Updated 2021: How Training and Development Can Adapt to the Needs of Today's Learners

October 15, 2018 3 min
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On the way to work, you listen to a podcast from your CEO.

At the production facility, you open up a video on the company’s tablet to watch an assembly process.

In the office lounge, you scan a QR code to read about the latest developments in your industry.

The world is a busy place and our time continues to become more scarce. This is especially true for working professionals who are often inundated with mounds of information and data that require fixes. 

Learning has traditionally taken on a “learn now, use later” approach, but with the rise of technology anyone anywhere can learn information at any given time. While traditional classroom training still takes place, users are increasingly dependent on their smart devices to look for information or solutions. Features such as geolocation capabilities, text messaging and social networking have resulted in new opportunities for both real-time and on-demand learning. 

The pace of change is not just filling up people’s pockets, offices and homes with new gadgets and tools but it is also changing how we think, interact and learn. Thus, training and development have to adapt to the changing needs of learners.

Here, we share a few ways training and development can better equip themselves to adapt to the changing needs of learners.

#1 Recognise that you have to change your view of how learning and training should be done. 

In the past, human resources and training departments have focused on what content needs to be learnt. In a traditional classroom setting, only the learning outcomes and the educator's objectives are put into consideration. With learning on the go, the focus is not on what has to be learned, but whether or not the learners find the learning materials useful to their learning and whether or not the information is engaging enough to sustain the learner's attention to learn. Thus, learning today must be able to engage the audience and consider the learners' needs in order for education to be effective. 

Today's learners require that learning tools considers  

  • Ease of locating the information learners need
  • Presenting engaging information in a way that matches the context of the situation 
  • Providing information when the information is most useful to the learner

#2 Take on a lifelong learning mindset in your learning approach

Lifelong learning is no longer an option, it is a necessity.

New insights by the World Economic Forum in 2021 has revealed that the window of opportunity to reskill and upskill workers has become shorter in the newly constrained labour market. For employees looking to retain their job roles, it is expected that 50% of them globally has to reskill themselves to remain relevant.

However, as the global business environment continues to be intense, that also means that there is less time for employees to complete their training during work hours. Employing a corporate learning culture becomes more challenging as more employees are working remotely and are not confined to their physical offices for work. 

In promoting a lifelong learning approach to your training needs, you would take into account ways that will encourage employees to learn outside of their work schedule. When designed well, not only will the organisation be able to gain from a more learned workforce, but the employees will stand to take advantage of cultivating such a learning mindset to grow themselves personally and professionally. 

#3 Invest in tools that will aid you in better adapt to the changing needs of learners

One way to meet the considerations of today's learners is to utilise technologies that would enable educators to provide a more engaging way of teaching. 

Today, people learn new things every day with technology. Whether the learning comes from a viral hack on Tiktok, a social cause documentary on YouTube or infographic posts on Instagram, learning happens all around us as we spend all our time online. Today, technology has without a doubt caught up with our needs for more personalised learning. 

Personalised learning taps into learners' existing knowledge and interests to recommend a highly personalised feed of timely information that would keep them entertained for hours on end. 

So, what do you think?

EdTech helps employees to manage their learning progress in a visible way, making it easier for businesses to track individual work performance.

At the same time, adapting to the changing needs of learners could likely cut training costs and contribute to the company’s bottom line in the near future.

The imperative now is for training and learning departments to re-look ways to embrace technology to meet the expectations of learners today.

By helping learners succeed, organisations succeed too.

We hope you found this article useful. If you're looking for a chatbot for learning and education that can help you adapt to the needs of today's learners, check out our website here.