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The Learning Landscape for 2019 Here are some key trends that one can expect from the world of learning this year

By Kamal Dutta

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In recent years, innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the Internet of Things have been major drivers in transforming businesses, the way we work and our everyday life. While these transformative technologies revolutionized the job market, the skillset demanded by employers has also experienced a major transformation. Organizations across industries are keen on hiring candidates who possess a varied skillset replete with the latest digital skills and an enthusiasm for continuously upskilling during the course of their employment.

The learning landscape of 2019, therefore, will be characterized by the need to acquire a range of digital and business skills in the most holistic and efficient way possible and on a continuous basis – something called as Continuous Adaptability. The skills of tomorrow, brought about by evolving technologies, are essential to the success of organizations and their employees. The following are key trends that one can expect from the world of learning in 2019:

Video and Audio-based Learning

According to an article published by Psychology Today, the human brain processes videos 60,000 times faster than text. Video is, therefore, one of the most popular models of information dissemination today. Harnessing the power of both sight and sound, video-based learning has a higher retention rate than any other learning method. By appealing to visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners, video-based programs enhance self-learning and allow people to upgrade skills in an efficient manner.

Similarly, audiobooks offer an excellent retention rate, effectively capturing the attention of learners. More impactful than text, audiobooks propel learning and engagement through methodically narrated programs. These audiobooks are available in multiple languages and voices according to the preference of learners. Another upside of audiobooks is that they can be consumed on the go, while commuting to the office, exercising, walking or doing chores.

Video and audio will indubitably continue to gain traction among the most popular mediums of consumption in the learning industry this year and beyond, with more learners preferring these methods over traditional learning.

Microlearning Becomes Ubiquitous

Microlearning is the subtle art of skill acquisition wherein small bursts of information are consumed by learners over regular intervals of time. This is a relatively simple method of learning that is increasingly being utilized by organizations. Microlearning can take the form of games (gamification), infographics, videos and audiobooks. The means of disseminating information largely depends on the learning capacity of employees and their affinity toward different learning methods.

Instead of a needlessly long and boring learning session, microlearning can reduce the time taken to learn while boosting the learning abilities of people. Thanks to repetition and bite-sized information, microlearning has great outcomes in terms of retention and engagement. With the ubiquity of learning through any device, the method is sure to continue to gain traction this year. There has been a lot of hype about microlearning in the past few years. This year, microlearning will become a strategic and foundational element of effective eLearning programs.

AI, Machine Learning & Robotics

While in their nascent stages, AI, machine learning and robotics were perceived as threatening takers of human jobs, they have now proved to do the exact opposite. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, technologies such as AI and automation will create 60 million jobs by 2020. It is, therefore, evident that technological advancements will not take over jobs, but will definitely transform them.

The jobs of tomorrow, created by the ongoing technological revolution, will require employees to possess superior skillsets to fulfil evolving job demands. For instance, robots are likely to take over most warehouse jobs, but human workers will still be required for the programming and maintenance of those jobs. With newer innovations and products hitting the market every day, AI, machine learning and robotics are likely to become required learning for technology and developer professionals and for organizations to remain competitive.

Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

AR/VR have a unique role to play in the education industry. By embedding AR/VR into run-of-the-mill learning programs, learning platforms can significantly enhance engagement and knowledge acquisition. Retention rates increase through this method of teaching, as its interactive and immersive nature helps the brain absorb information much faster.

In the AR/VR domain, users practice experiential learning in the context of simulated work environments. AR/VR has endless possibilities in the educational field, and 2019 will see students gradually dipping their feet and eventually immersing themselves completely into these unique learning methods.

Digital Experiences Become Equivalent to Learning

In 2019 and beyond, learning will become the absolute norm thanks to rapid technological enhancements and upgrades. All digital platforms will be integrated with learning UIs that will smartly learn from users while users learn from them. These systems will automatically identify the user's need for support and switch to their learning UI. This will radically enhance user experience on digital platforms and promote learning in the everyday lives of people, even when they don't consciously realize it.

Kamal Dutta

Managing Director of Skillsoft


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