To understand what lies ahead, we merely need to turn our attention to the world outside work. Consumer culture sets new benchmarks and then workplace technology tries to reach it.
Here is our round up of the things we can learn.
Companies everywhere compete for our attention. That could be Nike selling us new trainers, Costa offering discounted coffee, Facebook telling us what we did last year. The platform for the majority of this is through our phones. You can check the news at the bus stop. Order a new table as you stroll to the shop. Book your holiday whilst watching TV. Convenience is at our fingertips.
What that means for learning? Well it points to a few things:
1. Content will go fully mobile. That means no boundaries to where and when it is accessed and the ability to pick up from where you left off, on any device.
2. Courses will be available offline. That means downloadable content, giving you the chance to learn during those journeys away from mobile signal.
3. Courses will get shorter. Learning will become shorter, sharper and more manageable, slotting it into a 10 minute gap in your schedule.
Traditional video courses will no longer cut the mustard. Consumers switch off in seconds when content doesn’t entertain, or it doesn’t involve. The future is that of interaction.
Consider Bandersnatch. It’s the first Netflix interactive movie but it’s a sign of things to come. People want to be in charge of their destiny and the outcomes that play out before them. So, the idea of linear learning will break up, as it becomes something much more interactive – adapting the content to the responses of the user.
Learning is not a passive experience. The courses of tomorrow will offer content that is truly integrated with the user.
Good learning already has a gamified theme to it. You’re involving the user, making it fun, and challenging them to work towards an outcome. If we look to the gaming industry – that has come on leaps and bounds in the past ten years. Playing a game now feels as close as you can be to fighting in the second world war or exploring a lost tomb. That means more realism, more sensory stimulation, more autonomy.
Learning will undoubtedly follow suite. Being more gamified, more interactive, and overall more immersive. We’ve already seen virtual reality headsets used by industries with big enough budgets. But as the cost of that technology comes down, virtual learning will become more mainstream. What’s more, companies will specialise in creating that VR content, using game-based strategies for more entertaining results.
Learning content used to hinge around what you as a company could produce. Now that’s still an option, but there are suites of content available. What’s going on outside of the workplace is a boom in people wanting to up skill and sites that give them the ability to do this.
As a consumer, you can select from hundreds of thousands of courses available. Yes, you’ll need to part with your hard-earned cash to do them, but you can learn anything from brick laying to quantum physics.
You can expect to see access to these huge catalogues, packaged up as an employee perk, with a host of analytics to boot.
We’re excited to be involved in the industry with such advances expected. We’ve always set out to make people’s lives easier, and all of the above do just that. Our initial trials with 360° cameras and virtual reality have all gone well. And our mobile app and micro-learning are often cited as the reason businesses choose to work with us.
Kevin Ashley, Managing Director at myAko, had this to say:
“Learning no longer has to be boring or repetitive. Forward thinking organisations are not just focusing on compliance training – which is important– but offering the chance to learn new skills via eLearning, self-help groups and virtual classrooms. The emphasis for any future learning design should be making the learning relevant to the employee and available 24/7. It’s all about boosting your knowledge, at your time of need.”
If you’d like to talk more about how we can help you keep up with the latest learning technology, then please give us a shout.
Written by Simon Andrew, Consultant and Director at Me[plural], on behalf of myAko.