer questions posed by their peers.
- Twitter and #hashtags that encourage them to discuss and debate through tweeting
- MS Teams or other collaborative business platforms that allow your virtual teams to collaborate in real-time and learn together
- Pinterest to share good ideas through images
- LinkedIn that allows professionals to share their areas of expertise and beyond, and to learn outside their sector
- YouTube for its video micro-trainings on a wide range of subjects
5. PROJECT-BASED LEARNING
Project-Based Learning ( PBL) is learner-centered training instead of a trainer teaching a specific topic. This is a method where managers and/or trainers simply accompany the learner in acquiring knowledge through the realization of concrete projects. As an example for a sales team, think of a problem or challenge that each team member faces, such as the question: How can we best use digital spaces and collaboration platforms to optimize communication with our potential customers? This will form the basis for a new project.
From there, the team can look for different types of approaches. For example, they could use your current LMS/LXP to explore articles, videos, and news and discover the latest sales trends. So, through innovative best practices, your team will be able to accomplish their project tasks more effectively. Digital learning is reinforced. The resources available online, your training system, and other learning tools help you promote self-directed training with digital tools (eLearning) in addition to online learning with an instructor. Your learners have the opportunity to learn not only in virtual classes with an instructor but also through experience.
6. THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION AND COLLABORATION SKILLS
More and more meetings are now held in virtual spaces. This makes it more important than ever to cultivate communication skills. In fact, communication and collaboration skills are, according to a study by TalentLMS. These are the key skills for employment in 2021, and will likely remain so for years to come given the current evolution of work methods. Indeed, to ensure that organizations thrive in this new work environment, excellent communication skills are essential to optimize effective collaboration and foster professional exchanges on an international scale.
It is, therefore, preferable to acquire foreign language training as part of your continuing education. The timing is right with the most exciting innovations in online language training on the market. Moreover, one of the main advantages of language training is that it improves self-confidence at work.
In 2021, keep in mind that even though the workplace has changed, the priorities and certain trends remain. Continuous learning is more important than ever! Everyone will need to adapt to telecommuting and talent management will be a key factor in determining the success or failure of an organization. Stay tuned for more information on learning technology!