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Five takeaways from the Learning Technologies 2020 event

Learning Technologies event

This year, Bookboon Learning wrapped up another successful year at Learning Technologies, Europe’s Leading Workplace Learning event. Our bright orange stand, from which we offered event-goers a change to interact with our corporate learning solution, was situated across from a popular demo zone. This made it a fantastic spot to spark up insightful conversations with L&D professionals and HR managers alike.  

Across the two busy days in the excel centre, I spoke to hundreds of event-goers about their challenges as learning professionals, the trends they have spotted, and where they believe the industry is headed in 2020. Here are five key takeaways from this year’s event. 

There is a need for soft skills training 

Earlier this month, Bookboon Learning published brand new data about the soft skills gap impacting 75% of organisations. And the majority of the learning professionals I spoke to at the event stressed the same concerns about their own organisations. They explained that this might be because the focus on hiring for hard skills remains strong while soft skills receive very little recognition.  

These professionals also explained that soft skills training within their organisations is often virtually non-existent and in the cases where it’s not, the learning in place is costly and unengaging. Looking back, the conversations I had only stress the growing need for organisations to invest in a cost-effective learning platform with engaging soft skills training content.  

Check out how to make soft skills training engaging with our free bite-sized eBook, Soft Skills: Turning the Invisible into Visible

eLearning is essential to onboarding  

As the fair’s title may suggest, much of the event focused on the future of the L&D industry and how technology will continue to develop and improve it. However, a vast number of the event-goers I spoke to felt many of the learning models their organisation currently had in place were outdated at best and archaic at worst. This point came up particularly often in the conversations I had with those in charge of onboarding.  

The learning managers I spoke to described the need for a modern approach to training new starters, especially those who are younger, to replace the ineffective methods they are working with at the moment. This is exactly where an easy to use eLearning platform new employees can access both within the workplace and outside of it comes in and why 35% of onboarding is now being done through eLearning.  

Check out this free quick read, Digital Thinking and Mobile Teaching, to learn more about how to use eLearning to can impact every area of training.

Blended learning moves from a trend to a must-have

Two words came up in nearly every conversation myself and my colleagues had over the two days at the event: ‘Blended Learning’. While blended learning itself isn’t a new concept, it would appear that the recognition of just how much value it brings to an organisation has vastly grown over the past year.  

Many L&D professionals spoke about the challenge of engaging a variety of employees who not only want to develop different skills from one and other but also prefer to learn in different ways. This would suggest that digital learning platforms that make blended learning easy by providing training materials in a variety of different formats will become popular additions to existing learning models.  

Check out our free eBook for quick tips on implementing Blended Learning into your learning strategy.

Mobile audio learning becoming more popular

When speaking about the many possibilities blended learning can bring to the L&D landscape, mobile-friendly audio learning came up again and again. With the rise of audiobooks and podcasts taking over the entertainment sphere, there is little wonder that employees and L&D professionals alike are looking to more hands-free learning content.  

The training managers I spoke to expressed a keen interest in adding more audio content to their learning mix this year, many having listened to a podcast on networking or similar that very morning on their way to the event. If this year’s Learning Technologies event is anything to go by, mobile-friendly audio learning will cement itself as one of the most effective ways to learn. 

Listen to our new microtalk, Coaching Techniques, for free.

Usability is the key to engagement  

After speaking to learning professionals about their top challenges, there was nearly unanimous agreement that engaging employees in their learning is one the biggest struggles in the industry. Why? Their current learning platforms are somewhat of a nightmare to use.  

These event-goers told us about their experiences with troublesome logins, slow navigation and confusing layouts. They explained how these factors contributed to lighting speed disengagement from learners used to accessing easy to use entertainment platforms like Spotify or Netflix.  

User-friendly learning solutions that take the learner’s experience into account when it comes to mobility, accessibility as well as time spent learning, will become increasingly essential to modern L&D. 

Check out a short overview of usability with our free eBook, The Basics of User Experience Design.

As another great Learning Technologies event comes to an end, I look forward to the changes and innovations that 2020 will bring to the L&D industry, our organisations, and our learners. 

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Bookboon Learning's Report: The Soft Skills Shortage

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