Five Critical Tools for Learning & Development Leaders

Position yourself as a forward-thinking and effective contributor to your organization’s growth and development with these essential L&D tools.

Blinkist for Business — June 20, 2023

As a learning and development (L&D) practitioner, it can be challenging to stay up to date with the latest trends, tools, and technologies in the field. Luckily, the Global Sentiment Survey by Donald Taylor is here to help.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the critical tools identified by the survey and explain why they are essential for L&D practitioners.

Learning Analytics: Illuminating Pathways to Success

The first tool on the list is learning analytics, which involves collecting and analyzing data from learners to improve the effectiveness of training programs. According to the survey, learning analytics is the most critical tool for L&D practitioners, with 43% of respondents ranking it as “essential.”

Learning analytics can provide valuable insights into learner engagement, course completion rates, and learning outcomes. By analyzing this data, L&D practitioners can identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to enhance training programs. For example, if the data shows that learners are struggling with a particular concept, L&D practitioners can modify the training program to provide additional support in that area, or hire an expert for further insight and guidance.

Similarly, if learners are dropping out of the course early, you can investigate the reasons why and make changes to improve retention rates.

Collaborative Learning: Fostering Collective Intelligence

The second tool on the list is collaborative learning, which involves learners working together to solve problems, complete projects, and share knowledge. Collaborative learning is the second most critical tool for according to the GSS, with 36% of respondents ranking it as “essential.”

Collaborative learning can be particularly effective for adult learners who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table. By working together, learners can share their knowledge and skills, learn from each other’s mistakes, and come up with creative solutions to complex problems.

Collaborative learning can take many forms, including group projects, discussion forums, and peer-to-peer coaching. By incorporating collaborative learning into their training programs, L&D practitioners can create a more engaging and interactive learning experience for their learners.

Listen to this Blink for more on collaboration.

Radical Collaboration is an excellent resource for building better teamwork and collaboration skills and offers a step-by-step guide to collaboration. It provides practical tools and tips for building stronger relationships, resolving conflicts, and developing effective communication skills.

Personalization: Unleashing Individual Potential

The third tool on the list is personalization, which involves tailoring training programs to the individual needs and preferences of your learners. Personalization comes in as the third most critical tool for L&D practitioners, with 34% of respondents ranking it as “essential.”

Personalization can be achieved in many ways, such as providing learners with choices of topics or modes of delivery, allowing learners to set their own learning goals, or using adaptive learning technologies that adjust the content and pace of the course to the individual learner’s needs. Think audio vs visual, hands-on learning vs remote learning.

By personalizing the learning experience, L&D practitioners can improve learner engagement and motivation, as learners are more likely to be interested and invested in the training program if it is relevant and meaningful to them.

Microlearning: Unlocking Learning in Bite-sized Nuggets

The fourth tool on the list is microlearning, and no, we didn’t sneak this one in, the data doesn’t lie! If you’re familiar with Blinkist, you’ve experienced microlearning firsthand. It involves delivering learning content in short, bite-sized pieces and is the fourth most critical tool for L&D practitioners, with 33% of respondents ranking it as “essential.”

Microlearning is particularly effective for busy learners or those that are always on the go and may not have time for longer training sessions. By breaking down the learning content into smaller chunks, learners can more easily fit the training into their busy schedules. Microlearning can also be more engaging and memorable than traditional training methods, as learners can quickly consume and apply the learning content in real-world situations.

Here at Blinkist, this is our bread and butter. 

Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT): Bridging Gaps in a Digital Age

The fifth and final tool on the list is virtual instructor-led training (VILT), which involves delivering training to learners in a virtual classroom environment through engaging content, real-time collaboration, and interactive exercises. According to the survey, VILT is the fifth most critical tool for L&D practitioners, with 31% of respondents ranking it as “essential.”

VILT can be an effective alternative to traditional classroom-based training, particularly in situations many of our world is now in where learners are geographically dispersed or unable to attend in-person sessions. VILT allows learners to interact with the instructor and their peers in real-time from their work location, fostering a sense of community and collaboration.

With advancements in technology, VILT platforms now offer features such as breakout rooms, live chat, and interactive polls, making the learning experience more engaging and interactive.

Shaping a Future for Learning and Development

As Learning and Development Leads, it is vital to keep pace with the ever-evolving landscape of L&D. We’ve explored the critical and trending tools you need to create impactful training programs and nurture a culture of continuous learning within your organization.

Now, you can better optimize training programs, foster collaboration, personalize learning experiences, embrace microlearning, and bridge gaps in a digital age. Let these tools be your guide as you shape a future where knowledge becomes a transformative force for your learners.

Top L&D Trends 2014-2022: A Deep-Dive with Donald H. Taylor

For more information on these tools and more approaches for better L&D outcomes, download this free eBook! You’ll learn about what’s important in L&D right now, how trends have developed over the last 9 years, and a deeper look into which priorities deserve your time right now according to other practitioners and experts like Donald himself.

Download the eBook