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5 Training Trends for 2019

If you are anything like me you’ll be setting your personal goals for the coming year. For many of us, that will involve learning a new skill or brushing up on an old one. Whether you are starting a new job and need to get up to speed quickly, or wanting to get better at doing your current job, training will be on the cards for many people over the next 12 months. But the training landscape is changing. If you haven’t taken a professional course for a while you might be surprised to know that the classroom isn’t what it used to be. That’s a good thing, by the way! Learning is getting more exciting, more interesting and more tailored to your personal objectives. Let’s take a look at some of the trends that will affect how you get trained this year. More Flexible Learning Could learning get any more flexible? We already have classroom courses, online courses, distance learning and more. According to elearningindustry.com, over 29% of training hours last year were delivered with blended learning methods: a mixture of different styles to give a rounded experience. But yes, I think courses will get more flexible. As 2016 advances I think we’ll see students demanding to set the pace of their instruction. Learning providers will give them the opportunity to adjust the pace of lessons and to tune into their studies when it’s convenient. For you this means you will have more options about how to study and you’ll be able to fit it in more easily around the expectations of your employer. We’ll also see students choosing their own path through the material and selecting modules that deliver a qualification or learning outcome but in a way that is contextualized to the learner’s own workplace goals and experience. Finally, I think we’ll see more options for the way content is presented, allowing students to personalize their learning experiences even further. More Online Learning One of those options for presenting course materials is mobile, and that’s going to be huge this year. Learning via mobile devices offers so much potential. iBook Author, for example, lets you embed quizzes and slideshows within a ‘traditional’ book, creating a really interactive experience for someone who would previously have to learn from a ‘flat’, static book. Mobile learning allows trainers to bringing together elements of gamification and location technologies. For example, QR codes and contextualization based on location could help shift learning back into the places where it’s needed most: the workplace. You could find students getting refresher lessons as they hit a task that they only previously learned about in the classroom. A side effect of this will be a great return on investment for students and employers, because the learning will ‘stick’ so much better – this could make it easier to sell the benefits of your course to your manager! Online courses also offer the option of incorporating more visual materials than classroom courses (which tend to rely on presentations or discussion only). Check out the reasons why visual lessons stimulate your brain more than classroom learning to find out more about why this is an important trend. Shorter Courses Micro-content is the name given to really short courses: a few minutes long, on a single subject, often videos which can be watched online or downloaded to view during your commute or a break at work. Think YouTube videos but on a more professional and targeted level. We know that attention spans are getting shorter and that people turn to the internet when they need to do something, from making a new recipe for dinner to learning about how to get Microsoft Project to calculate dependencies correctly. Bite-sized learning will tap into that need. You should be able to find professional-produced, reliable content that solves all your learning needs and hopefully knits together into a series of lessons that lead you towards mastering some aspect of your career. More Specialized Courses There will always be a place for the generalist at work but we’re seeing a trend towards more specialized credentials in many disciplines. Project management is a great example. There used to just be PMP®. Now you can be a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, or a PMI Risk Management Professional. These courses allow people to build on their general qualifications and to show employers that they have particular skills in required areas. They are complementary, but they also standalone as certifications in their own right. Employers love them because they show that their workforce is capable of using internationally-recognized standards (which also makes it easier to hire people who will fit right in and instantly understand the jargon and processes in use). Leading on from the introduction of new credentials is the requirement to offer training courses to support students taking these advanced and specific exams. That gives rise to more specialized courses leading to particular learning outcomes and the possibility of industry recognition through exams. Embracing Social Tools Social tools and networks like Facebook help students stay connected to each other and to the learning provider once the course is over. This is important because it fosters longer term connections to the material and helps people remember what they learned and why they embarked on training in the first place. Around 15% of companies today use social and collaboration tools as part of their learning strategies, according to Brandon Hall Group research (take a look at Slide 18). I predict that the use of social tools to improve training outcomes and build communities will grow as more and more individuals want to tap into their existing social networks and carry out their learning in the place that they already spend a lot of their time. Whether you want to take a credential exam or refresh your skills in a particular area, we should all embrace continuous professional development and training is a big part of that. Which of these trends do you think will have the biggest impact on your learning this year? Let us know in the comments.
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5 Training Trends for 2019

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5 Training Trends for 2019

If you are anything like me you’ll be setting your personal goals for the coming year. For many of us, that will involve learning a new skill or brushing up on an old one. Whether you are starting a new job and need to get up to speed quickly, or wanting to get better at doing your current job, training will be on the cards for many people over the next 12 months.

