Expert opinion: Learning trends for 2020

You remember what I said in this post about not writing any posts about ‘education/learning trends in [insert year here]’? Yeah. About that. I wrote something for a post called “10 E-learning Trends that will Dominate in 2020

The article, from Anthea Papadopoulou, calls out “so many [eLearning] ‘so-called experts’ … promising you one-week success, and opportunities that fall from the sky.” The reality, as Anthea continues, is that “it requires a lot of hard work, study, experimentation, and persistence. You need to be continuously informed about the new trends in eLearning so that you can keep up with new students.” From this position, they reached out to ten different “eLearning experts” and asked us what we believe to be trends for 2020.

“Their answers reveal exciting new trends that will change the e-learning scene given that we will do a really hard work to provide amazing learning experiences and stand out in the e-learning field.”

I’m honoured to be listed among notable and respected colleagues such as Jeff Cobb, Christopher Pappas, Panos Siozos, Poppy Hill, Phil Mayor, Craig Weiss, Ryan Tracey, Bill Brandon and Barbara Anna Zielonka.

Here’s what I wrote (spelling and grammar mistakes corrected) under the heading “Emphasis on the Instructional Designer“:

“Technology comes and goes, as do many of the providers and platforms organisations and learning professionals learn to rely on (e.g. read Audrey Watters’ ‘The 100 Worst Ed-Tech Debacles of the Decade‘ review).

What is constant, or rather what should be constant, through these changes is our attention to clarity and quality when producing the learning materials. From translating original content to the appropriate adoption and use of the technology to deliver the training. What is more important than everything in this process is the learning/ instructional/educational designer [insert your own job title here]. This individual is the unsung hero in many organisations – often the last link in the chain before the training is released, often the last one in the office, beavering away to complete the learning, often the only one who spots inconsistencies in materials and terminology. This individual, and the support and guidance they need, is going to be very important in learning and development for 2020 (and beyond) as organisations learn just what a wide variety of skill, creativity and capability is possible when their designers are properly supported.

In short, my ‘trend’ to look out for in 2020 is the person(al). Where the individual becomes the focus of the learning experience, not the technology delivering it. This includes the student too. Technology still has a part to play, but the focus is on how we support the creation of learning materials which use this technology.

Closing my contribution to the article, the people over on Learn Worlds included the following infographic (I’ve not posted one of those for over 5 years!!).

Source: So What Do You Really Mean By ‘Instructional Designer?
Source: So What Do You Really Mean By ‘Instructional Designer?
First seen on the EdSurge website, October 2015.

Photo by Deepain Jindal on Unsplash