What will be hot in L&D in 2016?


The survey has now closed. Please click to see an initial summary of the results.


Zoltar Fortune Teller Close Up - very

Zoltar the Magnificent, fortune teller extraordinary, will – for the sum of one pound – reveal your fortune from inside his mechanical box on Brighton pier.

Each year I try to do something similar.

I am slightly less extravagant in my dress, and I’m not on a pier, but the results are at least free.

Each year I run a one-minute, one-question online poll asking L&D professionals what they think will be hot in the following year. In 2014 mobile learning topped the poll. In 2015, collaborative learning came in first.

The individual results, though, matter less than the overall trends they illustrate. For example, video dropped from 5th position in 2014 to 8th in 2015. Was that because video was suddenly less important? I doubt it. It’s much more likely that video was no longer seen as ‘hot’. It has entered the main stream of L&D practice.

What will be hot in 2016?
This year, once again, I will be asking the same question: What will be hot in workplace L&D in 2016? You can choose three items from the list.

The poll is below, mostly with the same options as in previous years. If you don’t like the options, please do choose ‘Other’ and say what you think is missing. I will add these, unedited, to the blog over the course of the survey.

To clarify – please what you think will be hot in L&D in 2016. In January, after the poll has closed, I’ll run a second poll asking whether you agree with the results, and why.

Choose up to 3 items:


The poll will finish at the end of the first week of January. Headline results will be announced here on Monday, January 11th, and the first analysis will be broadcast in a webinar in conjunction with Axonify on Wednesday January 20th at 16:00 UK, 11am ET.

I look forward to hearing what you think will be hot in workplace L&D in 2016!

[Updated 11 December]

What did I miss?
The ‘Other’ option has proved less popular than in previous years, with only 27 entries so far. They are listed below – with virtual/augmented reality standing out as the option most people seem to think should have been included:

Deep Learning
Big data
Virtual reality
Extension of learning to broader workforce, customers, partners
“Lean” career development
Virtual/augmented reality
“Workplace learning”
Professional Membership of the British Institute for Learning and Development
Data and Learner Analytics
Augmented & Virtual reality
Non synchronous online delivery
Ask the learner
Capturing non formal learning
Innovation in regulatory environments
Network analysis and/or visualisation
Knowledge Retention
Performance support
Debunking learning myths
on the job learning (702010sytle)
Virtual Reality
virtual reality
Connecting self directed learner

Actually, I did include virtual/augmented reality, but took it out again, as I felt that 2016 was probably too early. 2017 may be a different story.

What do you think – is there anything missing from this year’s choices?






7 responses to “What will be hot in L&D in 2016?

  1. Michelle Ockers

    Really enjoyed the surprise of seeing the progressive results of the poll after I had entered my picks. Looking forward to your post in January.

    • Hi Michelle – thanks for voting and spreading the word! I’m really looking forward to sharing my analysis in January, not least because there is far more international variation in responses than I had expected.

  2. Humans have reached a stage where work is no longer enjoyed as a secluded part of ME.
    The WHY, the WHY ME, WHY NOW needs answering. The generation of today n more so tomorrow are eager to be passionately immersed in what they do. It is more than work. It is who they are. It is LIFE.

  3. Pingback: Where’s L&D headed in 2016? 3 MAJOR Influences – JD's Just Curious Learning & Performance Blog

  4. A closer analysis of what seems to work in terms of online instruction would be very interesting to pursue. We talk about the psychology of online learners, but we have not spent nearly enough time investigating the various facets of the profile of online teachers.

  5. Bite sized and spaced

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