This year, personalization, artificial intelligence (AI), and learning analytics took the top three spots in the annual Learning & Development (L&D) Global Sentiment Survey. The annual L&D Global Sentiment Survey takes pulse of the L&D community worldwide. What are the results telling us for the months ahead? This year will be all about data.

Watching the results change and grow

The results of the 2018 survey focused mostly on learning and development as part of the business with an increased interest in AI. This year’s results show that learning and development is switching to become an almost purely data-driven department. Data is the rising star as voted by nearly 2,000 individuals from 92 countries. Adopting and understanding the data shift will be crucial in how we deliver learning in the future.

Standing on the podium

From the results, here’s what we know, what we can do, and what we can expect from the podium “winners” this year:

1. Gold medalist: Personalization
Personalization, also known as customization, was the #1 vote in 2018 and it remains in the #1 spot for 2019. The repeating question around L&D departments is, “how long will this continue?” The answer? Unknown but likely to be up for grabs in 2020 according to Donald Taylor, Chair of the Learning and Performance Institute. The assumption? It’s shares of vote declined this year, as it also did in the previous year. The process of tailoring learning to individual users’ characteristics or preferences isn’t really “hot” anymore as much as it is required in developing learning paths and programs for today’s learners.

2. Silver medalist: Artificial intelligence (AI)
AI is a computer system that is able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. Think visual perception, speech recognition, and decision-making. OpenSesame recently released Smart Lists which saves time when curating courses by leveraging machine learning. This is just one of the many examples in learning that simulate human intelligence, and some methods are more intelligent than others.

Artificial intelligence continues its rise in the survey from #8 in 2017, to #3 in 2018, to #2 today! No option in the history of the annual survey has seen such growth in interest. One could bet it will take the #1 spot in 2020.

3. Bronze medalist: Learning analytics
This is a new entry into the annual survey and clearly favored by placing bronze in the results. Learning analytics is learner-produced data that discovers information and social connections for predicting people’s learning. Decision trees and strategy maps might be two types of predictive models to help determine courses of action for learning programs.

What’s hot in 2020

Not so spoiler alert: this year is indeed all about data! We can assume the same for next year because it’s been proven with the survey’s past behavior that top trends don’t take place in L&D departments for two to three years out.

When asked “What will be hot in workplace L&D in 2020?” what’s your guess for the trends to be in the top three?

To learn more about the 2019 Global Sentiment Survey results, check out the webinar recording or download the survey itself. For more information, download Infopro Learning’s free eBook: Modernize to Engagement and understand the need for organizations to adapt to latest content development methodologies for emerging training trends.

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