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The New Learning Landscape: 3 Challenges to Overcome

The New Learning Landscape: 3 Challenges to Overcome

In an era marked by rapid change, learning is undergoing a significant transformation. Today, professionals are faced with the need to continually update their expertise to remain relevant in their fields. This has them seeking out new knowledge and skills from many sources—and your association  or professional network may be the first place they go. Are you prepared to meet them?

The New Landscape of Learning

When we look at how learning is changing today, there are three undeniable trends we can point to: jobs are getting more specialized, professionals are changing jobs more frequently, and technology is developing more quickly. 

All three of these trends mean professionals need new knowledge and skills to keep pace with ongoing changes to their roles and rapid advancements in the systems and tools they work with. When it comes to meeting these needs, associations have a significant advantage over competing sources of education, but it doesn’t come without challenges.  

Here, we’re unpacking the top three obstacles your association may face in the quest to meet members’ evolving needs in today’s learning landscape and how to overcome those challenges to deliver more dynamic learning experiences. 

Challenge #1: Delivering with Speed

In contrast to other learning institutions, like colleges and universities, associations are specialized in certain industries and fields. Your members are the experts who actively contribute to the creation of new knowledge, best practices, and cutting-edge technologies, and your association is the space where those experts converge. 

The challenge lies in meeting learners’ expectations for speed. The speed of content creation—or learning creation—requires you to keep up with the pace of the new, focused, specialized knowledge in your field. It also requires you to keep up with the rate of new technology adoption, which is moving faster than ever. A report found that generative AI adoption is expected to climb to 77.8 million users by November 2024, more than doubling the adoption rate of tablets and smartphones. 

Learners expect up-to-date information in their field and the latest tech to deliver it. However, outdated technology may be holding you back from delivering knowledge and tools to learners fast enough for it to be useful to them. 

Challenge #2: Serving Up Personalization

There’s no doubt that the personalized online experiences we all have today are elevating the expectations of your members. For an example, just look to the 2024 Workplace Learning Report from LinkedIn Learning, which shows that 78% of learners want personalized recommendations on courses to close their skill gaps. You can see how our expectations are further influenced every day when we’re searching Google and getting tailored results and using ChatGPT and being served custom responses based on our prompts. 

But these forms of “personalization” come with a downside. Tools like Google and ChatGPT draw from dubious sources, and you don’t know for certain whether they’re trustworthy. The large language models they use can include rumors, biases, and misinformation. Their sources can’t necessarily be trusted—but your association can.

Learners trust experienced, well-known experts in their fields, and those experts are your members. However, your legacy platforms may be preventing you from serving up personalization in a way that competes with the ease and speed of sources like ChatGPT and Google. 

Challenge #3: Fostering Always-on Collaboration

If you consider the internet 20 years ago, it was a fairly static experience: you surfed webpages, read static text, and maybe watched some pre-recorded videos. It wasn’t very dynamic, and you rarely connected live with other people.

Today, our experience online is much different. We spend our time on Zoom, Teams, or Slack, work in Google Docs, Miro, or use other collaboration platforms. We’re having live experiences built around connecting with peers and colleagues. And it turns out we want even more collaboration like this – research has shown that people learn better together, with a 30x lift in engagement when learners use social features in their courses.

Learners desire vibrant communities of practice, and associations are inherently collaborative places. However, the disparate systems and software you have may be hindering the type of collaboration your members crave. 

The Solution: A Modern Learning Platform

Most of the software that associations still use is stuck in the old learning landscape. It offers static content, a one-size-fits-all approach, and a lack of live connection between learners and experts. It delivers knowledge and resources that are useful, but in a table-stakes way. It isn’t getting you to where learning is going.

In the new learning landscape, associations must adapt. You’re already armed with the collective wisdom and expertise of members. Investing in the right technology is the key to delivering the timely, personalized, and collaborative learning experiences they expect.

Watch our latest video to learn more about how Forj helps your members connect, learn, and grow by bringing community and learning together in a single solution.


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