What’s Trending in L&D? – Our 4 Key Takeaways from World of Learning 2018

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Steve Finch
Thinqi Ambassador
What’s Trending in L&D? – Our 4 Key Takeaways from World of Learning 2018

The World of Learning show 2018 was quite an event. Learning professionals from far and wide gathered at the NEC in Birmingham to enjoy a jam-packed programme of talks and panel discussions, and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting each and every one of you.

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who visited the Thinqi stand over those two days and we look forward to continuing some of those interesting discussions. Since returning to the office, we’ve been thinking about what we’ve learned through our conversations with over 100 L&D professionals and have compiled some of the key trends that were prevalent during the show.

There appeared to be a genuine buzz around how the role of the L&D professional is changing to support the new methods of learning enabled by modern platform technology. By this, we mean that L&D professionals are increasingly becoming facilitators, coaches and mentors instead of just enforcers and managers.

People were also noting the fact that technology and L&D practice is coming of age to fully support the needs of the modern learner. Today’s changing workplace is becoming more and more demanding, and learners are increasingly looking outside of traditional methods for a more self-directed means of learning. It’s up to us to work with their needs and help support them on a more personalised learning journey that puts them in the driving seat.

So, here are our main takeaways from the show this year:

1. Many Organisations are Still Yet to Adopt Digital Learning Technologies

Although it’s now recognised that contemporary practice, such as informal and social learning, is now essential, many organisations are still yet to take the leap into going digital. We delivered a talk during the show on making the migration to digital learning a success, but if you missed it or just want a reminder, take a look at our recent blog ‘5 Key Tactics to Make Digital Learning Work in Your Organisation’ to get started.

New generation learning platforms such as Thinqi are now adopting the interface and workflows of social media apps – this has the advantage of giving learners a familiar environment in which to search, discover and communicate in the context of learning. It can also allow you to forecast the ROI of your learning strategy; something which is crucial if you’re going to prove the worth of L&D to business leaders. The message is loud and clear: there’s never been a better time to hold tight and take the leap!

Keep an eye out for our forthcoming expert guide for more guidance on how to take the leap from traditional to blended learning.

2. Many of Those Who Have Gone Digital are Struggling to Make it Work in Their Organisation

Through our discussions, we quickly learned that there are many organisations who are still struggling to make digital learning work for them even though they’ve already procured a suitable platform. There could be a number of reasons for this:

  • Failing to change behaviour and culture
  • A disconnect between stakeholders’ needs and the capabilities of the platform
  • Having to use legacy systems which don’t fit with the modern vision of L&D

In any case, software is not the magic bullet. We know that putting real effort into the planning, strategy, rollout and support is essential to ensure the successful implementation and adoption of new technology – as is finding the right tool for the job.

3. Engagement is Still a Major Challenge

Engagement has been something of a hot topic in L&D recently and, as we found out from meeting L&D professionals, it’s currently one of the major challenges and hurdles to L&D success.

For some practical strategies on maximising engagement, it’s worth taking a look at our recent blog post ‘Learning in the Modern Workplace Part 3: Why is Engagement so Important?’.

4. Both Social and Learner-Led Learning are Becoming More Popular

We’ve been extolling the virtues of social, informal and learner-led learning for a number of years and now we really feel that L&D professionals are beginning to see the enormous value this provides in driving engagement and adoption, as well as successful learning outcomes. Traditionally, the main challenge has been how to measure this particular type of learning activity against formal curriculum frameworks – however, with today’s new generation platforms such as Thinqi, this has been made far easier.

In Summary…

The main message from World of Learning 2018 is that the technology is there to provide modern learners with what they need to succeed. The challenge is now in the hands of the L&D professional to assess the needs of their organisation, find a match between these needs and technology, prove the business case, plan an effective rollout strategy, drive engagement…and then report success back to the organisation.

No pressure then!

If you would like some help overcoming some of these challenges, we’ve got the tools and expertise to help you succeed. Request a demo to arrange to speak to one of our experts.

We’re going to be exploring each of these trends and others in coming weeks, so keep an eye on our blog and social media channels to see when these insights are published:

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Steve Finch
Thinqi Ambassador
Steve Finch is Head of Marketing and Brand Ambassador for Thinqi, the modern learning system. With a background in customer success and digital learning programme delivery, Steve has been helping organisations deliver effective modern learning for nearly 20 years.