Keeping up with learning trends


20 Jun Keeping up with learning trends

I’m an instructional designer. I studied to become one and have worked in this capacity for over thirty years. I’ve seen a good many trends come and go (can you say, Interactive VideoDisc?). I can tell you there are many opinions among my peers about what constitutes effective instruction and what does not.

That’s why attending the ATD International Conference and Expo this year was so important to me. In its 75th year, the four day conference provided over 300 one hour sessions and hundreds of expo booth vendors. Attendance exceeded 10,000 with ~1,000 international attendees.

So, what was the buzz this year?

On the technology side, it’s all about phone Apps (portrait mode, please), taking the concept of microlearning to the next delivery stage. And the shorter the better! A company I used to work for conducted a to see how long users would tolerate performing tasks on different devices. We discovered that 30 minutes on a laptop was normal, but less than five minutes on a phone! Apps can be ideal in providing specific, single concept instruction (and remediation) quickly and effectively.

Virtual Instructor Led Training (VILT) is on the rise as well. I remember how well Video-Teleconferencing was in the old days and how its effectiveness was dashed by streaming webinar tools that offered only poor video capabilities with spotty VOIT. The new generation of VILT tools bring back the quality with enhanced capabilities. There were multiple sessions with great tips on how to best use these tools to keep learners engaged and excited about the content.

As far as new approaches to learning, I was pleased to see storytelling being used in multiple ways. Metaphors have always been a great tool to accelerate the transference of known skills to help build new ones, so great storytelling is a perfect fit!  Creating stories is also a perfect way to reinforce learning in areas where other methods are just not working. Turning dry data into engaging stories can help make uninteresting content profoundly impactful.

While I certainly picked up some useful techniques, it was good to see that the technology and learning approaches we utilize at Intracon Spain are in alignment with the most current thinking in learning.

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Never stop learning!

Bucky Wall
Head of Learning

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