What will be 2014’s biggest Extinction Events for L&D? (part two)

It’s probably time to abandon those New Year’s Resolutions….Researchers believe that Ragnarok, the Viking apocalypse, is finally happening on 22nd February – just one short month away. Suitably inspired, we decided to find out what the L&D community felt (or hoped) would be the biggest L&D ‘extinction event’ of 2014.

The response has been great so far (take a look at part one…), and we’ll be publishing a full article in Inside Learning Technologies and Skills magazine for the Learning Technologies Show.

But we’re just getting started! We’ll also be recording vox-pops from those who visit us at Stand 24, Tweeting the results live and releasing a YouTube compilation after the show. The best contributor wins a drinking horn!

Below, we publish some more contributions:

The bards say that, during Ragnarok, ‘all the boundaries that exist shall crumble’ a phrase which the experts think refers to the internet. Probably. Jon Kennard, who is Editor at Training Zone, thinks that it’s firewalls which will finally perish in, well, walls of fire. He’s also not so sure we’ll hang on to that umbrella term, ‘e-learning’:

“Would it be too optimistic to think that there will be an industry-wide move to bring down firewalls and lift internet restrictions on employees in 2014? That’s what I hope happens in companies up and down the land who try to stifle the internet activity of their workforce. Embrace and collaborate with your employees for optimum results (data sensitivity caveats allowing, of course).

Elsewhere, maybe ‘elearning’ will become extinct. I don’t mean the practice, I mean the term. The concept is so important, so integrated, but as a word so undescriptive. It’s no longer the next big thing (it hasn’t been for years), and perhaps it’s now undeserving of its own term. It’s an umbrella term for many elements that are an essential part of the L&D mix.”

Follow Jon @trainingzone or visit www.trainingzone.co.uk.

And Don Taylor, Chairman of the Learning & Skills Group, thinks it’s the end of the road for L&D fads and fashions:

“2014 will see the death of our outlandish obsession with the new and shiny, to be replaced with deep thought and reflection on the true nature of learning – how individuals learn best, and how we link that to the needs of our organisations. We will no longer be obsessed with whether we should use HTML5 or Flash, whether the LMS is dead or even with the right or wrong method of instructional design. Instead we will consider how we can best support people learning (and take a scientifically-based approached to this) and how we can ensure that learning supports the business in its broadest term. Obsession with detail will be replaced a keen view of outcomes. Or I could be dreaming, of course.”

Follow @DonaldHTaylor or visit the community at learningandskillsgroup.ning.com.

We also dressed up a trio of Saffron’s Instructional Designers in priestly robes, gave them plenty of mead, and asked them to pronounce doom upon various things in learning design:

Jasper Roe: “The next button! I’m not sure what its successor will be, but I predict that clicking next will soon be the way of the past. Perhaps eye-scrolling? Or swiping? Or sliding?”

Tamar Elderton-Welch: “I would happily give a Valhalla style send-off to the confusing and annoying use of different font styles within the same course. To me it’s the textual equivalent of the sort of nasty graffiti you see on public transport: at best it’s distracting and at its worst it makes you want to scream at the monitor. On top of that, I think we can name at least one font that we would happily see consigned to the dustbin (I’m looking at you, Comic Sans).”

Antonella Veccia: “I wish to see an approach to design which is less trend concerned and more learning focussed. When I say trends I refer to both technology and activities that are claimed to be engaging and facilitate learning, and let’s face it every year we are bombarded with some new “must have” … I can think of mobile leaning, games, gamification, 3D … to name a few.Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against embracing the new, but it seems to me that sometimes the adoption of the new trends has got more to do with producing a modern looking package rather than a solution which is really fit for purpose.”

You can catch more of the team’s thoughts on the Spicy Learning Blog.

If reading this post has awoken the Bezerker within, and you’d like to join the battle, then visit Stand 24 to make a short video of your apocalyptic prediction for 2014.

The best contribution will, of course, win a drinking horn!

About the author

Toby Harris - Consultant