• Krista Schaber-Chan

A Chat with Learning Expert Lorena Klingel Pt. 2: Current Trends in Adult Learning

Updated: Oct 16, 2019

Lorena Klingel is a learning expert who has been working in corporate learning for over 20 years. Lorena recently founded a digital training solutions organization, Learn to Flourish. For more information, visit www.learntoflourish.com. This article is the second installment in a two-part series discussing learning with Lorena.

How would you say adults learn differently from other groups of people, such as youth?

Typically, adult learning can be more voluntary which allows the adult learner to feel like they’re in control of their learning. Adults’ brains are full of information, their own stories, their own experiences. So, it’s essential that a learning experience allows them to connect the dots in their brain between what they already know and what they’re trying to learn. Adults prefer to understand why they are learning something and what the benefits are to them. They also learn best when they can feel an emotional connection to the content. And, finally, adults are usually very busy and distracted so they appreciate flexibility in a learning approach.

What are some of the current trends in adult learning?

One of the ongoing trends is, of course, e-learning. Mobile learning is becoming very important for people on the go as it allows them to do their learning anytime and anywhere. Also, the term microlearning is becoming more popular. Other trends are game-based learning, educational videos, and learning that is done through high-end technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality.

What is microlearning?

Essentially, microlearning is learning in very small bites. At its core, microlearning is a learning activity that is focused on a single learning objective.

How long has microlearning been around for?

The idea of microlearning has been around for many years. Microlearning started becoming more popular with the growth of the internet, 24-hour television, and mobile phones.

With the boom in social media, the idea of microlearning has become even more popular. We are constantly receiving information through digital social media channels, and content and ideas are delivered as small nuggets of information.

In workplace learning, we have recognized the value of this learning preference. Good learning programs are using microlearning techniques to effectively support their learners.

Would you say microlearning is more or less relevant than in the past?

It is becoming more relevant and more popular because, today, people are very busy and very technology-driven. Since everybody has mobile devices now, with constant access to online content, microlearning provides learners with the flexibility to learn anytime and anywhere.

Should learning be gamified and, if so, when is it most effective to gamify it?

Gamification is definitely something that is being used in today’s e-learning. Games help you acquire new knowledge and skills but are also very engaging. People like things that are engaging! Learning shouldn’t be gamified simply for entertainment purposes though. It’s great to engage people but gamification does create another level of complexity and, therefore, needs to serve a purpose if being used. If the game provides the learner with an opportunity to apply and practice the learning content, then that is a good reason to include gamification.

What is the future of learning programs?

Technology-driven solutions are becoming more popular. If you’re in charge of a learning strategy for your organization, you need to be prepared to embrace the technology because, today, people want to learn online. They want to learn using videos. You need to be prepared to combine these approaches yet still offer opportunities for community and mentorship.

For the first part of this series discussing learning with Lorena, check out the article below: A Chat with Learning Expert Lorena Klingel Pt. 1: All About E-Learning

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