Whether implicit and unspoken, or recognized but marginalized, the worldviews shared by designers get built into the models that shape eLearning. Even the words that we use to describe instructional strategy—pedagogy and didactics—carry a worldview within themselves that perpetuates traditional training and “click Next” approaches. At the same time, the word that describes the science of learning—mathetics—is virtually unknown.

However, trends in the world of work, in generational differentiation, and in technology are working together to re-shape our thinking and our practice when it comes to eLearning. It’s an old but true observation that the future isn’t what it used to be. Understanding what to expect and what to prepare for depends on understanding those trends and how they are working themselves out in social learning. Would you like some insight into the trends and what to do about them?

The trends that are driving change in learning

The disruption created by increasingly rapid technological development is transforming every element of how we do business and live our lives. It allows us to connect and learn from each other, wherever we are, and whenever we want. It puts incredible resources for learning into our palms—mobile, and always available. This disruption puts pressure on businesses to continually innovate and change to survive, and means learning professionals must adapt to support cultures of continuous learning.

Learners come to their workplaces with expectations raised by their personalized digital-media experiences. In increasingly time-poor, media-rich lives that are overwhelmed by information, traditional approaches to learning fail to engage or deliver impact. Learners expect to be autonomous in their learning, they expect to find relevant information quickly and to contribute to a conversation about their individual needs.

How can we harness the power of digital disruption to the service of workplace learning? What can we learn from the strengths of not just current social learning practices, but also lessons from the past (and even the future)? How can we create environments in which the energy and knowledge of learning communities supports the delivery of targeted, relevant, and engaging learning experiences? 

Designing learning for the future

I will present a concurrent session, Designing Learning for the Future: Community, Curation, Customization, at The eLearning Guild’s November 18 – 19 Online Forum Collaborative, Social, and Informal Learning: Where Do Learning Professionals Fit? In my session I will examine next-generation learning trends in depth, and the ways they affect the role of the learning and development professional. You will be able to explore the competencies and capabilities that you need to meet the learning challenges of the modern workplace, including managing social learning communities, curation, and learning diagnostics. I invite you to join me and the other presenters for a vital and engaging experience! Open the link in this paragraph for details and registration.