Training is evolving at a break-neck pace, and corporations are doing their best to keep up with all of the changes. Training budgets are tighter, the development life-cycle is shorter and the demand for quality has never been greater.
We must also keep in mind that the audience for our training courses demands the latest in interactive technology with embedded video, high-quality graphics and engaging content. It makes you wonder what training will look like a decade from now.
If our technology continues to advance at the rate it has over the past decade, we can surely expect big changes in the way our training courses are designed, delivered and consumed. In addition, we’ll need a robust Learning Management System (LMS) that can grow with these rapid changes. One thing is almost assured; the LMS of the future will reside in the cloud rather than each enterprise maintaining their own dedicated servers. It will also be scalable and will support the latest Social Learning trends.
As for what corporate training will actually look like in the next 10 years, there are many possibilities. The changes that are in development right now such as the Tin Can API, will certainly impact how we design training programs. Here are a few more possible changes that will influence corporate training initiatives in the coming decade:
- Serious games and simulations are one of the most exciting new areas of training development. These hyper-realistic training tools are being driven by advances in graphics processing speeds and in the programming tools used to develop them. Where training modules today may include a video insert and occasional animation, tomorrow’s training will involve actively manipulating components on the screen. Three-dimensional models can make it possible for learners to “see” and study a piece of equipment without actually being in front of it. This technology could also involve a learner taking an active role as a character in a simulated environment.
- Social Learning is another area of improvement in training design. The newest web-based Social LMS platforms allow for the dissemination of informal learning taught by subject matter experts within an organization. They also offer the ability to collaborate and share information that can be easily retrieved by others within the organization. The Social LMS TOPYX® is one such platform that provides a full-featured LMS, combined with the functionality of a social media platform – all in an enterprise ready and fully scalable package.
- So-called “on-demand training” is also catching on within the corporate environment. I’m not just talking about those YouTube-style homemade videos, but training that can be designed, developed, produced and delivered by a small team – or even an individual – in hours rather than days or weeks. Of course these impromptu training modules must still be vetted and approved prior to making them available via the LMS platform.
- Mobile Learning is another area that has massive potential and a strong appeal to corporate trainers. With the vast majority of corporate employees carrying a smart phone or other Internet-capable device, mobile learning simply makes sense. This technology allows a learner to access and learn a new concept from wherever they happen to be, and whenever they need to learn it. And with the expected advances in mobile technology, a hand-held device can potentially take the place of a live instructor.
The ability to predict the future is notoriously difficult to do. However, current trends and the trajectory of the past decade can give us some clues as to where we’re going. One thing is almost certain; a new way of managing training delivery and administration is required.
For more information on the TOPYX LMS, and a free demonstration of its capabilities for your enterprise, click here. The future appearance of corporate training may be uncertain, but it certainly will be exciting.
Vice President, Business Development