Welcome to the first Leading Links of 2023. Before we dive in, a small request and a couple of highlights.
The request: It can be easy to take for granted something that just shows up automatically in your inbox, but it takes quite a bit of work to create this newsletter. Please do us the small favor of sharing it with at least one colleague, whether at your own organization or another.
- Live Review 2023 – We’ve shifted our annual LMS demo event into Q1 to align better with organizational budgets and purchasing process. We have 10 platforms lined up and have also added education sessions on topics ranging from course creation to LMS implementation and ROI. Even if you don’t plan to attend yourself, please help spread the word to others who may benefit.
- Coordinator for Digital Education – The American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) is looking for the right person to coordinate its digital education efforts. (BTW, if your organization has job openings, we are happy to share them. Just let us know.)
Please consider sharing the above resources with your colleagues, followers, etc. and and letting them know they can also sign up for their own free Leading Links subscription.
Now, on to the links.
We thought we’d take a break from the usual maturity model-driven structure of our newsletter to highlight three themes we think demand a vigorous response from learning businesses as we head into 2023 and provide some relevant content for each.
The Decline of College
While it’s still true that people with a college degree fare better economically than those without, evidence of a shift has been growing for some time. We suggested this quite a while ago in Could Associations Replace College? (which we continue to update). College enrollments have been in decline for a dozen years and increasingly employers don’t see the lack of a degree as an issue. Jason Wingard has summed all of this up admirably in The College Devaluation Crisis.
Why mention it? Because the overall trend suggests a critical need and a corresponding opportunity for organizations that provide alternative forms of post-secondary education and lifelong learning. So, how is your learning business planning to respond?
The Mainstreaming of AI
We’re sure we don’t have to point out that AI reached what seems to be a significant turning point following the introduction of ChatGPT in November, 2022. We’ve got a podcast episode coming up on the topic soon, but in the meantime, we urge you to make some (or more) time to try out ChatGPT while its still free and consider what the implications may be for your learners, your subject matter experts, and for your learning business’ capacity to generate educational and marketing content. Some articles we’ve found worth reading:
- ChatGPT and The Professional’s Guide to Using AI
- Education is about to radically change: AI for the masses
- Playing with ChatGPT: now I’m scared (a little)
BTW – Because of its popularity, ChatGPT is often at capacity these days. You may want to consider doing a free trial of Jasper.ai, a tool that incorporates GPT. We’re starting to use it in our own work.
The Three Cs
There’s never any lack of buzz terms in the learning and development world, but three that we see rising above the din are: community, cohorts, and coaching. Learning businesses should be considering how each of these do or do not fit into their 2023 offerings.
It’s no accident that one of the most recent mergers among association-focused platforms was between Forj (an AI-driven community platform) and Web Courseworks (an LMS). Course platform provider Thinkific has identified “community-first learning” as one of the biggest current trends in its latest annual digital learning report.
Over in the corporate world, Josh Bersin was trumpeting the growth of coaching throughout 2022 and we recently published an article on adding coaching to learning by learning business leader and executive coach Jen Lewi on the topic. (Jen is also the guest on this week’s Leading Learning Podcast episode.)
While hardly a new approach, cohort-based learning started enjoying new life starting back in 2021 and has gained steam ever since. As this Learning Revolution article notes, the benefits of this approach are substantial, and platforms like Maven, which is designed specifically for cohort learning, have been enjoying rapid growth.
That’s just scratching the surface, of course. Do a little digging and you will find plenty more on each of the three Cs. The real question, though, is how do these factor into your 2023 programming?
That’s it for this edition. Be sure to check out previous issues of Leading Links. There are bound to be valuable resources you missed or have forgotten about. We encourage you to use them as a catalyst for your own learning and for discussions with colleagues. And be sure to follow up on LinkedIn for ongoing resources.