But the training landscape is changing. If you haven’t taken a professional course for a while you might be surprised to know that the classroom isn’t what it used to be.

That’s a good thing, by the way! Learning is getting more exciting, more interesting and more tailored to your personal objectives. Let’s take a look at some of the trends that will affect how you get trained this year.

  1. More Flexible Learning

1asa

Could learning get any more flexible? We already have classroom courses, online courses, distance learning and more. According to elearningindustry.com, over 29% of training hours last year were delivered with blended learning methods: a mixture of different styles to give a rounded experience.

But yes, I think courses will get more flexible. As 2016 advances I think we’ll see students demanding to set the pace of their instruction. Learning providers will give them the opportunity to adjust the pace of lessons and to tune into their studies when it’s convenient. For you this means you will have more options about how to study and you’ll be able to fit it in more easily around the expectations of your employer.

We’ll also see students choosing their own path through the material and selecting modules that deliver a qualification or learning outcome but in a way that is contextualized to the learner’s own workplace goals and experience.

Finally, I think we’ll see more options for the way content is presented, allowing students to personalize their learning experiences even further.

  1. More Online Learning

2asa

One of those options for presenting course materials is mobile, and that’s going to be huge this year.

Learning via mobile devices offers so much potential. iBook Author, for example, lets you embed quizzes and slideshows within a ‘traditional’ book, creating a really interactive experience for someone who would previously have to learn from a ‘flat’, static book.

Mobile learning allows trainers to bringing together elements of gamification and location technologies. For example, QR codes and contextualization based on location could help shift learning back into the places where it’s needed most: the workplace. You could find students getting refresher lessons as they hit a task that they only previously learned about in the classroom. A side effect of this will be a great return on investment for students and employers, because the learning will ‘stick’ so much better – this could make it easier to sell the benefits of your course to your manager!

Online courses also offer the option of incorporating more visual materials than classroom courses (which tend to rely on presentations or discussion only). Check out the reasons why visual lessons stimulate your brain more than classroom learning to find out more about why this is an important trend.

  1. Shorter Courses

3asa
Micro-content is the name given to really short courses: a few minutes long, on a single subject, often videos which can be watched online or downloaded to view during your commute or a break at work. Think YouTube videos but on a more professional and targeted level.

We know that attention spans are getting shorter and that people turn to the internet when they need to do something, from making a new recipe for dinner to learning about how to get Microsoft Project to calculate dependencies correctly. Bite-sized learning will tap into that need.

You should be able to find professional-produced, reliable content that solves all your learning needs and hopefully knits together into a series of lessons that lead you towards mastering some aspect of your career.

  1. More Specialized Courses

4asa

There will always be a place for the generalist at work but we’re seeing a trend towards more specialized credentials in many disciplines. Project management is a great example. There used to just be PMP®. Now you can be a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner, or a PMI Risk Management Professional.

These courses allow people to build on their general qualifications and to show employers that they have particular skills in required areas. They are complementary, but they also standalone as certifications in their own right. Employers love them because they show that their workforce is capable of using internationally-recognized standards (which also makes it easier to hire people who will fit right in and instantly understand the jargon and processes in use).

Leading on from the introduction of new credentials is the requirement to offer training courses to support students taking these advanced and specific exams. That gives rise to more specialized courses leading to particular learning outcomes and the possibility of industry recognition through exams.

  1. Embracing Social Tools

5asa

Social tools and networks like Facebook help students stay connected to each other and to the learning provider once the course is over. This is important because it fosters longer term connections to the material and helps people remember what they learned and why they embarked on training in the first place.

