A new decade of learning

We asked members and supporters of the Charity Learning Consortium to tell us about the challenges they’ve faced in the last decade in L&D, and also indulge in a little crystal ball gazing on the industry’s future. Read on to find out what Martin Baker, Donald Taylor, Laura Overton, Peter Honey, Ian Ross and our charity L&D managers think is in store for a new decade of learning.

“In the last decade I have really noticed the impact of Generation Y on how I think about technology. Young people just don’t have the same barriers to learning online. In the past, natural leaders were captains of school sports team – now young people lead virtual teams online through gaming. In the future, the challenge for L&D professionals is to harness this ability for young people to combine using technology so readily, whilst developing old fashioned skills like leadership and communication, and transfer this into the corporate world.”
Martin Baker, founder and Managing Director of the Charity Learning Consortium

“The last decade has seen big changes in style of delivery, with shorter, more interactive and blended solutions replacing the traditional two days of classroom style delivery and longer residential courses. There has also been a significant shift in the ‘ownership’ of learning. In the past, training was seen as a ‘tick in a box’ and perhaps something ‘done to’ people by an organisation. Now it is expected that individuals want to engage and become involved in choosing personal solutions.”
Martin Lewis, Head of Learning and Organisational Development, Royal British Legion

“L&D in the last decade has been playing ‘catch-up’. My prediction for the next decade is that the game of catch-up will continue; technological advances will continue to outpace our ability fully to grasp their implications for L&D. Exciting times!”
Peter Honey, occupational psychologist, management trainer and Learning Styles ‘guru’

“The idea of a ‘learning organisation’ is catching on within the Third Sector, with more challenging solutions needing to be found to avoid significant investment costs. I foresee developments in the way in which learning activity is supported, but the learning topics themselves are unlikely to change. All organisations have similar core themes of development, but the Third Sector will find more innovative ways to deliver the solution.”
Helen Underhill, Head of Human Resources, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)

“Looking back over the last 10 years, L&D is now using technology in learning more than ever, with the recession fuelling a renewed interest in delivering more for less. But despite massive advancements in tools and approaches, by and large our attitudes to learning innovation haven’t shifted much beyond the stand alone course. Looking forward, we won’t have the luxury of ignoring the innovations around us, L&D will have a choice to make. Either to continue to ignore it (and risk being ignored) or to embrace it and be part of the solutions that their business needs.”
Laura Overton, Managing Director, Towards Maturity

“The past decade of charity learning has itself been one of learning and development; this is exemplified by the innovative use of new and improving technologies, leading to exciting new learning platforms such as the TED format, which thoroughly engage ‘tomorrow’s’ audience.”
Ray Gorman, Training Programme Manager, Engineers Without Borders UK

“The past decade has seen a revolution in workplace learning, precipitated by technology and the continued shift to a knowledge economy. Thanks to increased connectivity, trainers are no longer the only source of information or expertise. The result: the learning and development department will be shifting its focus over the next decade to be more strategic and more focused on performance and less on training.”
Donald Taylor, Chairman, Learning Technologies conference and the Learning & Skills Group

“In the past we have been fruitlessly searching for the illusive answer to ‘What is the ROI on this learning intervention?’ I hope that growth in eLearning during a recession means that when our belts are loosened and the focus shifts from relentless cuts, eLearning will be in a position to prove its worth by returning on our expectations. After-all, the expectation on eLearning over the last decade, to do anything other than cut costs and meet compliance, has hardly been high. Luckily, good sense blended learning approaches have reached mainstream during the recession and should help us smash those myths about eLearning when the focus turns to: ‘What did we learn?’ ”
Ian Ross, Learning Technologies Manager, Charity Learning Consortium

Come and chat to us at Learning Technologies, 26-27 January, Olympia, London, stand number 177. We’ll be delighted to see you.

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