Every year The Open University (OU) looks at emerging workplace learning trends, publishing the findings in our annual Trends in Learning report. We identify which trends we think are the most important and interesting – those that we think are already having or are most likely to have a big impact on learning in the workplace. The findings come partly from our research and also from our conversations and work with employers and partnership organisations.
This year’s report is a particularly special one for us as it marks the 10-year anniversary of the Trends in Learning reports. As a result, we have extended our focus out for the report this year. As well as exploring new and emerging trends, we have also reflected on some of the trends that have featured in the reports over the last 10 years. Some of those trends are still evolving and have morphed into new trends, such as learning to learn, which was discussed in the 2014 report, and was a precursor to one of the trends discussed in this year’s report - pedagogy of autonomy.
All of the trends originate from another significant piece of OU research that has also been running for 10 years – the annual Innovating Pedagogy report. This report focuses on innovations in the education sector, highlighting new approaches to learning and how thinking and practice is changing.
The five trends are supplemented with interviews from L&D experts with tips for employers to bring these trends into their own educational provision.
I lead the Learning Futures programme at the OU. This is a research-based programme that analyses innovations and emerging themes in the fields of educational technologies, teaching and learning practices. Our work enables us to explore the potential of new approaches to learning and to share our insights and thinking with the education and learning sectors. We try to make our findings as accessible and practical as possible so that we reach and help a wide audience.Professor Agnes Kukulska-Hulme
The Open University