Top 5 Learning Trends to Watch in 2020

Fulcrum Labs
133 posts

What does the future hold? With the pace of innovation today, it can be hard to tell what learning trends will still be relevant next week, let alone next year. But some trends are simply undeniable – and you know that, no matter what, they will have a big impact in the year to come.

With this in mind, we’ve put together our list for the top 5 learning trends that we know will have staying power well into 2020:

1. Real-World Outcomes vs. Check-The-Box Completion

The most significant trend we see on the horizon is the movement away from check-the-box completion toward an emphasis on real-world outcomes. As we all know, simply checking-the-box on training leaves a lot of room for error. With this approach, workforces may not get all the skills they need from the training. They may lack true mastery of a subject matter. And these gaps can create costly workplace errors, waste and liability.

With today’s advanced learning technologies, and the AI-powered, predictive analytics they can deliver, companies are empowered like never before to tie learning results to business outcomes in meaningful ways. Not only is L&D able to better achieve its critical KPIs and desired learning outcomes, but they’re also better able to demonstrate the ROI of their training programs. For example, AI-powered learning tools make L&D departments better equipped to link their training efforts to bottom-line impacting outcomes like, organizational performance and employee engagement and retention.

Fulcrum’s Adaptive 3.0 Learning platform is one of the technologies that is leading the movement towards real-world outcomes, such as verifying application-level mastery and predicting who is likely to apply the training back on the job and who is not. Check out how we deliver training ROI, how we turn CLOs into organizational rockstars, and how our award-winning technology delivers game-changing outcomes.

2. Maximizing Efficiency

In L&D, training speed matters. It’s L&D’s job to get workers skilled up and back on the job quickly. After all, time is money. So it’s totally understandable that an L&D department would seek out training that’s fast, or that promises to reduce learning times. Unfortunately, training that’s “fast” doesn’t always produce great training results. Measuring how fast a learner completed the training doesn’t tell you what they’ve learned, where they have weaknesses, if they’re likely to apply it or if they’re just lucky guessers. Learning speed doesn’t really tell you anything at all about what learners actually know and are likely to apply on the job.

New, real-time learning metrics, brought about by an injection of predictive analytics and data science capabilities into learning technologies, is giving L&D a lot more to measure than “speed”. As a result, in 2020, we expect to see the focus to change from “learning speed” to “learning efficiency” – a distinction based on not only how fast employees progress through the learning, but also how well they’re acquiring and retaining the content (aka: their level of content mastery).

Check out the four ways that Fulcrum’s Adaptive 3.0 Learning platform cranks up training efficiency.

3. AI and Predictive Analytics

2020 is the year that AI will go mainstream in learning and training. We’re already seeing:

  • LXP platforms leverage AI to make intelligent learning recommendations
  • AI-powered AR/VR platforms giving learners a realistic way to practice skills
  • AI-based analytics tools predicting outcomes like learner engagement, performance and retention.

And we expect to see even more AI and predictive analytics in learning and training in the New Year.

One area that’s taking off is Adaptive Learning 3. 0. More and more organizations are looking to deliver personalized learning that can adapt to better meet the individual needs of each employee. Adaptive Learning 3.0 leverages AI and machine learning to mimic the experience of a one-on-one coach at scale – adjusting content, feedback, recommendations and self-remediation tools in real time to target the needs of each learner, increase engagement, build skill mastery and boost confidence. As a result, organizations experience dramatic learning gains and performance improvements. And armed with AI-powered data science tools (built into Adaptive 3.0 platforms), they can predict those learners who are likely to apply the training back on the job and those who will struggle to do so.

Read more Fulcrum’s Adaptive Learning 3.0 platform and its AI-powered, predictive analytics.  

4. Upskilling, Reskilling With Practice

Hardly a day goes by that we don’t hear about the need for upskilling and reskilling in the American workforce. With employers facing skills gaps and worker shortages, they’re increasingly turning inward – leveraging the talent they already have and equipping them with skills to meet the demands of the future.

For L&D departments, this can be cumbersome – especially without a technology partner to do some of the heavy lifting. That’s why, in 2020, we expect that companies looking to upskill or reskill their workforces will increasingly partner with learning platforms and providers that can offer the following:

  • Lot of opportunities for employees to practice new skills and build confidence (which leads to improved knowledge application) before they have to apply them in the real world
  • The ability to identify knowledge gaps, so organizations can pinpoint competencies that need additional training or areas where they most need newly skilled workers
  • Self-remediation tools, so the burden of learning and mastery-building does not fall on the shoulder of L&D, but is instead placed in the hands of the employees themselves. This also taps into the science of adult learning, encouraging greater engagement and motivation within the learning
  • Verification of skill mastery with quantifiable data, so organizations can be sure their efforts are in line with their skill-building goals

5. Actionable Data

Data is powering transformation in every business unit – including L&D. One new trend we expect to see more of in 2020 is L&D leveraging content performance analytics to improve the efficacy of their programs. In fact, new, AI-powered learning tools give L&D professionals much greater insight the performance of their content, empowering them to fine-tune their programs and improve course efficacy.

For example, Fulcrum’s content performance analytics identify and flag content that’s “problematic,” using state-of-the-art statistical techniques to evaluate the contributions of individual questions to students’ overall confidence and mastery. From here, L&D professionals can use Fulcrum’s user-friendly dashboards to drill down into the specifics of each question to better understand why it isn’t working well, including the most common incorrect answer. And our easy-to use CMS lets instructional designers make changes to content in real time. All this adds up to content that’s more effective and learning programs that achieve their desired outcomes with the greatest learner satisfaction and maximize efficiency.

What trends do you expect to see in 2020?

What new goals are important for you to achieve (and possibly exceed)? We’d love to hear your feedback and chat with you about how Fulcrum’s Adaptive 3.0 Learning Platform can help your learning department prep for a successful 2020.