In 2011, can we stand still for five years?

17 Feb

Recently a colleague of mine showed me a wishlist of needs/wants for the department that were discussed in February 2006. On that list were Captivate and screen capture software. This month, a number of my colleagues will finally get both Captivate and SnagIt (screen capture software). So five years later, tools that were deemed nice to have in 2006 are beginning to arrive.

This length of time between a needs analysis  in 2006 and final delivery in 2011 made me think whether a learning and development department in 2011 can really wait 5 years to implement change? With the latest technology and trends veering toward social media and informal learning would a learning and development department that still emphasizes course manuals and formal classroom training be relevant in 2016?

Checkout this video of an interview with Charles Jennings, who suggests the real problem in the future for learning and development departments will be themselves:


2 Responses to “In 2011, can we stand still for five years?”

  1. devinvail March 15, 2011 at 3:21 am #

    This is a very relevant issue for me. I am a multimedia designer/developer in a large online education company in the process of pursuing a masters in Instructional Design. I see our department as being stuck in a course design process that is extremely slow to introduce innovation. Historically, the company’s distance learning services revolved around video, so all the producers automatically think video when designing the media for the courses. There are no multimedia voices present at the onset of course creation, so media and design become relegated to an afterthought after much of the course development has been completed. To my knowledge there is no department wide communication of innovative ideas in the ID field, or in other institutions. We face stiff competition from other companies in the online education space, and I’m sure that innovation is the only way to stay competitive.

    I know there is desire among the staff to make positive changes. But how can one introduce new ideas to a diverse group of learning professionals whose main concern is getting an acceptable course completed in time and on budget, both of which are already challenging? What is an effective strategy for bringing about change, hopefully in under 5 years?

    • mannis2 March 29, 2011 at 9:00 pm #

      Excellent point. This is a real challenge for both employers and employees. And as you remarked, innovation is critical but there doesn’t seem to be a path to turn ideas into reality. This needs to change. How – I don’t have the answer.

      Was is clear, slow moving companies will fall behind as learners embrace technological change more readily. What seemed relevant in 2006, will certainly look dated in 2016 (and it’s probably beginning to look dated in 2011).

      Perhaps the rise of MLearning will mark a turning point as learners, comfortable with Smart phone technology, will demand/expect mobile learning. Companies who don’t listen to these demands will lose out to those who do.

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