The future of learning needs to get personal

Vivek Dodd reckons data can give learning that personal touch.

We live in a world where change is happening at breakneck speed and learning is at the forefront of it. This is happening not just in schools and universities, but also in the corporate workplace.

Much has been said in recent years about the shortcomings of traditional corporate training, where we take employees away from their desks and work for a few days to bombard them with information, that bears little relevance to their needs, and that they’ll forget almost immediately after the course.

However, whilst digital learning has helped to overcome some of these shortcomings, not least through bite-size elearning, too little has been said about the recipients of learning. The focus instead has been on how relevant knowledge can be passed onto workforces in the quickest, most efficient, way possible.

That’s changing however and much of the change is driven by advances in big data and people analytics. Recent reports into human capital trends show businesses waking up to the potential for people analytics to shape the organisation.

They are investing in programmes that use data for workforce planning, talent management and operational improvement. This gives HR and L&D teams a chance to play a critical role in shaping their organisations with analytics that improve decision-support and training that address the fast-changing needs of the organisation.

 Recent reports into human capital trends show businesses waking up to the potential for people analytics to shape the organisation.

Digital learning has the potential to be an invaluable source of big data, but hitherto, it has been limited to course completions and assessment scores. This gave companies a measure of success for learning interventions, but not much more. However, things are changing with Learning 3.0.  

It is now possible to record every click, every choice, and even the length of time spent and analysing every response to a question. This data can be used to build knowledge and competency maps for an individual, a department or even an entire organisation.

Taken further, training can start contributing to the big data that is used to map the risk of fraud or accidents, or instance of wastage, or spot pools of talent and expertise within the organisation.

Alongside the analytics, Learning 3.0 paves the way for adaptive learning, whereby the learning adapts to the employee’s job role, experience and prior learning. This results in employees achieving their learning goals faster and being more engaged and receptive.

At a time where there’s much talk of the march of AI, the improvements being made in digital learning promise to upskill and empower humans like never before, and to help business reduce risks and build highly motivated and skilled workforces like never before.


About the author

Vivek Dodd, Chief Operating Officer, Skillcast


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