Vibons attended DevLearn 2017: Which corporate learning trends are popular these days? - The Vibons Blog

Vibons attended DevLearn 2017: Which corporate learning trends are popular these days?

By Tugrul Turkkan, Founder   |    4 min read

Vibons attended DevLearn 2017: Which corporate learning trends are popular these days?

By Tugrul Turkkan, Founder
 4 min read

DevLearn, which is one of the big three learning technologies conferences along with ATD and Training Magazine, has left the building. Besides sharing the new perspectives on learning, we met great people including Symbal from Sweden and even had a chance to work with IKEA. This year, again, DevLearn put us at the forefront of what's happening in the learning industry. After three days in Las Vegas full of learning and discovering what the future holds for enterprise learning, it’s time to get ready to apply everything we’ve learned back home.

The keynote speaker was Glen Keane, the man who created famous Disney characters like Ariel, Aladdin, and Tarzan. His speech over “creativity” was a stunning “Show, Don’t Tell” inspiration. Applying the principles of storytelling to his experience was more inspirational than his words. He shared insights distilled from essential curves of his life with an incredible energy, self-confidence, and a well-exercised sincerity.

Storytelling is based on a simple logic, but making a story out of whole presentation material is tough work; therefore most people cut corners, and begin information sharing right after a short story to attract the attention. However, what Mr. Keane did is more ingenious. When storytelling touches whole part, the presentation becomes more flowing and the message more memorable in return. Mr. Keane presented his message by connecting each corner of his life with a piece of advice on creativity. His life story from Disney to Google Spotlight ended with a live 3D drawing in VR.

Here are my key takeaways on the innovative trends that are happening in workplace learning:

1. “AI” and “Adaptive Learning” are taking baby steps on corporate learning

Jan Sramek, the CEO, and co-founder of Erudify AG from Switzerland defines Adaptive Learning as follows: “Adaptive learning refers to building learning software that emulates the best teaching method we know: one-on-one instruction by human tutors.” “Big Data,” “Adaptive Learning,” and “AI” were the most popular topics of all conversations this year. Although chatbot learning solutions have limited outcomes yet, seeing its examples was eye-opening. We will see bots in learning area much more in the future. The success in personalized learning depends on companies’ xAPI integration process into their existing systems. Let’s see why.

Regarding the need of learning of an employee, we should consider not only his/her completion of courses (“Scorm”), but also all kind of digital activities such as online meetings, emails, Google searches, etc. Companies’ ability to gather these data and process them appropriately will pave the way for intelligent learning technologies. It is the underlying logic of “Shift to Performance Support.” Just like cellphones made people free from memorizing phone numbers, we may be free from remembering some data through providing “the right information at the right moment, in the right way.”

2. Micro-learning is hot

The number of presentations about micro-learning is increased from two (TechKnowledge15) to twelve (DevLearn17) in just two years! It may be the most popular trend right now in America’s corporate learning environment. As mentioned in this article, micro-learning may expand to higher education. Corporations in the United States lately began to use new learning platforms (according to Josh Bersin’s saying, "reminding of ‘Youtube’ or ‘Netflix’") as an alternative to their old systems full of troubled user experiences. The contents consist of easy-to-digest 2 to 4 minutes micro-learning videos providing a limited information load.

3. There are a lot of things to learn from Digital Marketing

Improvements in other fields influence corporate learning. This year, unlike in previous years, how to adopt content marketing models into the workplace learning was a favorite conversation topic, which is very reasonable because the main idea in “Content Marketing” is “educating.” That is to say; it is not “selling” something to target group but “training” them with the right content. You can increase the credibility and recognition of your brand by providing useful information to your customers. It is exactly what Josh Bersin was trying to imply while saying: “The shift that we’re seeing is from pure 'Instructional Design' to what would be best called 'Learning Experience Design.'” Peter Dern, SVP of Corporate University in Software AG, also highlighted the same thing last year at Fleming Corporate University Summit in Amsterdam, saying that L&D professionals are obliged to behave just like marketing towards their team.

4. Gamification in demand again

Another important topic in the expo was “how to use “Badge” in conjunction with “micro-learning.”

Niyazi Arda Aygul, Learning Technologies Manager at IsBank (the biggest private bank in Turkey), did one of the better presentations of the conference. The gamification (better to call it a ‘game’) produced by Isbank was superior to its American counterparts regarding design quality. Besides, Niyazi Aygul’s presentation was quite clear and to-do-point. He also had to face with internet connection difficulties, and the screen was frozen while showcasing the game. However, as he was prepared, he played the backup video that was recorded earlier and solved the problem. Maybe this is the number one issue that you should consider before making a presentation at such conferences in the future. Having a backup plan would prepare you for any unexpected technical hitches that may arise during his performance. You’d better have a Plan B, just like Mr. Aygul.

5. Is “Content Curation” the future of LMS?

The basic thesis is as follows: learning is a process that is fed more from external sources (Google, Youtube, etc.), rather than internal ones. “Content Curation” solutions offer high-quality learning contents to its customers by gathering data from a wide range of sources. Pathgather, a pioneer in this field, has just closed a funding of USD 4.5m.

A part of these topics, Matthew Murray, U.S. L&D Digital Learning Leader at PwC, also made an impressive presentation, “The Future of Digital Learning: 3 Scenarios”. How is the L&D landscape evolving? How will L&D’s position likely to shape up in next ten years: will companies close L&D departments, or will L&D play a crucial role to support the strategy in corporations? It is another article’s topic.

Vibons is scheduled to attend ATD TechKnowledge 2018 on January 24-26. We will also be sharing our conference experiences.

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