Shifting Trends in Learning

Corporate learning has evolved past the one-size-fits-all, traditional model, according to Elliott Masie, chair of the Learning Consortium and CEO of The Masie Center. It can now be targeted to certain employees or employee groups.

“We’ve seen a radical shift toward increased targeting of learning, which reflects a desire to map in a tighter fashion the hours or units of learning being delivered to perceived gaps that exist,” Masie says. “The lines of business are more actively involved in the learning process to make it more tightly and radically aligned to where they perceive their performance gaps are.”

Learning initiatives are also now coming from a different “direction,” if you will.

“[While] the driver of learning has always been the sponsor of the business unit, we’re seeing second- or third-tier drivers — line managers or the learner him/herself,” Masie observes. “If you ask learning leaders to track consumption, they’re seeing 20 percent to 25 percent of the learning is not assigned learning but is learner-driven, either in a viral sense, in a ready sense, or in a collaborative sense. That’s an exciting trend.”

As e-learning evolves, so does its terminology.

“We’ve seen a marked decrease in the use of the ‘e’ in the phrase ‘e-learning.’ The term, the brand, of e-learning is a fuzzy brand and in many organizations is too narrowly or even less excitedly defined. We’ve seen a 20 percent reduction in title of ‘e-learning’ in the job descriptions of full-time training professionals. There’s also been a radical expansion of what e-learning is. The largest growth areas in technically-enabled learning are webinars, access to user-created or user-mediated content, collaborative social elements, and the use of shared-knowledge sites.”

Other current learning trends, according to Masie:

>> The term “CLO” seems to be on the decline. CLOs who leave are being replaced with a different job title: director of talent, learning officer, and so on.

>> More e-learning budgetary considerations are not running through a defined learning or training profit-and-loss ledger. A lot more learning dollars — particularly those moving away from face-to-face and traditional e-learning — are occurring at a business unit level.

>> A radical increase and enormous marketplace opportunity in the area of videos. “Seventy percent of the organizations in our consortium have added a significant component of short-frame videos,” Masie says. “In some cases, it’s true user-generated content. And almost no [existing] LMS is handling the introduction and accurate use of videos — so there’s a huge desire to have video as one of the components.”

>> An increase in social and collaborative learning — with a caveat. “There’s an absence of a lot of evidence on how we can best leverage social and collaborative to get that extra dollar of performance,” Masie concludes. “What is the collaborative element in a stand-alone LMS? What is the effect of collaboration on the percentage of the workforce that are introverts? Do we measure and track collaboration on a participation level or a content-sharing
level? There’s an arena of opportunity but it requires a great deal of definition.”

Corporate learning has evolved past the one-size-fits-all, traditional model, according to Elliott Masie, chair of the Learning Consortium and CEO of The Masie Center. It can now be targeted to certain employees or employee groups.

“We’ve seen a radical shift toward increased targeting of learning, which reflects a desire to map in a tighter fashion the hours or units of learning being delivered to perceived gaps that exist,” Masie says. “The lines of business are more actively involved in the learning process to make it more tightly and radically aligned to where they perceive their performance gaps are.”

Learning initiatives are also now coming from a different “direction,” if you will.

“[While] the driver of learning has always been the sponsor of the business unit, we’re seeing second- or third-tier drivers — line managers or the learner him/herself,” Masie observes. “If you ask learning leaders to track consumption, they’re seeing 20 percent to 25 percent of the learning is not assigned learning but is learner-driven, either in a viral sense, in a ready sense, or in a collaborative sense. That’s an exciting trend.”

As e-learning evolves, so does its terminology.

“We’ve seen a marked decrease in the use of the ‘e’ in the phrase ‘e-learning.’ The term, the brand, of e-learning is a fuzzy brand and in many organizations is too narrowly or even less excitedly defined. We’ve seen a 20 percent reduction in title of ‘e-learning’ in the job descriptions of full-time training professionals. There’s also been a radical expansion of what e-learning is. The largest growth areas in technically-enabled learning are webinars, access to user-created or user-mediated content, collaborative social elements, and the use of shared-knowledge sites.”

Other current learning trends, according to Masie:

>> The term “CLO” seems to be on the decline. CLOs who leave are being replaced with a different job title: director of talent, learning officer, and so on.

>> More e-learning budgetary considerations are not running through a defined learning or training profit-and-loss ledger. A lot more learning dollars — particularly those moving away from face-to-face and traditional e-learning — are occurring at a business unit level.

>> A radical increase and enormous marketplace opportunity in the area of videos. “Seventy percent of the organizations in our consortium have added a significant component of short-frame videos,” Masie says. “In some cases, it’s true user-generated content. And almost no [existing] LMS is handling the introduction and accurate use of videos — so there’s a huge desire to have video as one of the components.”

>> An increase in social and collaborative learning — with a caveat. “There’s an absence of a lot of evidence on how we can best leverage social and collaborative to get that extra dollar of performance,” Masie concludes. “What is the collaborative element in a stand-alone LMS? What is the effect of collaboration on the percentage of the workforce that are introverts? Do we measure and track collaboration on a participation level or a content-sharing
level? There’s an arena of opportunity but it requires a great deal of definition.”

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