Learning’s New Frontier: Putting Learners in the Driver’s Seat


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

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 turnprompting L&D to deliver learning that is suited for the needs of the newnormal. There has been a higher demand for:

  • On-demand learningaccess
  • Bite-sizedlearning content that can be consumed anywhere, anytime
  • Mobilelearning
  • Learning embeddedin the flow of work
  • Learningfor performance support

In the process, one of the most important requirements that has emergedis 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 inremote working as employees have lesser and lesser time to dedicate to learningprograms as they try to maintain a balance between personal and professionallife. This means they want and demand only the learning that is linked to theircurrent roles, needs and the roles they aspire for.

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

This kind of an ecosystem has also brought in the element of personalizationin 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 witheverything from movie recommendations to food choices to shopping options influencedby it, corporate learning too isn’t far behind. Employees expect personalizedsuggestions fueled by Artificial Learning (AI) and advances in machine learningwhich can enable them to browse through topics and courses that are uniquelytailored to their interests, behaviors, and goals.

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

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

  • It offers higher engagement thatis more relevant and suitable to the needs and interests of specific learners.
  • It helpsembed learning in the flow of work so that learners who are pressed for timecan use it as a tool to do their jobs better without having to move away fromtheir mandatory work.
  • It createscustomized learning paths for learners based on their expertise, desiredproficiency, interests and aspirations.
  • It helps attractand retain talent as this customized approach helps learners meet their goalsquickly and more effectively.

Overall, it’s safe to say that personalized learning creates more engaginglearning experiences thereby leading to a large proportion of the workforcepracticing continuous learning in the process. Personalized learning is the wayforward for the long haul!

Check out this insightful webinar where Amit Gautam, CEO of UpsideLMSand David Wentworth, Principal Analyst with Brandon Hall Group shed light onnew 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