Future Trends and Innovations in Learning

I’ve been working with a group of HR professionals today, facilitating a session around ‘Future Trends and Innovations in Learning’. As part of my #WorkingOutLoud, i share seven of the ideas generated by the group. Interestingly, i wouldn’t have chosen all of these myself, but they represent the grounded reality of this community.

Future Trends and Innovations in Learning

Video: a range of experiences within the group, from some organisations starting to develop platforms and capability to use ‘democratised’ video, whilst for others it’s new, or a distant dream. Democratised? Absolutely: older models of ‘broadcast’ video are well known in most organisations, but the potential in the Social Age is to tie into the tacit, tribal knowledge of the organisation by encouraging devolved experts to record and share their experience. To get this to work well, we have to consider aspects of social scoring and reward, but it’s an area with great potential.

Crowd Sourcing: this was something of an end state for me. Once you have high functioning communities in place, and high Social Capital throughout the organisation, you can crowd source solutions. You can, of course, already do that outside of the organisation, but this group was primarily interested in engineering problem solving and ways to enhance internal performance. For me, the ability to crowd source is dependent upon high Social Authority and Social Leadership: a mindset of helping others succeed, which creates the conditions whereby they will help you succeed.

Day to Day Learning: this was a neat perspective from my point of view. A recognition that the everyday pressures of the organisation (budget, travel freezes etc) have changed the reality of our day to day learning. Normally i come at this from the other side: we need to evolve the day to day reality of learning, because so much of what organisations do is abstract and unapplied. But we meet in the middle: the reality of day to day learning has changed in the wider world, so it’s high time organisational learning caught up.

Models of Learning: as the circumstances of learning change, so too should the models of learning that we use. As you know, i’m a firm believer that learning is about change, about making people more effective. So we need models that support that: in my language, Scaffolded Social Learning approaches, developed with a mindset of technology, but an understanding of the underlying sociology. Not simply learning developed on rapid authoring tools.

Scaffolded Social Learning - the overarching narrative

A scaffolded Social Learning solution will include both bubbles and boxes, a combination of formal and social spaces

Future Classrooms: again, budgetary pressures and the shift away from the classroom has driven this one out. As more learning is done in virtual instructor led environments, we need to consider the design of learning, the facilitation skills of trainers, the supporting roles of managers and community, and the ways people learn within them (and whether they need support around this).

Community: the group were interested in many different types of community, from ‘sense making’ ones within technical functions, to communities of practice spreading beyond the organisation. My main challenge to any organisation is the extent to which they feel they can own or control communities: in reality, i think we need a mindset of permission: if we foster and nurture these communities, we may be granted a permission to be in the conversation.

Simulation: finally, great interest around the potential for simulations. I’m a fan of these, but only if we use structured approaches to surface the underlying processes at work. Task based outcomes alone are not enough: we need to understand how they got there, and provide rehearsal spaces for people to prototype different ways of making the journey.

Constructivist Simulations

So those were the key areas discussed by a predominantly HR community. Missing were a few of the key innovation areas i see more widely: ways of measuring effectiveness of community, wearable technology and machine learning, but that’s the joy of perspective. We all have one, and the state of the future we are most interested in is filtered through it.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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12 Responses to Future Trends and Innovations in Learning

  1. Reblogged this on Gamification, E-Learning and commented:
    Excellent, very clear and helpful

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  4. Peter Long says:

    Really useful Julian – great overview. Love the perspective that circumstances of learning have/are changing and hence models must adapt.

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