As a prominent player in the Dutch online learning market, we are expected to attend the annual NEXT-Learning Event. So we did:
In perspective of previous years it’s safe to say innovation in learning has not been going fast in the Netherlands.
E-Learning is big business but still heavily depends on traditions and establishment. It’s almost painful to see that the most future-focused educational companies still rely on SCORM. This is a 15 year old industry standard, which (should have) reached its decline phase by now. But let's not get into the details and impairments of SCORM.
Most of the talks and products we saw were based on principles that are not exactly new or innovative. You can tell something's wrong when the most influential Dutch E-Learning blogger talks about "What’s it like to follow a MOOC."
Wasn't 2012 the Year of the MOOC? Late to the party is an understatement here. Also, if you’re wondering what it is like to follow a MOOC, why not try one?
HR and L&D departments have high hopes on technology, but seem hesitant to implement new ways of learning. Impact-analysis, output-research and other ways of measuring and projecting impact gain priority over actually educating professionals. Hence the succes of hearing about what it's like to follow a MOOC, in stead of following a MOOC yourself.
Innovations can certainly help people develop. For example, they can lower barriers to learning, provide a safe learning environment, and connect people to inspiring minds. But in the end, people need to take responsibility for their own development. I believe in autonomous employees who are capable of knowing what they need to learn to perform better at work. This is a shift in culture for most companies.
At NEXT Learning, supply and demand seem to have reached a satisfying equilibrium: suppliers won't try to change the mindsets and behaviour of L&D departments with new ways of learning. In return, they can keep making their trusted thick saucy old-school E-Learning material.
Lets leave everything at peace.
Lets keep it comfortable.