Over the 23 years I’ve spent in the professional training and development industry, I’ve heard a lot of speculation over how the rise of technology would change the delivery of corporate training, even since the late ‘90s. Would the e-learning trend ever overtake instructor-led classroom training so businesses can save big money on training costs? Would we see a lot more technology being used for content delivery as a result of its increasingly driving force in influencing our productivity in the workplace?
And what about other modalities finally gaining ground over classroom learning, such as coaching and mentoring or peer-to-peer learning? What other kinds
of training trends are we now seeing evolve due to our ever-changing shape of the workforce and increased access to digital communication tools?
Let’s take a look at the present state of professional training and the top three latest trends on the horizon.
- Despite all the warnings about technology eventually overtaking human-to-human learning, instructor-led training continues to be the most-utilized form of delivery,
according to Brandon Hall Group’s research, a learning and development research and analysis
firm, because of its effectiveness at delivering content to a company’s workforce.
Along with classroom training, the most effective learning and development modalities that organizations are using to employ a high level of skill sets include coaching and mentoring and on-the-job exercises, which all help to drive employees’ productivity, motivation, and engagement.
And considering that development of learning content averages about $507/hour to produce (as indicated by the same Brandon Hall study), in-person instructor-led training tends to be one of the least expensive types of content to develop.
- Instead of overtaking classroom training, today’s technology is used in conjunction with face-to-face lecture delivery to enhance the quality of learning.
This blended learning approach often uses a combination of synchronous and asynchronous technology-assisted delivery methods
to enhance the effectiveness and interactivity of the training program.
Some of today's widely used learning technologies, accessed by both PCs and mobile devices, include:
- Using social media or online forums to participate in group discussion before, during, and after classroom training
- Videotaped lectures that are offered to learners at their convenience
- Electronic documents that replace printed materials delivered in the classroom
- Online assessments and surveys
- An emerging trend, which is really an evolved form of blended learning, is called the flipped classroom. Participants view the lecture content online then gather in classrooms to participate in discussions and exercises. This form of delivery is thought to enhance problem solving and collaboration and make learning even more dynamic and engaging.
As you can see, anything that continues to build upon the success of face-to-face interactions, especially the utilization of emerging technologies in
the workforce, will most likely become the top trends of tomorrow’s corporate learning environment.