There’s a huge amount of change currently taking place in our industry. As I sit here planning my trip to the 2013 DevLearn Conference and Expo taking place in Las Vegas next month, I’m looking forward to exploring some of the trends that are going to change how we look at “Training” and the work we do as Learning Professionals. This post shares four of the trends that I think are changing the way we look at our jobs.
In fairness, mobile isn’t really new anymore. We’ve been talking about mobile for a number of years.
Then again, that’s what excites me. We’ve been talking about mobile for years, but I’ve noticed that we’re starting to see more and more examples of mobile learning being implemented, and implemented well. Taking a desktop-based course and making it accessible on mobile may have it’s place – a statement that in itself could be debated – but a converted course doesn’t tap into the potential of mobile. We’re starting to see real examples of mobile learning done well, including projects that emphasize performance support and the unique affordances of mobile devices. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of this, as these well-executed examples will help build a framework around which the phrase “mobile learning” is defined as we move forward.
I’m sure Alex Trebek is a lovely man, but I don’t really want to see him popping up in a training course I need to complete. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of people describe “Gamification” using examples such as replacing a multiple-choice quiz with a Jeopardy-based game. And maybe that’s what definition for the term “Gamification” is evolving into. If it is, I’m actually fine with that, provided we understand that there’s a big difference between Gamification and adding gaming elements to a learning experience. I want to hear more people sharing examples of the latter.
There’s a lot of debate about what value games have on learning. I like debates, as considering two opposing views usually helps us all learn. There are definitely two sides on the games-for-learning topic, and I look forward to participating and learning from those discussions.
Like gaming and mobile, there has been a lot of talk about data in recent years. We respect the power of Big Data in today’s world, and are hearing a great deal about how specs like The Experience API can provide data-driven stories that were previously unavailable to us. The changes to how we look at data are no longer ‘coming soon’. They’re available to us today, and I’m really looking forward to hearing the stories of how organizations are looking at data differently to better understand and respond to the performance needs of their workers.
“Kill the course” is a message I’m hearing a lot lately. Personally, I don’t think the course is dying. In fact, I think courses have their value when built well and used appropriately.
What I am excited to see though, is a growing awareness that the course isn’t a cure-all. Not all organizational content can (or should) be pushed out via courses. More organizations are looking at alternative ways for workers to access content, ways that lessen the requirement that work be interrupted and respond to needs as they arise. In addition, instructional designers are looking at how they build content differently, using techniques like curation and crowdsourcing to provide the content workers need in much less time than has been possible through our traditional methods. Our industry needs more discussion around looking at content differently.
What About You?
I’m really looking forward to hearing about the latest innovations in these areas at next month’s DevLearn Conference and Expo. Of course, there are more than just these four trends affecting our industry. I’d love to hear about the hot topics that you’re following. Feel free to add yours to the comments below.