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3 ways the L&D landscape is changing in 2018

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In today’s constantly evolving world, there is a demand for new skill-sets every year. In fact, according to a report by Udemy, 78% of L&D managers said their biggest challenge was keeping their employees’ skills up to speed with change.

At the same time, the L&D landscape itself is also evolving at a faster pace than ever before. In line with that, polling 263 L&D managers, Udemy’s report also shed light on the direction the L&D landscape is moving towards in 2018 and beyond. Here are the findings summarised as three key predictions.

#1 Personalised learning experiences through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning

While only 4% of L&D offerings are powered by AI and machine learning today, 24% of L&D managers revealed that they plan to leverage on machine learning over the next few years.

By studying learner behavior over large data sets, AI and machine learning can provide course recommendations and help L&D professionals understand and predict what employees want to learn.

This will enable L&D managers to provide a more personalised learning path for their employees; which 50% of L&D managers have revealed they are intending to do in the next few years – up from the 46% who were already doing so now.

#2 Gamification as a game-changer

Currently, only 8% of L&D programmes leverage on gamification. Moving forward, 31% of respondents have indicated that they intend to add gamification to their corporate learning programs to make learning engaging while helping staff retain and apply their new knowledge.

However, the report noted that in order for gamification to be effectively leveraged as a learning tool, L&D leaders must understand the science behind it and design their programs thoughtfully.

Shelley Osborne, head of L&D at Udemy, said: “At the end of the day, gamification is really about trying to create a learning experience to help motivate people to change their behavior.”

#3 Virtual reality and augmented reality is gaining ground

Although virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is still a small component of today’s L&D resources (only 4%), a fifth of L&D managers (20%) revealed they are planning to introduce it in the next few years.

AR will enable “in-the moment learning” programmes by enhancing natural environments by overlay digital objects for guidance or provide a remote instructor to provide step-by-step direction and correction on the job.

At the same time, VR will help L&D leaders develop immersive apprenticeship-style learning at scale, creating an environment for employees to apply what they learn in “real-world” situations. The report noted that as costs for VR come down, organisations are also starting to use it for soft skills such as diversity & inclusion VR training which lets employees experience the workplace in someone else’s shoes.

Additionally, Udemy’s report revealed that more L&D managers are planning to encourage social learning in the next few years – 13% compared to the 9% who are doing so today; while less are planning to embed learning into the workflow – 35% compared to 46%.

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