Recently, I watched a webinar discussing the trends for 2018, and the term “Modern Learner” was used.
What was meant by Modern Learner?
As the presenter began to explain their take on Modern Learner, I started to understand that what I feel has been missing from the L&D conversation. To me, 2017 felt like the “Year of Buzz.” Every trade show, networking event, or conversation with clients was about “the next big thing.” But I felt like something was getting lost, almost left behind, in those conversations.
When I think of learning, I think of engagement.
What had me focus on an English degree over slugging through another mathematics class was the words and writing. These concepts interested me and excited me, and had me wanting to learn more, even outside of the classroom. In the article How the Power of Interest Drives Learning, interest is defined as “a psychological state of engagement, experienced in the moment, and also a predisposition to engage repeatedly with particular ideas, events, or objects over time.”
The Modern Learner has a want or a need to learn – they look for engagement opportunities to experience learning and understanding. And they do this repetitively, not as a onetime thing.
But, combine interest with the staggering changes in our society and you’ll find that it isn’t the people but the environment that is creating a need for us to re-discover and re-define how eLearning and training works.
According to a quote provided in the article Portrait of the Modern Learner – individuals in the workplace are being asked to “do more with less.” The amount of time they can devote to learning activities is shrinking, and our “go, go, go” society has them feeling overwhelmed.
Work and learning culture becomes the focus.
When you look at these two elements together, training and development become more about the work and learning culture than about an individual demographic. The want and need, or interest, is still very much present for learning, but it’s how a shift in focus and prioritization needs to happen in order to offer an engaging and accessible learning environment.
I look to 2018 as a time to get back to roots – the deep and strong foundations of any new buzzword or shiny platform. To not have the focus be on a specific learner or a specific trend, but all learners, whose interest drives their learning.
Blog author: Liesl Christle, Account Manager
What do you see needing to shift to make learning impactful again? What gets you excited and engaged about learning?
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