Around 15% of companies today use social and collaboration tools as part of their learning strategies, according to Brandon Hall Group research (take a look at Slide 18). I predict that the use of social tools to improve training outcomes and build communities will grow as more and more individuals want to tap into their existing social networks and carry out their learning in the place that they already spend a lot of their time.

Whether you want to take a credential exam or refresh your skills in a particular area, we should all embrace continuous professional development and training is a big part of that. Which of these trends do you think will have the biggest impact on your learning this year? Let us know in the comments.

Elizabeth

Elizabeth Harrin

Blog Author

Elizabeth Harrin is the author of Shortcuts to Success: Project Management in the Real World, Social Media for Project Managers and Customer-Centric Project Management. She also writes the award-winning blog, Subscribe to Elizabeth's newsletter for more updates.

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Advantages Of Virtual Training Over Classroom Training

In recent times there has been a significant increase in the numbers of students who are opting to do courses online, rather than attending a face-to-face classroom course. With more and more students opting to take a dip in virtual waters, let’s look at why this new education paradigm is working so well! A virtual classroom serves to bring together students from around the world together online in a highly interactive virtual platform. This greatly reduces the travel, time, and expense involved in traditional brick and mortar classrooms offering teaching/training programs. In times of tight budgets, online education comes as a panacea. Trainers can lead live, interactive classes from their own homes- cutting travel costs and saving on time for both student and teacher alike. These reduced expenses translate to lower fees, without compromising on training quality. Online classes can be recorded and revisited time and again- which proves very helpful indeed in reinforcing end-user training concepts. Any class which is missed can be checked online, as the recordings will be available till the duration of the course (or in many cases lifetime access is provided, which is even more invaluable). This also means that students can pay complete attention during the class and do not need to take down notes while the teacher is teaching. The subject matter can be laid out in a rich and creative manner, which helps the student to have higher retention of the course content. Small videos, applets and graphics help to explain concepts in a very interesting manner, ensuring that every student is able to thoroughly comprehend the subject. Virtual classes are led by subject matter experts live, in real time. This means that students can ask questions using a headset or a chat window, and get their doubts clarified, just like in a traditional classroom. Questions can be lined up and answered at intervals, without interrupting the teacher’s flow of thought. There is no difference in the level of interaction- in fact distractions are significantly reduced because of this mode of teaching. Online classrooms offer flexibility and convenience that is beyond compare. It is very easy to squeeze in an online class into your busy daily schedule, as you can simply log in from wherever you are- home, office, internet cafe, or even while you are travelling. Compare this with a traditional classroom where you have to plan ahead and account for travel time up and down, through congested roads, to attend the class in person. The tools available for virtual learning – such as the White Board- make it very simple for the teacher to mimic a face-to-face class, and visually draw out abstract concepts using graphics or diagrams. Even a crude diagram can help to emphasize the trainer’s point. Online classrooms melt down barriers of geography and virtually shrink the world. A teacher in Australia or Canada, for instance, could be sharing his or her experiences with students scattered across different continents! Learning becomes truly global, and all physical barriers to participation are removed with this form of anywhere learning. The explosive growth of virtual training seems to have been happening for all the right reasons!  This, therefore, is undeniably where the future of education is headed.
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INFOGRAPHIC: How E-Learning Can Help Improve Your Career Prospects

