Open University ‘Trends In Learning Report 2018’


This morning, I’ll be joining around 3,500 HR professionals who are embarking upon the #cipdLDShow which is taking place in Olympia, London.

The #cipdLDShow is the highlight of the year for many l&d folk who gather at the conference venue to learn more about how businesses and suppliers are helping to drive performance through learning. With “30+ sessions across 4 diverse content streams” and an exhibition hall full to the brim of expert suppliers, it promises to be a fascinating and insightful couple of days where I hope to learn lots.

This years event is in partnership with The Open University and as a member of this years #cipdLDshow blog squad, I’m fortunate to have had early sight of The OU ‘Trends in learning Report 2018’, which is based on research from The Open University’s Institute of Educational Technology.

This report includes 5 key trends that the research has determined will be important for the year ahead, and those trends include;-

  • Spaced learning
  • Post-truth learning
  • Immersive learning
  • Student-led analytics
  • Humanistic knowledge building communities

Having read similar reports from other organisations I am often disappointed to find a direct link between the recommendations within the report and the products for sale by the report author. Refreshingly, this report certainly isn’t that. This is a brief, informative summary that gives a concise but sufficiently detailed overview of each trend, along with an honest view from a practitioner, whose comments give the findings a relatable perspective.

What I found particularly interesting, and inspiring, within this report was some of the ‘Tips for L&D’ comments which not only nicely summarised each section, but were quite frank. These are short, snippets of good advice that the reader can take away and digest further.

Within the five trends, I especially admired the section on Post-truth learning where the phrase ‘epistemic cognition’ is discussed. It is explained that ‘epistemic cognition’ means ‘knowledge about knowledge’ and that the researchers had identified ways of improving learners’ epistemic cognition. As is explained in one of the ‘Tips for L&D’ the report urges readers to ‘ask learners to think about the evidence for what they are thinking and doing, and why?’, which is not the first time that the report encourages an evidence-based approach to learning.

“It is an exciting time to be a learning professional” starts this report. And the trends included certainly do whet the appetite for the interesting developments that lay ahead.

I will share the link to this report on Social Media, when it becomes available.

On with the show…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s