What Do Learning and Development Professionals Expect to See in 2019?

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Adapting to a multigenerational workforce and embracing machine learning are L&D trends to watch.

A new year is here, and with it the opportunity to predict where corporate learning is headed. To find out what lies in store for learning and development in the year ahead, we asked some seasoned D2L soothsayers to predict the key corporate learning trends, opportunities, and challenges that will arise in 2019.

The new modern learning standard

The multigenerational workforce is here, and we predict that in 2019 employee learning and development programs will adapt to the needs of modern learners at all levels.

According to April Oman, senior VP, customer engagement at D2L, “Organizations must embrace the way their employees consume information and leverage this approach to modernize the way employees learn at work. This means learning content will evolve and become even more engaging, personalized, and delivered just-in-time, thereby narrowing the skills gap that exists in today’s modern workplace. A new modern learning standard has been set, and organizations must adapt to the demands of today’s and tomorrow’s modern learners in order to future-proof your workforce.”

Read our roadmap for creating a modern learning culture

The future of lifelong learning and skills development

Another prediction for 2019 is that we will start to see the future of work begin to take shape in the present.

Jeremy Auger, chief strategy officer at D2L, explains: “The impact of megatrends that are transforming the future of work will be broadly acknowledged by policymakers, education institutions, industry, and individuals. We will start to see action from governments to ensure we’re preparing tomorrow’s workforce with future skills and closing the skills gap between the outputs of education systems and what industry needs. Furthermore, companies will start to increase their focus on better preparing their workforce for the adaptability and re-skilling that is increasingly required, given the shortening shelf life of many of today’s skill sets.”

Auger also predicts that, “We’ll see major government investments into more work-integrated learning programs; companies will invest in technology to help effectively scale and personalize their skills development programs; education systems will begin to emphasize more durable soft skills to complement the more fleeting professional and technical skills; and individuals will start to think more about how they engage in lifelong learning to guarantee their ongoing economic prosperity.”

Read our whitepaper on the Future of Work and Learning

Embracing Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

In light of the rapid technological change taking place in the world of work, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will continue to impact how people learn in 2019.

Koreen Pagano, D2L, VP of Corporate Product Management predicts that, “2019 will be the year when people start asking the real questions of what the differences are between AI and machine learning. Too often, AI and machine learning have been used interchangeably or thrown out in marketing messaging as evidence of innovation.”

Pagano also predicts that, “In 2019, deeper questions will be asked of technology companies about how AI is being leveraged and for what purpose, how machine learning is improving personalization, and how recommendations are being formulated, whether through a simple logic engine or including machine learning refinement. While these technologies are still emerging in the L&D market, 2019 will be the year when the market starts to understand the nuance and implications of using AI, machine learning, or recommendations, and become informed buyers of these technologies.”

Learn how to improve employee performance through adaptive learning and predictive analytics

As the corporate learning industry continues to rapidly advance, these are the trends to keep an eye on when creating learning strategies for 2019.

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