The past, present and future of learning and development

Santander’s senior learning manager Robert Ashcroft presents on the past, present and future of learning and development to a crowd of digital business leaders and senior learning and development representatives at the ADBL’s Digital Skills Transformation Event.

Alongside his fellow panel members, Sarah Mellor, John Lewis’ talent manager and Andy Lancaster, CIPD’s head of learning and development, Robert discussed a range of important issues for professionals within the learning and development sector.

Using his company, Santander as an example Robert notes in this video how the digital toolset available to learning and development professionals has expanded dramatically in recent years. However, at many organisations those tools are not employed to their full extent when educating employees.

As a result, it’s all too often the case that learning and development lags behind the expectations of their consumers.

“Think about Santander. We have a learning and development business model that isn’t too dissimilar to this: lots of face-to-face classrooms, lots of flip charts and pens, and huge stationary budgets. But then we thought we need to get up-to-the times.

The present state of learning and development

“We did blended learning, which meant we did e-learning courses for about 45 minutes to an hour. We put video in it, with audio that you could read on the screen, and called it blended.

“But we recognise that the company is changing. Not just our company, but any company.”

It’s because of this change, the digital evolution in businesses and elsewhere that learning and development needs to embrace new digital tools and methods of working.Robert_Ashcroft_talking_about_the_past_present_and_future_of_learning_and_development

For example, according to Robert the user experience of a training course is as important as the content itself. “How you interact with your services is just as much a turn-off as it is a turn-on.”

As is the mobile availability of learning resources, or, in general, the availability and attractiveness of learning in order to attain a greater presence in our lives.

“Learning and development is now thinking ‘how do we go mobile?’

“But the reality is, you’re in that space. I’m in that space. Where you expect quantified data on your phone to tell you don’t move enough, and you need to do more exercise.

“But my learning management system (LMS) can’t even tell me whether you did your learning on time or not.”

In the full-length video, Robert looks in more detail at the future of learning and development.

Stephanie Khan

Posted August 12, 2015