10 Binge-worthy, Must-watch Learning Trends This Fall

smilng man and woman looking at a phoneIt’s fall, and our favorite TV shows are back! Cliffhangers, romance, laughs, drama: fall TV is all about giving you stories to enjoy from your couch while the weather gets cooler and the days get shorter.

Well, guess what? Remote learning can do that for you, too.

That’s right — all the learning you need from the comfort of your couch.

What must-watch trends are happening in the learning world this fall? There’s a lot to see, as usual. So curl up on the couch with a snack and a beverage, grab your favorite blanket, and tune in for the most hotly anticipated learning trends this season.

Only Mobiles In the Building

Think the fact that your learning management system is available on desktops is enough? Think again. Like your favorite true crime podcasts, your learning should be available on your phone too. Most learners have their phones on them at all times, and most people have smartphones — there are 8.5 billion mobile connections globally in 2023, which equates to 68% of the population. (And remember, much like the triplets in Death Rattle, many members of the population are far too young to have their own phones.)

Despite the prevalence of mobile phones on planet Earth, mobile learning has lagged behind. A pulse survey from Brandon Hall Group found that only about 50% of companies have learning content that is optimized for mobile learning, either through a mobile browser or a native app. In this mobile era, that can be a deadly error. Many people choose to go online using their phones rather than use a personal computer. Keep them from getting stabby by delivering learning to them wherever they are… whether they are in the building or not.

This brings us to our next show:

The Real Housewives of Wherever Your Learners Live

The drama! The spilled tea! The couch confessionals! (“Oh my GOD, did you see on the Zoom that she was wearing the same sweats as our manager?” *gasp*) Who doesn’t love remote and hybrid work? The real housewives (as well as the house-husbands, house-spouses and house-singles) certainly do. Remote work makes for happier, more productive employees.

The love for hybrid work is good, because it’s here to stay. As of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work remotely while 28.2% are hybrid workers, and this figure is expected to rise. According to Upwork, 22% of the workforce will be working remotely by 2025. This means training for remote employees needs to be on par with the training your in-house workers are getting. If not, someone might just flip a table.

The Switcher

Saddle up your horse and strap on your swords, it’s time to slay some learning monsters. One of the biggest beasts L&D pros are taking on this year is large-scale reskilling initiatives as workers switch jobs on an unprecedented scale.

This is no mean feat. It’s hard to learn new skills later in your career, especially if you’re a 106  year-old warrior. Even if you’re not, learning new skills is tough. In fact, reskilling some of your existing employees can feel like a battle. It is one worth fighting, however.  LinkedIn, for example, finds that large-scale reskilling programs are the third most important priority for L&D this year. Reskilling helps to close the skills gap, keep your people employed, and make companies more agile. Rather than hiring new workers with the right hard skills, it makes more sense to reshuffle jobs, training existing workers for available roles, and supporting them with additional learning as they make the transition.

So, toss some learning to your Switchers (🎶 oh valley of plenty, oh valley of plentyyyyy 🎶).

Laws and Order: Regulatory Compliance

In the legal system, the people are protected by two separate yet equally important groups of standards: laws, which your company must obey, and regulations, which govern your industry. For your company to remain in compliance, your employees must know their stories.

Compliance training — is it your favorite topic? Probably not, but learners don’t mind it — as long as it’s delivered in a preferred modality. According to Training Industry’s Learner Preference Report, many learners prefer to take compliance courses online.


Breaking Good

Knock, knock: it’s time for some social skills training. Not every employee comes to the job with great social skills, or soft skills. Soft skills are skills like good communication, phone skills, and the ability to make good choices. You might think that your employees are born with these skills, but while some learners do come to the job with good social skills, it’s important to realize that these skills can be taught. (Like chemistry, for example.) It’s important to help your employees break good by offering soft skills training.

The Wheel of Not Having Enough Time

It can be hard to find the time to learn, even if you’re a warrior or a powerful magic user. Microlearning was a way to help learners channel content quickly, but it’s since been replaced by nanolearning: delivering condensed information in a quick, engaging format. Nanolearning might provide a few sentences of valuable learning content in a Tik Tok-sized video or a text message. This engages learners, leaving plenty of time for adventures, like finding the Dragon Reborn.

The Real World

This one is an oldie, but sometimes your learners prefer the old way of doing things: learning from an instructor, live. Of course, today’s instructor-led-training has its own twist on this classic — Virtual Instructor Led-Training (VILT) is conducted live, but it’s conducted remotely. It’s the perfect antidote to learners who are suffering from self-paced course fatigue. So find what happens when people stop being self-paced and start getting real.

(Un)Arrested Development

Listen, sometimes we all get stuck in a rut. We fall back on one method of instruction, get used to a specific library of content, or stick with the learning methods we believe are tried and true. The pandemic shook up many L&D departments, showing them what wasn’t working anymore and what needed to happen in order to deliver learning remotely. Organizations who innovated last year are continuing to move forward and make changes to their remote learning — now, after all, they know what works and what needs to be tweaked in order to improve. (And if that doesn’t work, there’s always money in the banana stand.)

Star Tech: Strange New Worlds

Learning: the final frontier. These are the voyages of your L&D department. It’s continuing mission: to explore strange new content; to seek out new technology and new modalities; to boldly learn what no one has learned before!

Like a starship, your L&D department is constantly testing out new technologies to help deliver learning. It might not be food replicators or transporter technology, but there have been some pretty exciting developments in learning tech in the last few years, like AI-assisted learning, virtual reality and augmented reality (sort of like a holodeck, but without the potentially fatal glitches).

By embracing new technology, you can deliver engaging learning content right to your crew’s stations, or even to their tricorders. Fascinating.

The Plandalorian

Not every person follows the same path – that’s as true for your learners as it is for adventurers in a galaxy far, far away. For this reason, it’s important to create learning pathways for your learners, based on both their current learning needs and their career plans. Then you can point them at the learning modules that are best for them and tell them “this is the way.”