What’s coming up in 2020 to help convert training into action in your company

Hi everyone. We hope you had a great end of year holidays and are still sticking to your New Year’s resolutions. 

Over the past couple of years we’ve seen the interest in learning transfer accelerate to the point where everyone is now talking about it. However, what we still see is that although people know what learning transfer is our industry is still unsure how to implement it correctly, how to measure it’s effectiveness and how to make the shift to the digital solutions that learners are increasingly demanding as standard for training. So, this year we’re dedicating our time and resources into answering three important questions that we think will overcome the big issues. 

How can we make training evaluation better?

This is all about a new style of evaluation and how it provides the evidence for learning transfer. A lot of people in the industry think that evaluation alone is the driver for learning transfer, but it’s actually the other way around. This year we’ll be sharing how to evaluate the effects of learning. In other words the extend and quality to which learning is implemented in the workplace.

The approach is very different from the traditional styles of measuring knowledge post-training, or through self-assessment comparisons before and after training, in that it focuses only on whether learning was used and if it was effective. This is going to be a major topic for 2020 as companies transition from stand alone learning events to designing for application. 

Do we need to convert events into learning journeys?

In short, yes. Whether it’s to combat climate change, manage learning in the gig economy or to improve soft skills, people want to leverage learning journeys to achieve their goals. This inevitably means fewer classroom events and more program or journey-focused initiatives. You’ll need to be prepared to think about how to use a learning experience platform, how to reach outsourced talent, and teach soft skills in a way that hasn’t been done before. 

For us as learning designers this means that we probably need to be re-skilled too. So, we’ll be demonstrating in 2020 how to move your traditional event-based learning out of the centralised classroom and into the virtual and personal spaces. One goal we’ve set to achieve this at PTT is to become completely paperless and to hugely reduce travel this year. 

Will technology create better learning solutions?

Technology is often touted at the solution to everything, but when used properly – knowing the limitations – it can be a powerful tool. However, the ongoing questions that people have about technology is how to deploy AI to gather information via feedback loops and how to leverage what AI tells us. 

It’s also a commonly held belief that if learning is already in the digital space, as micro-learning or e-learning etc., then learning transfer isn’t needed. However, that theory doesn’t completely hold up. Digital-based training is still subject to the same issues that classroom training faces. 

When we think about the future of learning we see people demanding technology solutions that can be used in the workplace and decision-makers requesting analysis from AI that comes from higher levels of data literacy. Both of these present great opportunities for us as designers because they are perfectly aligned to learning transfer principles – journey, relevance, recency, application, and evaluation. This means that we’ll soon be applying the methodologies of learning transfer into digital solutions while using AI to improve our offerings. 

Finally…

There are every year a number of loosely defined or broad trends which people try to follow as closely as possible. We inevitably succeed to implement some and fail with others. At PTT we think that the evaluation-journey-technology story is here to stay and evolve over the next few years. We’ll do out best at PTT to stay ahead of the curve and give you the tools necessary to implement these changes before they are demanded from you. 

All the best for 2020.

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