This Week's Herman Trend Alert

HR in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

March 16, 2011

Trends in Corporate Learning

Corporate learning appears to be in a fast-moving transformation, embracing new technologies and applications to increase the "fidelity", convenience, collaboration, and specificity of experience.

Writing for "Chief Learning Officer", Caroline Avey, director of innovative learning solutions at ACS Learning Services, recently detailed the major trends she sees in corporate learning delivery. Her insightful observations reflect an interesting evolution in the field.

First, we can expect an "increased fidelity of experience". ("The ability for learning to apply to real life is termed “fidelity” by the industry.") There is no doubt that as body counts shrink, so does the availability of training time for the individuals who remain. Thus employers are demanding that training be relevant to the job---very relevant. Moreover, management insists the learning experience be "holistic" learning that it models many, if not all, of the job requirements, like "the ability to demonstrate multiple skills and decision-making in a robust learning exercise".

Avey has also seen an "increase in complex gaming, simulations that require total immersion, and the use of technology as a business modeling engine". We believe this development is only the beginning, especially for tech-savvy Millennials, who will soon demand that learning be fun. Yes, fun! After all, this is the generation that expects to be entertained.

Business modeling is increasingly being used to create a high fidelity experience for the learner. Business modeling allows learners to make multiple separate decisions. Each time, the modeling engine provides learners with unique feedback and allows them to see both the relationship and the magnitude of their decisions.

One example might be financial training for managers of a business unit in which the learners are challenged to respond to the loss of a major customer, deciding whether to increase, decrease, or not change new sales efforts. Similar decisions must be made for managing inventory, employee morale, etc. The business model then shows the impact of these multiple decisions.

Avey also sees an increase in "Kiosk Learning" in which the learner is given access to a computer explicitly for the purpose of learning a particular body of information. We may expect corporate learning to continue to embrace new technologies as fast as they are developed.

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