We’re heading into 2022 and all the change, challenges, and opportunities that have impacted our businesses have evolved our approach to learning and training, too. With an increasingly hybrid and/or remote workforce and digital working life, the future is brighter than ever for online learning and training - but it isn’t all brand new solutions and innovations! While we’re all ready to put the pandemic behind us, some of the new technologies and tools that we’ve developed in the past two years are here to stay, and with them, a desire to make the human experience a bigger priority in online learning and training. In 2022, we’re predicting a resurgence of trends that we’ve been watching for the past few years - just improved, evolved, and optimized for what’s coming next.
When we released our predictions for previous years, we identified some powerhouse trends in the learning and training field, including:
Additionally, we took a look at less quantifiable efforts like employee retention and personalization. Many of these trends are continuing to rise to importance today as we look forward to 2022. Here’s what we see coming.
Microlearning is here to stay! Not only does this format of learning and training provide bite-size, digestible chunks of content designed to be more convenient to learners, but microlearning is also powerful in increasing retention and course completion for learners. This is in part because microlearning complements video and mobile learning, two other major trends in learning and training that we can expect to continue to grow in 2022. Microlearning can also be used to combat the training forgetting curve by being used after initial training, or for performance support getting critical information to workers while they’re on the job, or performing a specific job function.
Research shows humans may learn best when processing a combination of visual and auditory information, so it follows that video learning works. Data from over 105 studies have shown video learning may even be more effective than learning via in-person lectures. Video learning forces instructors and content creators to edit for concise, impactful content and even allows learners to skip over unnecessary or boring content. This puts learners in control, allowing them to customize the experience for their needs by self-pacing and empowering them to access content when and where it works for them. Where video learning may not be best in every application, it’s particularly helpful in safety training and can be used to complement in-person learning as well. Demonstrations mitigate risk!
The bottom line is: Millennials want professional development - research shows it is more important to them than other traditional benefits employers offer such as cash bonuses or flexible working opportunities. 27% of millennials considered leaving or left their job in the last year citing lack of growth and training and development opportunities as the prevailing reasons why. 90% of job searchers felt strong training and upskilling is important, a number that rose to 97% in tech-specific roles. We know that learning and training are critical to retaining happy employees, which is important to the health of our organizations, so we expect to see organizations working to provide adequate opportunities and offerings in 2022.
Back again is virtual reality (VR), a tool that research shows delivers very real results by engaging learners and creating motivation that results in course participation and completion. VR has long graduated from its trendy entertainment roots, becoming an important component of corporate learning and training programs. VR provides learners with the opportunity to experience using their skills in near-real-world conditions, but where the stakes are low. In critical industries like manufacturing and transportation, VR is a powerful training tool that delivers very real results.
Virtual Reality is a powerful tool in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) training as well. California Polytechnic State University is exploring how VR can combat sexual harassment and violence, and promote LGBTQ inclusion. The goal is to create an immersive experience that gives users a safe space to make mistakes without causing harm - and receive messages that resonate more than traditional sexual harassment or DE&I training.
Last, but not least, it can not be overestimated how important mobile learning will become in 2022 and beyond. Our mobile devices are designed to distribute information and content seamlessly, getting information to the right place, when and where it's needed most. Mobile learning is portable, convenient, and gives learners instant access to their course material whenever and wherever they are ready to engage. This has a profound impact on learners, improving knowledge retention, increasing course completion, and diversifying learning opportunities. In our increasingly remote and digital working world, we can expect to see these devices become greater assets in the delivery of effective learning and training content.
Our world has changed - we’re entering an age when Extended Reality (XR) is our new reality. XR, the catchall term for all prior ‘realities’ - from AR to VR to mixed reality (MR) - is defined as the virtual space that ‘extends’ the real world with digital materials. At Vector, this is a powerful idea that aligns with how we perform our mission-driven work for our clients: leveraging best-in-class, cutting-edge tech solutions to increase safety and mitigate risk in the real world. Learn more about our powerful and customizable solutions for critical industries here.