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Kellie’s Thoughts: Learning and Development in 2020… and Beyond!

Terms I have heard that describe 2020 include:

  • dumpster fire

  • forgettable

  • crazy

  • bad dream

These are the “safe for work” terms I can share. There are countless others that are appropriate for after hours.

Many firms had to quickly pivot in March 2020 to accommodate the remote need for learning and corporate training. One firm I was actively involved with conducted training face to face. Incorporating a live online, or for that matter, self-directed learning was not an immediate priority. In fact, for many institutions, face to face instruction accounted for nearly 40% of course instruction (TD, 2020.)

The need to incorporate other learning delivery methods exists. As we move into 2021, what might training techniques and mediums look like? I believe that COVID will have lasting effects on how classroom time is spent and how learning is delivered.

Virtual learning opportunities will increase

A challenge I have seen has been changing a course from face-to-face to live online delivery. The experience is not the same when delivering a class in person versus live online. Body language, distractions, and fatigue are challenges that present themselves online that are not as prevalent in the classroom.

Consider adjusting content to allow learners to engage in activities like:

  • breakout rooms

  • screen sharing

  • brainstorming

  • polling

Ensure the virtual delivery platform you are using will accommodate various activities. The benefits to online course delivery are an expanded learner reach and reductions in travel time. These can add revenue and reduce costs for an organization. I foresee an increase in these course offerings in the future.

More mobile self-directed learning options

People like to learn on their time and at their pace. I believe it will benefit organizations to offer more self-directed learning opportunities. This would include “micro bites” of “need to know” information.

A quick Google search will yield some general statistics about mobile users. By 2025, nearly 3/4 of internet users will search the internet using a mobile device (CNBC, 2019). Currently, only 40% of learners use a smartphone to access self-paced training (TD, 2020). There is an opportunity to develop create training that learners can access on the go, and on their own time.

“Virtual Reality” is more of a reality

Taking a deeper look into the future, will virtual reality training may become more accessible.

Virtual reality “VR” is useful for simulations and gives learners the chance to practice skills in a safe environment. “VR” is also expensive, requires equipment, and is not always mobile. With continued advancements in technology, learners may have the opportunity to practice and perfect simulated tasks in their own homes. This gives the potential to reduce some costs for organizations that use this training tool.

As we look back at the year and look forward to the future. What how would you like to see your training programs improve? Let’s plan 2021 and beyond together!

Happy Holidays from Kellie and Momo!



  • 2019 State of the Industry, Association for Talent Development, 2020

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