Learning and development professionals looking to stay ahead of the curve should seek to find out all they can about interactive video, AR, gamification and microlearning at this year's Learning Technologies conference in London.
Learning and development is a fast-evolving field that never stands still; while some tried-and-true techniques will weather the test of time, it's just as likely that yesterday's cutting-edge innovations will become tomorrow's obsolete curiosities.
As such, it's vital for organisations that want their training methods to stay ahead of the curve to keep abreast of all the latest trends and developments, and tailor their approach to reflect the newest advancements in best practice.
With the 2018 Learning Technologies conference just around the corner, now is an ideal time for professionals to get up to speed on the most important ideas reshaping the learning and development landscape, and to find out all they can about them when the show hits London's Olympia on January 31st and February 1st.
While video-based training isn't exactly new, the use of interactive video content as a learning aid is expected to remain a key trend in 2018, meaning it's vital for organisations to get on board if they want to stay current.
More and more companies are commissioning their own videos - often with branching scenarios - and then supplementing them with interactive elements and questions, all of which can help keep employees more engaged and invested in the learning process than would ever be possible with static text.
By adding prominent branding to the content, these interactive videos can also double-up as a promotional tool for your company - another reason to expect this trend to be prominently featured at LT 2018.
Many businesses are more familiar with virtual reality (VR) technology than they are with augmented reality (AR), but mounting evidence suggests that the latter approach may actually be more accessible and versatile when applied to learning and development.
Whereas VR immerses learners in a completely virtual space through the use of a dedicated headset, AR superimposes virtual elements on a real-life environment, meaning AR applications will work with most camera-equipped smart devices. Not only are AR apps cheaper to develop, but they also have the benefit of providing learners with access to real-time information within a practical, functioning workspace.
As the costs associated with VR and AR continue to drop, 2018 could be the year that both technologies truly become mainstream fixtures.
Learning and development professionals are always looking for new ways to make training feel more engaging; gamification takes that a step further by helping learners to actually have fun with the material.
With the use of competitive scoring systems, badges, achievements, leaderboards and integrated storytelling, traditionally dry pursuits such as compliance courses and procedural training can be turned into something immersive and enjoyable, making learners actively enthusiastic about dedicating their time and energy to it. Not only does this improve morale and job satisfaction, but it'll also mean they retain more information, making this a win-win proposition.
2018 may be the year that marathon multi-hour training sessions go the way of the dodo, as microlearning is firmly here to stay.
With younger generations of talent growing up in a world where bite-sized content dominates the media landscape, it makes more sense than ever for training to transition to a model of concise, digestible lessons that can be spaced out over time. Numerous studies have shown that human brains are more receptive to this kind of short-form learning, and the ubiquity of smart devices means it's easier than ever for learners to access this material whenever they might need a refresher.
As such, you can expect microlearning to be everywhere at LT 2018 - and by finding out more about it at the conference, you can make sure that it's taking place everywhere within your organisation in 2018 and beyond.