Expert opinion: Learning trends for 2020

You remember what I said in this post about not writing any posts about ‘education/learning trends in [insert year here]’? Yeah. About that. I wrote something for a post called “10 E-learning Trends that will Dominate in 2020

The article, from Anthea Papadopoulou, calls out “so many [eLearning] ‘so-called experts’ … promising you one-week success, and opportunities that fall from the sky.” The reality, as Anthea continues, is that “it requires a lot of hard work, study, experimentation, and persistence. You need to be continuously informed about the new trends in eLearning so that you can keep up with new students.” From this position, they reached out to ten different “eLearning experts” and asked us what we believe to be trends for 2020.

“Their answers reveal exciting new trends that will change the e-learning scene given that we will do a really hard work to provide amazing learning experiences and stand out in the e-learning field.”

I’m honoured to be listed among notable and respected colleagues such as Jeff Cobb, Christopher Pappas, Panos Siozos, Poppy Hill, Phil Mayor, Craig Weiss, Ryan Tracey, Bill Brandon and Barbara Anna Zielonka.

Here’s what I wrote (spelling and grammar mistakes corrected) under the heading “Emphasis on the Instructional Designer“:

“Technology comes and goes, as do many of the providers and platforms organisations and learning professionals learn to rely on (e.g. read Audrey Watters’ ‘The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade‘ review).

What is constant, or rather what should be constant, through these changes is our attention to clarity and quality when producing the learning materials. From translating original content to the appropriate adoption and use of the technology to deliver the training. What is more important than everything in this process is the learning/ instructional/educational designer [insert your own job title here]. This individual is the unsung hero in many organisations – often the last link in the chain before the training is released, often the last one in the office, beavering away to complete the learning, often the only one who spots inconsistencies in materials and terminology. This individual, and the support and guidance they need, is going to be very important in learning and development for 2020 (and beyond) as organisations learn just what a wide variety of skill, creativity and capability is possible when their designers are properly supported.

In short, my ‘trend’ to look out for in 2020 is the person(al). Where the individual becomes the focus of the learning experience, not the technology delivering it. This includes the student too. Technology still has a part to play, but the focus is on how we support the creation of learning materials which use this technology.

Closing my contribution to the article, the people over on Learn Worlds included the following infographic (I’ve not posted one of those for over 5 years!!).

Source: So What Do You Really Mean By ‘Instructional Designer?
Source: So What Do You Really Mean By ‘Instructional Designer?
First seen on the EdSurge website, October 2015.

Photo by Deepain Jindal on Unsplash

Impressive Community Support for a Newbie

While I’ve been using Adobe Creative Suite products for years, I’ve only recently been trialing Adobe Captivate.

The depth of content found in Adobe’s eLearning Community portal is amazing.

After I posted a question, a “Legend” responded with a very helpful answer in a matter of hours. Very impressive indeed!

Hopefully one day I can return the favor(s)!

The post Impressive Community Support for a Newbie appeared first on eLearning.

The Future of Learning Technology in UK Higher Education

Last year I was approached and interviewed by Microsoft. In that interview I talked about my experiences and hopes for my work, both in the sense of personal development and in how I see (and want to see) the use of technology improve in higher education. This improvement, I said, needs to come from three main areas:

  • How we, learning technologists (in our various roles and titles) perceive technology is being used, can be used, and should be used with students. These students can be classroom based or fully online, or the use of technology in a blended approach.
  • How we work with staff (academic and administrative) to introduce new technology or new ways of working with existing technology, how this relationship with our colleagues grows and whether they are the kind who are receptive to new tools and techniques or ‘ludites‘, and
  • Why we look at new technology, how we work out if there is a use for it and if so, what is it? We’re also fully aware that some technology needs to mature before it becomes an effective teaching tool (either in reliability, resilience, or in it’s adoption across the sector).

From the report:

Learning delivery in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) is being reshaped before our eyes, thanks in part to advances in technology and the new pedagogical theories facilitated by that technology. In order to understand more about the ever-evolving relationship between technology and learning, we spent time speaking with six of the UK’s leading learning technologists working within HEIs.

In a series of interviews exploring current practice, changing needs and key trends, we were able to establish how digital devices are being used in universities and how cutting-edge technology can continue to compliment a sector experiencing fresh emphasis on collaboration, creation and innovation.

Key take-away messages from the interviews and report look at things like our ability to be device agnostic (despite this being a report from Microsoft Surface), seamless capability, VR and AR developments, AI, collaborative working and learning analytics.

David Hopkins reiterated the point (investment in institutional infrastructure) that the role of a learning technologist is “to make sure that the academics use their time with the students efficiently.”

Alongside key “UK’s leading learning technologists” like Mike Sharples (OU), Terese Bird (Leicester), Neil Morrise (Leeds), Rose Luckin (UCL), Dave White (UoAL) and myself, the Microsoft report concluded that “the revolution in learning technology is quickly becoming the most significant factor in improving student performance – in turn helping universities to fulfil their transformative role for society, the jobs market and the economy.”

Download the Microsoft Surface report here: The Future of Learning Technology in UK Higher Education.