In this conversation between Tom Savigar and Eli James, Mélie Schaer and Key Kawamura of Studio Banana, we will dive into six trends that are shaping learning behaviours, and new approaches to learning digitally and physically, based on the experience we have acquired working with international academic institutions like WISE, IMD, 42 Coding School, IE University, IE Business School, HEP, IDHEAP, British Council School or HES-SO.
Why is the world of learning rapidly changing?
What a time we live. Already the ‘transformational twenties’ are having a profound effect on our lives, especially when it comes to the world of learning. More of us are now able to ‘learn from anywhere’ as remote living and working becomes the norm.
Indeed, in the last year many companies have done well outside of cities as new hotspots have formed in rural locations, national parks, mountain regions and coastal towns. “I agree, there are so many exciting new locations to learn, work and play now, and I can imagine how a network of nature-based physical environments can really enhance people’s learning experience”, comments Mélie.
The impact of ‘bleisure’
“Learning ecosystems will bring together the effectiveness and expertise of the business world; with the emotion and experience of leisure brands”, says Eli. Indeed, the blur between business and leisure has been coming for some time, and now this is redefining the learning category.
When it comes to adult learning, we will see more companies using this formula for success. New hybrid and dynamic learning experiences will use innovative rituals and tools to maximise a person’s learning ability. The emphasis will be on creating compelling and memorable experiences that surround the learner, and deliver higher levels of impact in their lives.
Learning as a coached experience
Amid these transformational times, learning journeys are increasingly leveraging the power of coaching, with successful learning companies coaching learners from all angles. Indeed, coaching is the second fastest growing sector worldwide so it makes sense that the world of learning increasingly focuses on elevating people’s total wellbeing; and engaging them in meaningful ways that always leave a person feeling in a better state of body, mind and even spirit.
“To enable this coaching-led style of learning we will need to experiment with new technologies that cater to a learner’s mental and physical state, and context”, adds Key. “Better connectivity with the IOT and better sentience with affective computing are two technologies we are excited about within the learning environment.”
So how is the world of learning unleashing different learning styles?
Knowing the learner
“We must appreciate that the emerging learner is more self-taught, self-actualised and self-caring than ever before, and their demand for personalisation and control will transform how learning is done”, says Mélie. “This is because they have harnessed many digital tools to master anything that gives them satisfaction, and this is why successful learning institutions will be much more adaptive and experimental.”
The idea of a learning habitat that adapts to a learner’s personal needs and demands is exciting. The key is harnessing the power of an individual’s moods and mindsets to optimise their learning ability anytime, anywhere.
For example, creating customised sound frequencies could boost mood or productivity, and personalised interfaces could spot, track and improve a learners’ focus and motivation levels through the learning journey. Imagine always having the energy and ability to learn at the highest level possible.
It makes sense then that learning will become more organic, expansive and decentralized. “Learning habitats will go beyond synchronous learning and harness the collective brain power and skills of a learning community, not just the expert faculty. Try to imagine vibrant digital and physical systems, where learning habitats foster higher levels of serendipity and spontaneity not commonly found in the traditional classroom”, explains Eli.
Is the age of faculty-to-student learning over? It seems this model is rapidly becoming outdated as more learners see the value of multidimensional exchanges between themselves, teachers and other learners.
So what else can we look forward to in the world of learning?
“Well, if knowledge is not delivered in rich formats, it does not register. These learning habitats will capture, enrich and maintain attention spans with immersive and unconventional learning techniques that stimulate active and passive forms of learning”, comments Key. “We will see the rise of super-engaging parallel worlds and synthetic realities that, if applied to learning, could simulate challenges, opportunities and enable people to overcome knowledge boundaries.”
“At the same time though, gamified learning ecosystems are enabling adult learners to ‘know’ what it could feel like when knowledge is accumulated and applied; and they seamlessly turn abstract and difficult knowledge into tangible and usable outcomes”, says Eli.
Building on online game platforms and game creation systems, new gamified learning habitats will not be hamstrung by traditional educational models. Learning habitats will feature avatar teachers that invite learning communities to play levels, learn complex concepts and experience real world simulations in the process. And thanks to on-demand learn-as-you-play models, these habitats will be more addictive than a typical digital classroom experience.
There is a lot to look forward to in the learning environment, and Studio Banana is constantly experimenting with these new realities. Here are a few thought starters to inspire our next conversation: