Learning and assessment is changing for our people, our society and our organisations. The emphasis on who is responsible for learning, the content that is used, the platform it is delivered on and when it is available is turning business training and development on its head.
The whole approach to blended learning is rapidly evolving mainly due to the introduction of new technologies such as mobile devices, social media and gaming simulation. The technology delivers content instantly together with individuals who are called digital natives. The information is available and needed on-demand. The latest research agrees that organisations should combine different learning methodologies which deliver a sophisticated programme. Retention of knowledge works best with a mixture of formal and informal on and off the job platforms. Take elearning for instance, a foundation for any solution, in 2012 the market for elearning is expected to top $52bn and to continue to rise after that.
A perfect example of successful learning programmes is the improvement achieved in staff motivation. Often old methods of training and management control reduces the motivation in staff and disengages them. It filters its way to the bottom line in the form of reduced output, profits, staff absenteeism and labour turnover. Business training built upon methods from behavioural scientific research over the last 50 years will engage and inspire staff who need to be right brain in terms of creativity and solution providers.
The fastest technology growth areas that are expected to be used are firstly, Social Media such as Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. The workforce are comfortable in using these applications and are available 24/7. The second fastest growth area are tablets and other mobile hand held devices such as the iPad, iPhone and smartphones. In 2011 over 5bn mobile devices were used and is expected to continue growing. Savvy content providers produce material for this exploding market by the use of mobile ready websites and phone applications. The delivery of audio, video, and documents is as good now as on any desktop. The third fastest growing area in learning technology is that of game based learning and simulation which includes real life scenarios and reconstructions. This approach already used by the US Army to prepare their troops prior to war zone entry. This technology is being accessed regularly by young people who will enter the job market in the next decade and will demand that they have interactivity with their products, processes and systems.
Training and development is changing. The old process would demand a day or more away from the office, higher costs and a backlog of work for the delegate on their return. Often training can be delivered by live streaming, dvd, elearning, application and supported by e-coaching, video connectivity through Skype and FaceTime and a form of human interaction.
Much of the latest research focuses upon what is called the online learning continuum which assesses the amount of content that delegates remember and adds to employee motivation. When constructing a blended learning approach to training and learning you must consider how much and why people retain knowledge and the best delivery method. It is a known fact that people remember more by what they do than what they see. So ideally, a programme would incorporate 10% of formal learning such as physical classrooms away from the work place. Then 20% of social learning which includes on-demand training through the use of social communities and networking engaged at work completed by 70% of informal learning which again would be on the job and available on-demand when needed incorporating elearning, live streaming, webinars, web based and mobile learning and such like.
So as business training evolves to satisfy new types of customers, regulatory changes and emerging market segments it must understand and control the forces that are driving talent strategies and the next generation of employee who is digital in their DNA and want their knowledge now, this instant. They must devise dynamic learning systems that understands their needs and the specific material to deliver creative solutions for satisfying the demanding customer and regulatory authorities. The systems will incorporate technology both in terms of what platforms are available and what applications are hosted upon them and their ease at using them along with the autonomy to take responsibility for a lot of their own development without coersion, intervention or control by outdated management personnel and styles.