2024 Digital Learning Predictions – Skillsoft Experts Weigh In

December 27, 2023 | Activate Learning | 5 min read

Artificial intelligence was on everyone’s mind this past year as the decades-old technology went mainstream, impacting the business landscape in a way we haven’t seen since the introduction of Excel and PowerPoint in the office.

We saw AI and generative AI tools have a renaissance in 2023 as the technology quickly changed how we work. This year, leaders and talent must enable and employ their use to catch up to the competition. But the technology will not just impact how we work but how we learn.

I chatted with several Skillsoft experts to shed light on the shifting landscape of digital learning and workforce transformation this year. Let’s take a look.

Generative AI Will Usher in a New Era of Interactive Learning.

Apratim Purakayastha, CTO & CPO

The shift from passive to active learning will be much more advanced in 2024, as blended, interactive modalities become the gold standard of training.

We are moving out of the era of video-based training, which has dominated the learning and development space over the last 15 years, and toward a future where hands-on, human-centric learning experiences will become the norm. This is driven by two key trends: the rise of digital social interactions and the advancement of AI.

What’s key to blended, interactive learning modalities is the “human element.” It can include hands-on platforms like Codecademy or conversation simulators like CAISY, as well as online coaching, instructor-led training, or bootcamps.

The goal of learning and development professionals in 2024 and beyond will be to deliver these interactive, deeply human learning experiences at scale.

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The Big Shift Is Here. Goodbye Job Descriptions, Hello Skill Profiles.

Mark Onisk, Chief Content Officer

We, as an economy, have been talking about the idea of the “skills-based organization” for quite some time. Next year, we’ll see a radical shift in businesses moving this from concept to operational model, departing from the traditional idea of jobs and prioritizing skills to maximize talent output.

There are numerous legacy talent operations models heavily indexed around job descriptions, tenure, education requirements, and more still being used. While removing these barriers has been a hurdle, the advancement of generative AI will streamline the ability to define someone’s position by the skills they possess and contribute.

By standardizing skill definitions, organizations can expedite the movement to a skills-based talent management lifecycle and move beyond the traditional confines of a job.

This means greater business agility and innovation, and a workforce powered by growth and autonomy.

Mitigating Fear and Enabling Fascination: How AI Training is Changing in 2024.

Koma Gandy, VP of Leadership and Business Solutions

AI and generative AI skills will continue to be a priority for leaders in 2024. Because of this, it’s important to work through the trepidation of AI toward ethical, productive uses of the technology.

To paraphrase Dr. Joy Buolamwini, talent is caught between fascination and fear when it comes to AI. Leaders must provide opportunities for talent to interact with AI comfortably, helping to mitigate this fear, fostering intrigue, and positioning AI as a valuable co-pilot rather than an intimidating concept.

It's crucial to understand that AI tools aren't a fleeting trend, but rather a mainstay in our everyday professional lives. Leaders ignoring this advancement risk falling behind. Leaders must strap in and educate themselves about AI to lead their teams effectively.

CCOs Must Understand the Three A’s in 2024 – Alignment, AI, And Advancement.

Asha Palmer, SVP, Compliance Solutions

Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) will be challenged in 2024 to go beyond their roles and continue to be leaders, educators, and strategists all at once. CCOs will need to understand, manage, and focus on three A’s – Alignment, AI, and Advancement – to ensure successful compliance and training programs for their organizations.

It will be crucial for CCOs to ensure that their organization's practices and policies are in alignment with one another. Organizations that effectively align and integrate their commitments to diversity, compliance, and risk management into their day-to-day practices and operations will stand out. To just have a policy is insufficient, and organizations who only pay lip service to the principles expressed in their policies without true integration into the fabric of the organization — its people and its mission — will find themselves at a disadvantage.

AI awareness and adoption for compliance are imperative. The recent Executive Order (EO) from President Biden is a testament to this. As the EO and corresponding United States Office of Management and Budget guidance make clear, not only should organizations assess the opportunities presented by AI use, but they must simultaneously think through the responsible and ethical use of that AI, particularly generative AI. Many leaders are struggling to balance their (or their organizations’) trepidation versus fascination with this technology. Organizations that educate their employees on AI and generative AI can mitigate those feelings. Companies that invest in upskilling and reskilling their employees to harness the power of AI effectively and safely will differentiate themselves and grow.

As we’ve seen over the last few years, the responsibilities of a CCO will expand and advance to manage risks associated with human rights, ESG, AI, supply chain, data privacy, and cybersecurity. As such, companies will need to mature and broaden their compliance programs to handle this increased complexity. CCOs will need to be leaders in aligning policies with practices, educators in upskilling their teams, and strategists in advancing their compliance programs.

Looking Ahead

This year's predictions are underscored by a mutual goal for employees and employers. Workers aspire to more fulfilling professional paths, while businesses are keen on cultivating an adaptable, enduring, and uniquely skilled workforce. Attaining this shared objective will hinge upon significant investments in education and upskilling. Companies will also need to pivot to future-oriented talent strategies, focusing not just on immediate job roles but also on long-term potential. As Skillsoft SMEs have shared, investing in education and professional growth is not an added advantage but rather an imperative requirement for the longevity and triumph of any business in the evolving corporate landscape.

Interested in learning how Skillsoft can support you in the new year? Read more about our solutions and products and request a demo today.