L&D Global Sentiment 2016

L+D GSS 2016 Map

Yesterday at 23:30 UK time I closed my annual ‘What will be hot in L&D this year?’ survey. For full results, join me for Three corporate learning trends to watch in 2016 on 20 January at 16:00 UK time, 11am ET.

This is the third year I’ve run this one-question survey. 728 people voted from 52 countries, casting a total of 1922 votes (each person can vote for up to 3 items). The global results are:

Collaborative/social learning 250 13.0%
Personalization/adaptive delivery 218 11.3%
Consulting more deeply with the business 167 8.7%
Mobile delivery 159 8.3%
Micro learning 151 7.7%
Games/gamification 132 6.9%
Neuroscience/cognitive science 132 6.9%
Showing value 115 6.0%
Curation 108 5.6%
Developing the L&D function 92 4.8%
Synchronous online delivery (eg webinars) 85 4.4%
Video 68 3.5%
Knowledge management 67 3.5%
MOOCs 63 3.3%
Wearable tech 58 3.0%
Other: 57 3.0%

The question asked was “What will be hot in L&D in 2016?” and respondents were asked to vote for what they thought would be hot, rather than should be hot. No definitions were provided for the choices given, nor for what ‘being hot’ meant.

I’ll do a full analysis of this in my webinar with Axonify on 20 January 2016 at 16:00 UK time, 11am ET: Three corporate learning trends to watch in 2016. For now, though, here are some quick observations:

  1. Caveats – this population was not pre-qualified (so we don’t know it was L&D only) and was voluntary and so self-selecting. It is, therefore, likely a skewed population: more tech-focused, more social than others in the profession. For all that, over 3 years I have noticed that this population does tend to predict what will become strong in corporate L&D eventually (if not in the current year) and also, what will fall from being ‘hot’ to either being part of business as usual (eg video) or irrelevant.
  2. Collaborative learning remains strong – it was #3 in 2014, #1 in 2015 and remains at the top of the leader board. It also features in the top 3 of just about every geography.
  3. Micro learning is strong, but US-focused – a new entry at #5, Micro learning’s popularity is largely founded in North America. Elsewhere it’s still a new term.
  4. Mobile maintains, video drops – mobile remains on people’s minds (although dropping from #1 to #3 to #4 this year), but video’s drop has been precipitous – from #5 in 2013 to #13 this year. This seems to signal that mobile remains a challenge while video is now seen as ‘business as usual’
  5. Global variations are strong – there are clear differences across different territories. The UK and North America differ from each other, as they do from Europe and Australia/NZ. More about this on the 20th.
  6. MOOCs are …. what, exactly? With a slight variation in wording, MOOCs have been in the survey since 2014, but have fallen from #4 to #14. Why? Three possible reasons:
    1. They are now seen as ‘business as usual’ (not my observation)
    2. L&D knows about them, but refuses to use them
    3. L&D knows about them, but can’t find a use for them – yet


What do you think? Do these results match your observations of L&D? Is there anything missing? Feel free to comment ….


9 responses to “L&D Global Sentiment 2016

  1. Pingback: What will be hot in L&D in 2016? | Donald H Taylor

  2. Donald -thank you for posting this. While most of these were predictable, I am surprised by the drop in ranking for video. With video hosting and video-based learning now easier than ever before, I was under the impression it would continue to be ‘hot’ in 2016. Oh well, I learnt something new today.

    I would also like to know a bit more about adaptive delivery and what specifically you think will be hot in collaborative learning. Please do post here or on Pulse sometime soon !

    • I think that video has dropped precisely because it is easier than ever – making it no longer ‘hot’. As for the personalized/adaptive piece, you’re right that it’s an incredibly broad term. I’ll do my best to follow up with some specifics soon.

  3. Hi Don, excellent stuff. Thanks for doing this every year. Just one comment on the microlearning. I wonder if it’s just a terminology thing. I think many people in the learning profession refer to microlearning as bite-sized learning or even simply chunking? Just my two cents…

    • I agree that with Micro learning it almost certainly is down to terminology, although micro learning tends to have a particular nuance of being most video, and being delivered often as part of a repetitive process, which chunking isn’t always.

  4. Well done Don – another great survey.

    Sad to see wearable tech finished lower than MOOCs because I honestly see more upside and opportunity with wearable tech than I do with MOOCs. As the owner of an Apple iWatch I continue to think how I can use my device to deliver / support learning.

    Looking forward to your webinar with Axonify.

  5. It’s an interesting study. At last someone in L&D who can do with numbers and care sharing the methodology used so that proper critical thinking may apply.

    L&D don’t see MOOCs as hot but their learners found their way to them without their help. Could it be that L&D are not actors of future trends?

  6. Pingback: Ausblick: ‘What will be hot in L&D this year?’ | |

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