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Instructional Design in 2019: Top Trends To Watch Out For

Updated: Jul 4, 2019

Blog Contributor: Harry Conley

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Instructional design trends are evolving as we progress through 2019, in line with the greatest shift in thinking in the history of the area, which is the progression towards a learning ecosystem. This can be defined as an environment within a workplace which offers learning and development opportunities which are interconnected, not random, with the ethos being learning as a never-ending journey. This shift has come hand in hand with learner-centric practices – putting the learner at the heart of the activity. With these shifts firmly in mind, here are the most important trends to be seen within the instructional design arena in 2019.

Customized training

There is a major generational shift in the workplace, with Millennials now the majority. With this, there has been a shift in L&D perception. Now, employees want interventions that are specific to them as an individual, not generic for everyone. This actually makes sense on two major levels.

The first is in engagement. If that is what younger staff members feel, then something which does not meet their expectations will quickly breed disenchantment and disengagement. The repercussions here are much more serious than a failed training intervention; increasingly staff value L&D even more highly than financial rewards so this could quite easily lead to a retention issue.

Secondly, it is actually much more cost effective and efficient to train individuals in their specific knowledge and performance gaps, rather than rolling out a one-size-fits-all program. Previously one of the reasons this was avoided was because of the difficulty and cost involved in tailoring such individual programs, but with advances in measurement tools, this is no longer the case.

Mobile learning and apps

Instructional design must mimic real-life scenarios as much as possible, and apps are everywhere in our daily lives. All staff have access to a smartphone, and so the use of apps in L&D delivery is both fashionably relevant, but more importantly practical and convenient.

Apps also solve the commonly-faced problem of boring or predictable training interventions, such as webinars or computer-based activities, by taking the training away from its conventional methods and freshening the approach. Apps now have the capacity to support all types of media, and it is imperative that any web-based learning is compatible with a mobile device. It also allows any course to be accessible wherever and whenever, which people are increasingly demanding.

Make it bite-sized

Another way in which instructional design is mimicking real life is in the trend towards bite-sized interventions. Increasingly people are consuming information in this manner, from their news to their social interests, so why should their training be any different?

“Bite-sized training interventions also have the added bonus of being practical within a busy work schedule, allowing a staff member to complete shortened modules at convenient moments. This encourage the individual to progress with the learning activity, and reduces employee downtime for businesses,” adds Duane Sergeant, a design expert at Lastminutewriting and Writinity.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are already present in the L&D realm, but 2019 promises to be the year when these technological advancements really start to become commonplace in training interventions.

“One of the most common sticking points in the training sphere is that learners are not engaged, and when they are not engaged, they lose interest and motivation. VR and AR have the capacity to make L&D exciting, and relevant to real-life scenarios, bringing back engagement levels, and truly adding value to an organization,” enthuses Rebecca Solomon, a business writer at Draftbeyond and Researchpapersuk.

Interactive videos

Continuing the focus on engaging interventions, interactive videos and even practice-based simulations are moving the onus towards learner participation more than ever before, therefore moving away from the webinars and ‘click-next’ computer courses. Decision-making within the intervention is the new priority.

Focus on analytics

With advances in technology and data analytics, learning effectiveness measurement tools are beginning to be transformed. The older models of rendering the effectiveness of training are starting to be displaced by technologically-driven objective analytical assessment of all aspects of performance. Regular KPIs are being challenged by this increase in analytical data, and this can increasingly be used to improve the effectiveness of training within the normal L&D cycle.

About the Author

Content editor Harry Conley is a man of many talents. As well as his work for LuckyAssignments and GumEssays, he is involved in the development of training and work flow activities to enhance the ability of writers, always seeking to unlock potential along the way.

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