Learning And Instructional Design Trends 2020
Irene Jimenez/SweetRush Inc.

2020 Instructional Design And Learning Trends

I have two favorite times of the year. Fall will always be first, both for the natural beauty (having grown up in New England) and its metaphorical essence—turning over a new leaf, the start of school, time to learn and try new things. But close behind is the beginning of the new year. It has more baggage than fall—so many New Year’s resolutions fallen by the wayside—but it never fails to spark introspection. An examination of the prior year, and a crystallization of the hopes and dreams for the year ahead.

Learning And Instructional Design Trends 2020- Activating L&D Aspirations 1

L&D Professionals Champion Aspirational Thinking

And so here we are at the beginning of 2020, and much of the world feels, well, shaky—economic uncertainty, climate change, and political struggles all over the globe. Yet I feel a strong sense of positivity in the L&D industry. People have truly become the most important resource that organizations have, and in order to amplify their impact, they recognize they need to attract, retain, motivate, engage, and upskill the best people in a tight labor market.

While achieving this level of success is the aspiration, developing the means to achieve it is the pain point that many L&D professionals face. As sure as the leaves must change color, we believe that organizations must also change their approach to manage disruption in their industries and lack of available skilled labor to make an elegant transition to a more automated way of working.

A Fresh Approach To Instructional Design

Managing uncertainty requires organizations to be flexible and open to new ideas. This might mean pioneering new approaches to sharing knowledge and building skills, or to changing behavior through a cultural transformation strategy. It might be as simple as using a chatbot to curate content.

We’re finding that organizations are seeking the best tools for the job, whether that’s an immersive VR experience to teach communication skills or an interactive video series to teach product information to sales teams. In the end, technology isn’t the real hero. The heroes are the L&D leaders who understand the importance of aligning learning and business outcomes to fresh and innovative Instructional Design practices.

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Finding Instructional Design Trends And Making Friends

At SweetRush, we feel fortunate to be in the position of looking across industries, seeing the challenges, opportunities, and successes of some of the world’s most impactful organizations. We also have the privilege of working with progressive L&D leaders who share a vision for the challenges of the coming year.

This is why SweetRush puts out its annual trends report, in the hope of opening up new conversations around L&D, and Instructional Design trends and practices. We have the advantage of witnessing change from both sides: as a Learning and Development consultant and from the point of view of our client-partners: L&D leaders.

Each year we assemble the most insightful observations from both our team and our partners and make an attempt at pulling everything into focus.

A Sneak Peek Inside The Report

Here are the topics we’ve covered:

  • The growing link between culture and learning
    Explore the needs and values of today’s modern employee.
  • Organizational culture change: shifting mental models and adopting a growth mindset
    Learn what it means to change mental models and the role L&D can play.
  • Building leadership competencies and soft skills across all roles
    We discuss the importance of developing employees and teams to become the innovative leaders of the future.
  • L&D under pressure: rapid development
    Gain insight into delivering L&D programs quickly, and learn about our unique approach.
  • Staff augmentation trends: the rise of the learning consultant
    Learn how to manage recruitment pain points to find better talent rapidly while reducing costs.
  • The impact of emerging technology on learning—exploring beyond the buzzwords
    We argue that technology isn’t a one-stop cure-all but a piece of the total learning solution.
  • Looking beyond gamification toward gaming and simulation experiences
    Discover the benefits of gaming and simulation experiences—with some caveats.
  • Farewell one-size-fits-all: human-centered and adaptive learning
    Learn how adaptive learning can provide accessible and unique learning experiences to all types of learners.
  • Reduce demand on learners’ time
    We uncover the many tools and strategies that can make learning both continuous and as frictionless as possible.
  • Learning metrics: validating the investment in L&D
    A major concern for L&D professionals. Here’s our take on building a case for investment in L&D and showing ROI.
  • The evolution of the L&D leader
    L&D leaders now need to embrace new skills. Find inspiration in unexpected places as you grow your career in this fascinating and challenging industry.

We hope you discover something that inspires you to bring L&D into the forefront of your organization’s business strategy. The possibilities are endless. Let’s do something special this year.

Read this year’s report 2020 Instructional Design Trends and Learning and Development Trends: From Aspiration to Activation.

eBook Release: SweetRush
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