Learning and Development Trends 2017 | Cornerstone
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Learning and Development Trends 2017

Learning and talent development are constantly changing to react to the needs of the modern learner. If employers want to ensure that their workers are actively engaged in training and development, they have to adapt to their employees' learning styles.

Recently, learning expert Donald H. Taylor released his annual study, the L&D Global Sentiment Survey for 2017. He asked 885 learning and development professionals in 60 countries, “What will be hot in workplace L&D in 2017?" The top three responses for learning and development trends in 2017 included personalization/adaptive delivery (12.4 percent), collaborative/social learning (11.6 percent) and microlearning (10.5 percent).

Let's take a look at these learning and development trends and how they relate to your organization.

Personalization and adaptive delivery

Personalization, which entails tailoring learning plans to each employee's individual needs, is achieved through adaptive learning. When organizations create adaptive learning programs, they gather data on an employee's learning habits and use it to create courses. For example, they may factor in how long it takes for him or her to complete assessments, which courses he or she was most successful in and how he or she best works on a project.

Adaptive learning and personalization are trending because everything is more personalized these days. Since people are connected to the internet now more than ever, they are generating tons of data every single minute which is used to generate personalized content and offers.

In addition, everyone learns differently; there are seven major learning styles that include visual, physical, verbal and social learning. When talent development courses are delivered in a way that is compatible with an employee's learning style, he or she will be much more likely to succeed at training.

Learning software helps organizations tailor courses specifically to the user. It is a completely personalized experienced that allows employees to learn at their own pace and receive courses that apply specifically to their jobs. Learning management tools are also adaptive and only send employees training courses best suited to help them perform better.

Collaborative and Social Learning

According to the L&D Global Sentiment Survey, collaborative and social learning describes how workers learn from one another as opposed to how they learn from a formal course. This type of learning topped the survey for the past few years, but now has fallen into second place. Taylor concludes that this is because collaborative and social learning have gone from hot and new to mainstream and widely utilized.

Organizations love collaborative and social learning for a number of reasons. It strengthens relationships between employees, allows colleagues to ask each other questions and receive answers, enables employees to figure out solutions to problems together in real time, and gives workers the freedom to engage as much as they wish.

Learning management tools, including learning software, feature collaborative learning. This software is comprised of the newest courses that colleagues can take together, learning announcements and a platform that colleagues can use to communicate with one another.


Microlearning involves teaching employees important information in short bursts of learning. Microlearning tools may include a short video, a quick blog post or a five-minute podcast. Microlearning is the opposite of traditional learning, which is typically comprised of long classes and a lot of lengthy, involved coursework.

The microlearning trend is sweeping organizations because it has proven to be effective. According to a study from Shift, microlearning produces 50 percent more engagement, makes the transfer of learning 17 percent more efficient and is preferred by eight out of 10 L&D professionals because their learners like it better. Plus, learning in three- to seven-minute stretches matches humans' working memory capacity.

Learning software gives you the option to create microlearning courses for your employees. You can produce short, engaging classes and deliver them directly on the platform, while encouraging employees to learn and retain critical information.

Do you want to use learning software for talent development at your organization? Learn more about Cornerstone On Demand's Learning Management System.

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