Use Predictions to Inspire, Direct Development

Mon, January 09, 2017 3:45 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

It's a brand new year, so my blog feed is replete with topically predictable posts about the coming year's trends. 

Gamification has been a prediction for at least three years, and it ranks high on many posts this year.  I believe "mobile learning" has been trending since 2010.  And this year, augmented and virtual reality are topping the charts, as well as AI.  To which I say: "About time. I've still got an article titled: 'Enhance Mobile Learning with Geolocation and Augmented Reality' from when I attended ATD TechKnowledge 2012." (Then I mutter something about clearing out my archives).

It's easy to take these prediction posts with a grain of salt.  It's probably more beneficial to take them as a launching point for professional development.

Take, for example, this post: Top Learning Trends for 2017 (according to the experts).  This blog's editors gathered insights from several leaders in the talent development field and collated their thoughts on the coming months.  Yes, some of the experts touted mobile learning and augmented reality, and yes, there were others who focused elsewhere.

Lori Niles-Hoffman, who brands herself as a data-driven learning strategist, looks to deepening talent development's relationship with data, and points to xAPI tracking technologies as a tool to be embraced in 2017.

"To really understand how our audiences consume and interact with digital content, we need robust tracking and analytics engines," she says, noting that most LMSs these days have the capacity to look at anything more than course completion.

Connie MalamedAuthor of Visual Design Solutions: Principles and Creative Inspiration for Learning Professionals, suggests: 

"Rather than thinking in terms of the latest instructional strategy and technology trends, I suggest we ask ourselves a different question this year: 'What do people want from their learning experiences?' In answering this question, we may see the direction that our industry will take in 2017 and beyond."

This opinion ties in neatly with the ATD OC Learning Event: "The Customer Centricity Imperative." So our Chapter's already trending (according to one expert)!

Clark Quinn, the executive director at Quinnovation, wants to hear more about measurement and smart design.

"Here’s hoping that this coming year is when we start using human intelligence more appropriately, and look seriously at learning science. Too little of what we do reflects what’s known, and instead still is more mired in learning myths. If we start taking a ‘learning engineering’ approach, applying science to design, we have the ability to achieve real outcomes."

Did you notice that?  Mr. Quinn is not predicting that the talent development industry going to focus on learning science, he's hoping that someone decides to make it their focus for the year.  Ms. Malamed suggests we ask ourselves questions for guidance. 

That's what I see as exciting about the new year.  Forget making resolutions -- consider honing focus.  What are you going to learn more about, and perhaps apply in your job, in 2017?  

If you're not sure, then consider looking at those predictions posts.  In the "from the experts" article that I shared, we got a glimpse into where these professionals' passions lie.  

Do any of their passions align with yours?  

What excites you about those trends that everyone's hyping up?  

What are you going to focus on in 2017?  Let us know in the comments.

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