Online Training and Social Learning – 10 Years Into The Future

It’s amazing how quickly things sometimes move when fueled by a combination of business need and readily available technology. Predictions made only a year ago that looked out to the next decade are, in some cases, already starting to take hold.

Take, for example, Topyx’s “What Will Corporate Training Look Like In Ten Years?” post from just over a year ago. In it, they highlight some of the trends expected to shape corporate L&D in the decade ahead, including gamification, mobile learning, social learning, and on-demand training.

Yet if you look at just the last twelve months, a couple of these trends have already made big moves toward the mainstream.  Take on-demand training.  It’s quickly becoming the de facto way for L&D teams to scale out corporate learning in a cost-effective way through the use of video platforms and corporate LMSs. Similarly, more and more businesses are looking to augment top-down training programs with informal (social) knowledge sharing from subject matter experts across the organization.

At Panopto, we’ve seen these trends accelerate over the past couple of years, with companies like Siemens providing technical training via on-demand video, and a Financial Markets Technology firm scaling the knowledge of their experts by recording short how-to videos.

What’s driving the increasing use of video for online training and social learning is the business need to share knowledge in a cost-effective way, the plummeting cost of HD video cameras, and the availability of easy-to-use video software.  Together, these make video an ideal tool for L&D organizations who need to provide access to job-specific training and build a library of corporate knowledge.

As more and more learning and development professionals discover how easily video can extend their reach and impact, we expect that the these trends will only continue to accelerate. And while it’s never an easy task to look into the future with great accuracy, here are a few additional thoughts we have on how corporate learning will evolve in the years ahead:

  • The majority of instructor-led training will be delivered via live and on-demand video.  As of two years ago, instructor-led online training accounted for 10 percent of training available (ASTD) and was on the rise. And in 2014, Bersin recommends that HR and L&D teams “get comfortable with video, develop a small team of people who can edit and manage video, and push your IT department to help you with content management.”

  • Informal knowledge sharing via video will become the norm. Every member of every organization will be recognized as a subject matter expert in something, and professional trainers will help those individuals share their knowledge and make institutional learning truly democratic. As of 2013, one quarter of respondents in an ASTD survey reported that informal learning already represented more than half of the total learning taking place in their companies.

  • Searchable video libraries will extend the life of every piece of training content, helping employees find exactly the right content in formal online training courses and bite-sized learning videos. The potential impact: massive productivity gains. McKinsey reports that knowledge workers spend almost 20 percent of each day searching for and gathering information. Video has notoriously been the most difficult type of content to search, yet videos contain vast amounts of valuable corporate information.  So imagine what knowledge workers could do if they redirected that time spent searching to coming up with the next big idea.

To find out more about how your learning & development teams can make video easy with Panopto, contact our team for a demo or try Panopto free.

Published: February 27, 2014

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