This month’s big question in Learning Circuits “What are your Predictions and Plans for 2010?”
My crystal-gazing revealed certain expected trends in learning. I do not know if they would come about in 2010 but things will surely move in these directions.
Learning Management Systems (LMS/LCMS): Organizations will move more toward adapting open source LMS/LCMS like Moodle, ATutor or Ganesha rather than going in for proprietary systems like SABA, SumTotal and so on.
Also, they would be more interested in the basic features rather than all the frills (and expenses) that go with the current systems. So, it will be more ‘back to basics’. It augurs well for organizations that offer customization and maintenance of open source LMS’ or offer their LMS free like TLN and change for maintenance.
Duration for Training: In 2009, CommLab has developed more than a 100 eLearning courses for 25-30 organizations in 7 countries. The trend is clear. The customers/learners want “capsules” or “pills” of learning – the more concise, the better. Gone are the days of 3-5 learning hours for a program. Now, the average seat time is less than 1 hour. I think this will further come down to 30 minutes or even less. It poses a challenge to Instructional and Learning Designers to come up with ‘precision’ learning. Again, to cut the bells and whistles. The learners are becoming very mature. They want more training and less entertaining. They want both effective and efficient learning – better learning in less time.
Harnessing Social Media: I am sure all of you have learnt something useful through social media in the past year. I have personally learnt substantially by just reading various discussions in LinkedIn, leave alone posting and participating in them. I think Social Media is the next big wave in learning. The challenge here is to channelize and manage this revolution. I really don’t know how. Any ideas?
Just-In-Time (JIT) Learning: Reading about learning delivered through mobile phones (m-learning) and other PDAs makes me wonder that a time is near when learners want to acquire learning just before they need to use it. For example a sales person may want to brush up his product knowledge just before a crucial sales call or an operator wants to run his eyes down a checklist just before starting a new machine or a custom service executive goes through the latest analysis of a particular customer’s behavior before taking the call.
Boom in Cross-Cultural Learning: When we started CommLab in 2000, without any physical representation outside India, trying to do business virtually, we knew pretty little about the cultural aspects of our markets. Today, after 9 years, we feel that we know so much about these cultural nuances. The world is really a global village now and we will continue to learn so much about each other, wherever we may be physically living. I foresee a boom in learning about each other’s cultures. The day is not far that a common, basic culture evolves. Maybe it is too grand a vision, but it is exciting to think about it!