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4 learning and development trends for HR leaders to watch in 2017

As we wrap up what otherwise has been a roller-coaster year and head into 2017, human resource leaders must ensure they are one step ahead of the game. The decisions HR make can have the greatest impact on its organizations, especially when it comes to employee development.

So what's to come in 2017? We found the four most important trends that learning leaders need to keep track of into the new year.

Video will continue to enable micro-learning

In the L&D world, there has always been the capability to create video learning materials, but most of it is too long or drawn out for learners to get any long-term value from this medium. Going into 2017, micro-learning is expected to go full-tilt with super-short video clips of less than a minute. 

“I expect that people will create 90 to 120-second videos as their courses,” Craig Weiss, the CEO of E-Learning 24/7, said. He adds that he believes e-learning vendors will be pushing this trend.

Karl M. Kapp, professor of instructional technology at Bloomsburg University, who contributes to the Association for Talent Development blog, also agrees with this point. He attributes the growing trend of micro-learning and video content to the ability to stream video learning content easily and quickly to learners, text messaging availability, and the research behind how learners can better absorb learning when it’s delivered in small bits at a time.

Millennials will continue to value learning and development as a prime benefit

The Bersin by Deloitte Future of Corporate Learning report advised that of all the benefits that employers offer, millennials value training and development benefits above all. The survey showed that 22% of millennials desired learning benefits, as compared to 19% wanting flexible work schedules and 14% wanting cash bonuses. It’s clear that in 2017, this trend will continue as more millennials enter the workforce seeking training opportunities that they can leverage to climb the corporate ladder.

Gamification and virtual reality will continue to enhance learning experiences

Kapp says that gamification “uses a combination of the science of motivation, distributed learning, and other neuroscience foundations,” and it, “takes advantage of game elements to engage learners.” In 2017, expect to see virtual reality devices as a common tool being used in tandem with gamification in corporate learning environments.

It’s already being used in medical facilities where doctors in training are practicing their skills before working with real live patients. Gamification is very likely in the transportation, manufacturing, and scientific markets, in particular.

Mobile learning will continue to expand employee development goals

In 2016, learning companies were just beginning to tap into mobile device friendly systems to deliver content. Now, in the year ahead, the trend will expand as LMS providers continue to support all mobile devices for corporate learners. Josh Carlyle, contributor for eLearning Industry, indicates that the unique benefits that mobile learning provides means it will be here to stay. These benefits include portability and flexibility of learning methods, fast access to learning materials, and the ability to engage in distraction-free learning activities.

Simon Casuto, president and managing partner of eLearning Mind, and whom contributes to Forbes, says that mobile learning is a trend he expects to continue. He advises that his company is, “finding that many of the businesses we work with see improved adoption, knowledge retention, and better engagement with training materials as a result.” He attributes much of this to an increase remote workforce and a renewed interest by leaders to support the employee experience.

Whatever 2017 brings for your company, start thinking now of ways to include some of the above options on your own learning and development strategy. This can help your company remain competitive and produce a stronger, more prepared workforce. 

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Filed Under: Learning