Change has been the only constant ever since the world was shaken up by the pandemic. There was a dramatic shift in the way we work and learn. Ever since, L&D teams have been challenged to step outside of their comfort zone and embrace new methods of delivering learning that is suitable for the digital age.

According to research, learning priorities and L&D strategy have transformed 94% of organizations in response to the pandemic, with two in three making significant changes to what they do and how they do it. L&D has been forced to redesign and reinvent their learning initiatives in the pursuit to maximize productivity and efficiency. They have also had to step up to shoulder the responsibility of aligning strategic business goals to individual goals of employees and design effective virtual training on those lines.

The pandemic has led to a shift in learner expectations as well in turn prompting L&D to deliver learning that is suited for the needs of the new normal. There has been a higher demand for:

  • On-demand learning access
  • Bite-sized learning content that can be consumed anywhere, anytime
  • Mobile learning
  • Learning embedded in the flow of work
  • Learning for performance support

In the process, one of the most important requirements that has emerged is giving learners autonomy and control of their own learning process.

  • Learner autonomy and its role in the learning process

Learner autonomy is playing an increasingly important role especially in remote working as employees have lesser and lesser time to dedicate to learning programs as they try to maintain a balance between personal and professional life. This means they want and demand only the learning that is linked to their current roles, needs and the roles they aspire for.

L&D have realized the importance of letting learners take control and responsibility of their own learning — both in terms of what they learn and how they learn — using self direction and self-discipline to adopt a proactive approach to learning.

This kind of an ecosystem has also brought in the element of personalization in learning while impacting learner engagement in a positive manner.

  • Personalization in learning

At a time when personalization has become a part of our daily life with everything from movie recommendations to food choices to shopping options influenced by it, corporate learning too isn’t far behind. Employees expect personalized suggestions fueled by Artificial Learning (AI) and advances in machine learning which can enable them to browse through topics and courses that are uniquely tailored to their interests, behaviors, and goals.

Moving beyond the regular classroom training, personalized learning enables organizations to deliver courses that are unique to an individual employee in the moment of his/her need. Josh Bersin describes this as, “successful learning organizations have moved beyond L&D and training; instead, they are developing their entire organization to fully integrate learning with the flow of work and at the point of need.”

There are several critical benefits that personalized learning experiences offer towards the development of employees:

  • It offers higher engagement that is more relevant and suitable to the needs and interests of specific learners.
  • It helps embed learning in the flow of work so that learners who are pressed for time can use it as a tool to do their jobs better without having to move away from their mandatory work.
  • It creates customized learning paths for learners based on their expertise, desired proficiency, interests and aspirations.
  • It helps attract and retain talent as this customized approach helps learners meet their goals quickly and more effectively.

Overall, it’s safe to say that personalized learning creates more engaging learning experiences thereby leading to a large proportion of the workforce practicing continuous learning in the process. Personalized learning is the way forward for the long haul!

Check out this insightful webinar where Amit Gautam, CEO of UpsideLMS and David Wentworth, Principal Analyst with Brandon Hall Group shed light on new frontiers in learning and how to put learners in the driver’s seat.


  • The evolving learning technology ecosystem
  • What is learner autonomy?
  • The role artificial intelligence plays
  • Examples of companies giving learners more control

Watch the webinar here