After months of anticipation and preparation, the 2016 ATD International Conference & Expo flew by, seemingly, in the blink of an eye.
With over 300 exhibitors and more than 400 sessions led by industry-leading professionals, it's hard to believe that they managed to fit everything into just four short days.
Although there was a lot going on each day of the conference, there were some clear themes that stood out in each session topic and even around the expo floor. Here are four of the major trends that dominated ATD ICE 2016.
Adding gaming elements to learning -- both for classrooms and workplace training -- is gaining traction in the industry.
There were a number of sessions on this very subject and emerging research that shows the positive impact gamification has on knowledge retention and long-term behavior change. So much so, in fact, that one study of 6,476 trainees found that those who were trained using video had:
- 11% more factual knowledge
- 14% higher skill-based knowledge
- 9% better retention rates
Adaptive learning has become an increasingly popular solution to L&D departments' biggest challenges with knowledge retention, skill development and long-term behavior change.
As learning professionals are increasingly called to measure and track the value or ROI of training initiatives, adaptive learning environments are rapidly becoming the most effective way to drive results.
When it comes to adaptive learning models, recent innovations in technology have made it easier than ever to build a sustainable training program, complete with mobile learning environments and actionable analytics for tracking and measuring ROI.
Looking around ATD this year, it is clear that adaptive learning -- both in terms of methodology and technology -- is in high demand within the industry and will only continue to grow.
3. Learning Reinforcement & Behavior Change
It comes as no big surprise that driving behavior change remains a top challenge for professionals in the training industry.
From new employee onboarding to technical and soft skill training programs, the lack of follow up after participants finished a program or course was creating a significant gap in skill development and motivation to change behavior.
Whether through conversations on the expo floor or after the packed session our founder, Anthonie Wurth, led on effective reinforcement, we found that attendees were eager to get actionable tips and learn more about the science and methodology behind our training reinforcement programs.
4. Training Data & Analytics
Throughout ATD, there was a lot of focus placed on tracking training data and analytics. Of course, this isn't surprising considering the unprecedented growth in training investments, especially among Fortune 500 companies and global organizations.
Learning technology has come a long way in the past few years, which was clearly evident in sessions and on the expo floor at ATD.
Interestingly, despite growing demand for advanced analytics, there are still a lot of companies and organizations struggling to effectively track and measure the ROI of their training programs. Although all of our training reinforcement programs provide advanced analytics, at ATD we found that many learning professionals are still lacking in-depth, actionable insight on each phase of training, especially behavior change.
Interested in learning more about the key principles behind training reinforcement? Learn about the history, methodology, and the 7 principles behind Mindmarker training reinforcement. Download Part 1 of the Mindmarker Total Concept: From the Olympics to the 7 Principles of Reinforcement.