A second round of takeaways and insight from this year’s Fosway Symposium.
The annual Fosway Symposium in London brings together heads of learning and learning technology managers from leading European companies to discuss learning trends and the challenge of developing talent in the workplace.
In our first blog looking back at the event, we examined the topics of AI and adaptive learning, learning personalisation and access to learning platforms. In this final blog in the series, we share thoughts on a further three topics from the day:
The devices that learners use, or want to use, to access training courses today extend beyond PCs and laptops. People want mobile learning so that they’re not tied to a particular location or device. This way, they can fit training into their busy, changeable schedules.
To meet this need, course content and delivery must be devised with mobiles and smart devices in mind. Cloud-based platforms help companies that are looking to transition from fully office-based training to mobile-enabled programmes but with so much legacy content around that relies on old technologies, like aging web browser plugin Flash, consideration must be given to not only course design but also content formats that are suitable for mobile devices.
Engagement with a task is generally enhanced when people have a vested interest in it, and that’s what happens when learners are able to contribute to their own training. People like to create; they support the things they create and the process of contributing aids information retention. That’s the benefit of user-generated content, but it’s not a concept without its challenges for workplace training.
There is an abundance of content nowadays. We’re bombarded with it, through our laptops, smart devices and phones. We can, if we choose, immerse ourselves in accessing, sharing and creating content. It is the digital age of communication that enables learners to contribute to training content, but companies understandably want to retain control over courses. This may be to a greater or lesser extent – sales training for example, may very well be enhanced by sales professionals sharing their experiences, whereas compliance training will most likely have to cover specific, structured topics.
Next generation learning platforms can help learning and development (L&D) teams achieve the right balance. This could include, for example, encouraging learners to upload their own videos. Video content can be especially powerful where the learner demonstrates how to complete a practical task. Others taking the course will most likely appreciate seeing this from one of their peers, but alongside support for this user-generated content comes moderation so L&D are able to maintain structure within the course.
Today’s workforce approaches learning in a different way. Continual learning has become a fact of modern working life. We see this in the level of personal ownership employees now take for their own learning and development. Training is empowering and benefits the learner in progressing through their career, just as it benefits the employer by building skills within the workforce.
‘Digital native’ millennials have entered the workplace with their own outlook on continual development and training. They expect content that is instantly accessible and consumed in chunks. They’re used to the type of information exchange we see in social media – getting involved in a discussion, being referred to an online video, linking through to formal and informal information sources.
Learning technology providers can help corporate L&D departments adapt to this style of learning through a digital platform that blends with existing training formats, to help learners take control of their learning and, from there, their ongoing development.