With Q1 of 2019 already underway, your learning strategy for the year may be in place, or it is being tweaked. In this article, I share 4 practical steps that you could use as you draw up or refine your learning strategy in 2019.
How To Ensure The Success Of Your Learning Strategy In 2019
In today’s highly competitive environment, a highly skilled and motivated workforce is essential to meet your business goals and keep your organization ahead of the competition.
Innovative and immersive training that can engage employees and effectively address the identified gaps or upskill them are critical to the organization’s success.
To support the business in this endeavor, L&D teams are on a constant lookout to identify and implement new techniques and trends that will help them deliver a successful learning strategy. Selecting the right approaches that can help employees perform better are vital for the success of your learning strategy.
Charting The Learning Strategy In 2019: What Has Changed?
As we know, a learning strategy helps define a clear roadmap to achieve the targeted learning and performance support goals. It covers the actions required to meet the specified goals and has the measures to track the performance.
While the basic tenets of what a learning strategy should outline and accomplish haven’t changed over the years, the charting of the learning strategy in 2019 has certainly become more complex.
- There has been a rapid change in the way learners want to learn (evident in the transition of traditional eLearning to mobile learning).
- You also have an added challenge of addressing the multi-generational workforce (this requires that the adopted learning strategies should resonate well with all diverse learner profiles).
- This is not all; There is a wide spectrum of tools and technologies that you can pick from, but these keep changing year on year. So, which ones should you pick?
As a result, even if you have a well thought through learning strategy in 2019, many other aspects need to be taken care of so that its implementation can deliver the required results.
How Do You Decide What Trends You Should Embrace To Successfully Meet The Goals Of Your Learning Strategy?
Selecting the right eLearning trends to refine or enhance your learning strategy in 2019 will certainly go a long way in helping you succeed.
In this article, I share a few practical insights that can help you choose the right trends and design your learning strategy in 2019 for success. I outline a set of 4 easy steps that can help you evaluate and select what would work best for your learning strategy in 2019.
Step 1: Where Should You Start?
One of the first things you should do is to look at the last 3 years of eLearning trends. A quick comparison will show which trends have delivered value and impact. You will also get to see which trends were talked about but didn’t pan out.
This short list is a great starting point, as you now have a set of trends that are certainly worth your consideration.
Step 2: How To Validate The Applicability Of The Trend In Your Organization?
While several trends are clearly delivering the required value, the next step is their suitability in your context.
For instance, within the mobile learning solutions, there are two flavors:
- Mobile-Friendly Or Adaptive Format
These courses can be used on mobile devices, but they are not optimized for them. However, they run across the spectrum of devices learners may opt for (laptops/desktops to smartphones and tablets). The courses do not adapt dynamically to the viewable area (for instance, they would shrink in the portrait mode on a smartphone). Also, the learning interactions are aligned to laptops/desktops rather than the way learners access information on smartphones.
- Mobile-First Or Responsive Format
Here, the designs are dynamic and respond to adjust to the viewable area of each device (from laptops/desktops to smartphones and tablets). The learning interactions are optimized for mobile devices.
Which of these should you opt for, or if you are currently using the adaptive format, should you look at the responsive format?
The answer lies in how the content is likely to be consumed. If your users are on the move and will pick up training predominantly on the go, you should look at the responsive design. Otherwise, the adaptive format works.
The world is abuzz with microlearning; should you move your entire training to this format?
Not quite; several trainings would still require the format when the granularity of the microlearning format may make the learning experience rather disruptive.
This crucial process helps you validate if your needs match the selected trend. It also helps you validate which of these trends will address your requirements optimally and must be part of your learning strategy in 2019.
Step 3: Which Trends Should Be Adopted?
As I interact with L&D teams globally, I have noted that they look for the following 5 aspects to ensure the success of their learning strategy:
- Keep the learners engaged.
- Ensure knowledge acquisition happens.
- Facilitate the application of the acquired learning on the job.
- The desired performance gain and ROI occurs.
- A positive ROI on training spend is established.
Based on this compass, they identify which trends can help them achieve success. In my article and eBook on eLearning Trends in 2019, I used these cues to group the key trends.
You too can use these cues to determine which of the trends should be adopted or updated in 2019.
I. Trends that help learners learn and apply their learning and demonstrate better performance or behavioral change
- Mobile learning
- Digitalization of ILT (to blended or fully online)
- Performance Support Tools
- Informal learning
- Social learning
- Self-directed learning
II. Trends featuring learning strategies with a proven track record
- Video-based learning (videos and interactive videos)
- Mobile apps for learning
- Curation and user-generated content
III. Trends that will help you measure, enhance, and maximize the impact of your training
- Learning Engagement Platforms – LXP
- Learner Analytics
- Big Data reporting and Analytics
IV. Other notable trends to watch out for
- AR/VR and MR for immersive learning
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) in learning
Step 4: Successful Implementation Of Your Learning Strategy In 2019 – The Final Litmus Test
Even if you researched and arrived at the right set of trends, you have validated their relevance in your context; yet, successful implementation hinges on several other factors.
I am highlighting two significant ones that have a direct bearing on successful outcomes:
- Selection Of Partners
The partners you choose (for the platform or for content development): Even if you have existing partners, it may be a good idea to assess new partnerships that may be better aligned to your mandate in 2019.
- Internal Focus On Tracking And Checkpointing
Effective tracking and timely checkpointing of the following aspects will go a long way in a successful implementation of your learning strategy in 2019:
- Accurate Training Needs Analysis or TNA.
- Piloting new initiatives and using their feedback to update or refine the learning designs.
- Change management initiatives (as you adopt radically different approaches).
- Focus group testing (for validation of training effectiveness and impact).
- ROI determination and using the results to fine-tune the way forward in 2019 or next year.
The process of crafting a learning strategy is a tough one, and its successful implementation is even tougher. Adopting the right trends is a significant aspect that can certainly help you succeed in this endeavor. In this article, I have shared pointers that you can practically use as you craft or refine your learning strategy in 2019. I am confident that these will improve your success rate. If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact me at email@example.com.
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