The Future for Learning Technologies

The Future for Learning Technologies

It was back in 2012/2013 that Sheffield Hallam University worked with Innovation People thinking through the way businesses and other organisations would use technology for people development. The conclusions from this thinking were resounding and emphatic.

In this brief article, I’ll outline a little history in the development of our thinking, what we have sought to achieve here at Innovation People and where we predict demand will go in terms of resource for people development.

Remember, our work with Sheffield Hallam University was ten or so years ago. As we know, in terms of technology that’s a long time and of course, pre-pandemic. So, it’s almost thinking from the dark ages! Back then, together with Sheffield Hallam University, we made three predictions:
1) That the direction of travel for business technology would be mobile
2) That the development of ‘gamified’ user experience would be fundamental
3) That technologies would need to generate analytics that demonstrate the relationship between the development of people and changes in performance.

It was in 2013 that I first spoke at a conference of business consultants predicting that demand would change in line with these predictions. In that conference speech, I commented on the already established trend in terms of the development of what we now call ‘hybrid working’, which at the time I referred to as remote working. I discussed what I reckoned would be the drift towards consultancy services being ‘productised’ into a mobile environment and that by around 2017 there would be ‘tsunami of change’ in the use of business solutions.

Of course, I was wrong about the date and wrong about the metaphor. It was a pandemic, not a tsunami and the date was 2019 into 2020. I concede, you can’t be right about everything. However, the predictions we made with Sheffield Hallam University have been proved correct.

In fact, it was in 2017 that a global business supporting manufacturing, invited Innovation People to make some recommendations regarding the development of their people in the business region Europe, the Middle East and Africa. They were committed to people development but wanted to reduce ‘down time’ and travel for their folks going on training programmes. They were also dissatisfied with conventional, desk-bound eLearning as a mechanism for anything other than mandatory training. They were looking for a resource that was dynamic and mobile, keeping their people on the job and allowing targeted development wherever they happened to be in the world.

Roll on ten of so years to the present time in 2023 and sure enough we are beginning to see that the emerging demand is for resources that:
• Connect people to one another and
• connect people development to their performance through,
• a great user experience that is primarily mobile
• delivering on demand development anywhere and
• providing on-going evaluation and impact assessment analytics.

As a business, Innovation People went to develop the SPICE Ecosystem™, a solution addressing these predictions in a solution designed for any platform but primarily mobile, and integrating tools for the assessment and development of people that delivers on-going evaluation and impact assessment.

Without question, we were ahead of the market and of market demand. As more and more businesses express dissatisfaction with conventional eLearning, joining their voices with those of very many learning and development professionals, let me share five examples that demonstrate emerging demand for the kind of product we have predicted:
• I am thinking of the major blue-light organisation in the UK currently commissioning a mobile microLearning solution to deliver on-demand development resources.
• Then there is the network of manufacturing businesses whose membership is wanting learning managed and delivered as targeted, skills-focused resources accessed as microLearning.
• I can think of the extended education programmes in rural communities, established to deliver microLearning opportunities in the UK and in Nepal
• Then there are major centres of populations in emerging economies with access to the internet largely through mobile technology (e.g. 1.2Bn people in Sub-Saharan Africa and 1.4Bn in India)
• And finally, the commonplace, activity of many no matter how they connect, browsing learning and development, whilst watching TV, listening to podcasts and doing everyday web searches.

The predictions we made along with Sheffield Hallam University back in 2012/2013 have become a commonplace reality. This is beyond dispute.

Our response has been to develop the SPICE Ecosystem™. This is a solution addressing these predictions in a solution designed for any platform but primarily mobile, and integrating tools for the assessment and development of people that delivers on-going evaluation and impact assessment.

Any business of any size can access the SPICE Ecosystem™, whether as a product accessed through a monthly subscription or as a fully licenced resource behind a business’ firewalls. It seems to us the evidence is that demand for mobile learning solutions that provide a great user experience that delivers targeted solutions will prove to be a significant growth trend. More than that, our prediction is that such solutions will become the normative mechanism for delivering learning and development.

For more information about the SPICE Ecosystem™ take a look at and send us an email to [email protected]

Written by System Administrator

September 15, 2023