Education is a vital aspect of anyone’s life. If you’re serious with your career, being open to opportunities that would allow you to learn new skills that would allow you to have a more attractive resume. In this technology-driven world, people should settle for nothing less than continuous betterment of the self in order to adapt to equally dynamic career challenges. One of the opportunities that you certainly should consider is E-Learning. The Many Benefits of E-Learning: Online courses are brimming with advantages that serve to make them practically one of the best options for people who want to ensure that their careers would continuously be on the rise. One of these is the obvious flexibility involved in them. Most e-Learning institutions give their students plenty of liberty to adjust the courses that they take based on their present schedule. This way, you certainly will not have a hard time juggling between your work and chosen courses. As for the actual advantages that e-Learning brings to the table, though, two of the most significant are the acquisition of real-life experience, besides a variety of other important skills. Most courses offer students the chance to receive vital hands-on experience that they would not normally be able to get in conventional classroom settings. There’s also no denying the fact that people who are able to simultaneously handle the pressure of work and school life are regarded more highly than most employers. Skills You Can Develop from E-Learning: Most online courses center on developing one’s professional skills further. This is basically a no-brainer as one can never really be satisfied with one’s present skill set. Companies who are software dependent, for instance, constantly introduce updates to it If you are under the employment of such a company, how can you possibly keep up with the flow if you do not arm yourself with the necessary skills that would allow you to work optimally in the long run? It’s for this reason why you should think of e-Learning as necessary improvements that you need to undergo in order to always be good at your profession. These are vital mindsets that anyone looking for a new career to start on or who wants to get a promotion should adapt. Taking part in e-Learning also equips you with the necessary management skills that would only ever help you in your climb up the corporate ladder. There is no shortage of online courses that focus primarily on this skill alone, which is a telling sign of its importance in one’s career growth. With it, you would be able to easily hone your communication, supervision, team-building, and organization skills better; aspects that most companies hold in high regard. E-Learning Offers Better Job Placement Prospects: Lastly, how can you possibly shun the possibility of landing your dream job? What’s good is that most online courses actually throw in plenty of job placement support for students who have completed them. Most give you direct connections to companies and individuals that are looking to hire new employees. These direct referrals often result in high chances of smooth classroom-workplace transitions. Still wondering how you can face interview with confidence? Check out 5 simple methods to follow while attending a job interview. Use below code to embed this infographic on your website:  
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5 Options For Developing Your Team’s Skills

I’d love to always be able to choose the right people for my projects but in practice that rarely happens. My teams are made up of the people I inherit, or the people who are available. And that’s not a bad thing: my colleagues are always enthusiastic. But sometimes the people that you work with don’t have the right skills to do the precise job that you need right now. When that happens, we need to quickly improve the skills in the team to get them to where they need to be. Then they can contribute more effectively and overall you’ll get more done in the right way. Here are 5 ways that you can develop the skills in your team. 1. Workshadowing Workshadowing is where you put someone who needs to brush up their skills alongside someone who already has those skills. The learner gets to see how their colleague does things in real life, plus they are exposed to experiences that they might not get in their existing role. 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Mentoring Mentoring has the same approach of pairing an experienced person with someone less experienced. But the arrangement is more formal, and instead of simply observing what the more experienced person is doing, the mentee (the person being mentored) can get more advice and help by asking questions, normally within a more formal framework. Pairs meet regularly to talk about issues that the less experienced person is having. Think of it as ‘taking someone under your wing’ or a bit like a buddy scheme. Another benefit is that the mentor can introduce their mentee to others in their network: not only are you getting access to their experience and their brain but also the practical resources that they can offer through connections. Pros: Being a mentor is a good career opportunity for your more senior staff as it helps them develop a range of leadership skills. It’s relatively easy to set up but does take some time to match people to good mentors. 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Pros: Training is perfect when you need your team to get accredited in a particular skill. It’s a fast way to improve their competence. Cons: Training is probably the most expensive of all these options (although coaching can be pretty pricey too). You need to make sure that they have the time to apply and use their new skills in the workplace otherwise you’ll find they quickly go back to their old ways of working. 5. Supporting Their Learning When someone is keen to learn independently, your role as a manager might just be to support their efforts. Many ambitious people across IT and project management are prepared to study for and take certification and professional development courses through their own motivation and you should encourage this and support as necessary. Support could, of course, be financial, such as helping with course costs, fees, and training materials. It could also be practical, such as offering time off for study or exams. You can also help your team members take on more self-directed learning in a more direct way, by giving them time to work on their professional development inside working hours and providing them with the resources they need, such as books or websites on the topic. Pros: Self-directed learning is the most hands-off for the manager and is very cheap to implement. Cons: Finding reputable sources for self-directed learning ccan be hard. There are plenty of websites with tutorials, checklists and videos that will help you learn about almost anything, but you need to be confident in the material and the quality of the trainer. Self-directed learning relies heavily on the motivation of individuals. People may be keen to study and improve their skills, but are they developing in areas where you really need them to? As you can see, there are lots of options for boosting the skills in your team, and this list has probably given you other ideas too. 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