L&D QuestionTime – Vicki Smart

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In the continuing series we catch up with Vicky Smart.

In your opinion what is the biggest anxiety within the world of learning and development at   the moment?

The advancement of technology has made it easier than ever before for us to access information, create videos, share knowledge and collaborate online. The internet is crammed with information on any given subject – all we have to do is search for what we’re looking for and, hey presto, it’s there, might not find all the answers straight away but it will certainly take us on a journey of discovery of some sorts in search of our goal. The ability to be able to informally solve our own problems ‘at the point of need’, and on the device of our choice has influenced our expectations of what learning can look like. If we want to know how to do something, we turn to You Tube, Google it, or turn to social media for the answer.

Courses are available online for anyone with an internet connection from the likes of Udemy, Coursera, Alison and Lynda and many of them are free. This means that we can learn about anything that takes our interest, when we want, where we want, from the comfort of our own home, on the train, or wherever we choose.

This changing landscape is what I consider to be the key challenge for L&D at the moment; keeping up with technology and its influence on learning design.

The advancement of technology and its use in designing learning that is immersive, engaging and memorable is an exciting development in the history of learning.  However, it has to be acknowledged that there’s a lot to keep up with and it’s all too easy to feel swamped!

Who or what is informing your thinking around L&D?

Adaptive learning technology, immersive technologies, the use of video in eLearning and the importance of performance support in the workplace are informing my thinking around L&D.  Bob Mosher, Anna Sabramowicz, Clark Quinn, Carol Stroud, E-Learning Heroes Community to name but a few influencers.

What is the most exciting innovation on the horizon for learning?

Most exciting innovation for learning on the horizon for me has to be adaptive technology and immersive technology.

What “game changers” would you like to see and why?

Adaptive learning for its ability to tailor learning to meet individual needs through personalised learning that is more likely to result in ‘mastery’ and ‘deep learning’ experiences .   For me, the Khan academy is a perfect example of adaptive learning where learners of all abilities can succeed through an approach that I consider to be truly inclusive.

What do you think the world of L&D will look like by 2030?

The ADDIE model of learning will have been superseded by Digital learning which will be agile in response to the changing needs of the learner and the capabilities that technology will afford by 2030.  The Internet of Things (IoT) will give rise to immersive learning technology becoming the norm in learning design where adaptive learning technology will be intelligent and replace the static Learning Management Systems (LMS) of today.

What advice would you give your 21 year old self?

Whether Walt Disney did come up with this quote or not, this is the advice I would give: “If you can dream it, you can do it”.

About the author – Vicki Smart.

A consultant with extensive experience in delivering results through building positive relationships and providing solutions that exceed expectation. Consultancy support includes L & D strategy, digital learning technologies, implementation and transition of ISO Standards 9001:2015 and 14001:2015 together with Investors in People (Gen 6), and delivering accreditation in various disciplines on behalf of the Learning and Performance Institute. Passionate about technology and its role in supporting organisations to improve employee motivation while at the same time influencing an increased Return on Investment (ROI).

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