Reflections on Learning 2013

My reflections on Learning 2013, a great conference with over 1,600 people attending, run by Elliott Masie. Attending, I identified 5 trends in the packed schedule, and 5 things that are gathering momentum.


  1. Compression – learning content is getting shorter. Dramatically so.
  2. Video is here to stay, especially short videos.
  3. Big data will be part of our lives in business and L&D needs to be able to understand and use it. We can be its slave or its master.
  4. Neuroscience – we know more than ever about how the brain learns. Let’s use that knowledge.
  5. Courage will be needed to make the changes the profession requires.

Things around for a while and now gathering momentum:

  1. The classroom – it’s being flipped, changed and increasingly used to get the best out of face-to-face contact
  2. Performance support – kudos to Conrad Gottfreson and Bob Mosher for making the language of performance mainstream
  3. Measurement and value – we’re getting away from mechanistic ROI to an understanding of what creating value really means
  4. Leading learning with data, not dogma. I dream of a day when fact-based decision making becomes the norm in our profession.
  5. The role of L&D in the future. Do we have the skills to do the job? I was lucky enough to meet people who I believe do have those skills at the conference

Photos by Ed Burke, the Masie Center


7 responses to “Reflections on Learning 2013

  1. Don — Great wrap up perspectives on Learning 2013!!!! Thanks for all your participation, innovation and support

  2. Thanks for sharing, Don.
    This week I attended Learning@Work in Sydney, and that reinforced my view that the (short) video trend is the strongest. Its potential to transform boring, irrelevant content into an engaging, authentic experience is underrated.

  3. Hi Ryan – thanks for commenting. Just looking at the continued growth of YouTube and other media makes it clear that video is a popular medium. Of course it is very easy to create bad video content – especially by getting the sound or lighting wrong or simply not providing a good structure. Nonetheless it is definitely an area where L&D needs to gain some experience and expertise.

  4. I agree with you that it’s easy to create bad video content, but on the other side of the coin I would say it’s not hard to create “acceptable” video content either. I try to allay my colleague’s fears by saying that it need not be a Scorsese production; what really matters is the learning outcome!

    • Very good point Ryan. Video certainly does make it easier to produce ‘good enough’ content, which can often be very powerful especially for performance support, and you’re right that it’s a lot harder to fail completely than many people fear.

  5. Pingback: Reflections on Learning 2013 - Educacion

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