Training delivery has grown from traditional, in-class, instructor-led courses to dynamic, agile learning methods that encompass webinar, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) models. These changes mean that instructors are now students on a journey to prepare for the future.

Training delivery trends may excite or confuse instructors who have been subject matter experts in the training craft for many years. They’ve made whole auditoriums laugh with their storytelling and helped learners recall their own experiences through touching language. The shift from feeding off the enthusiasm and energy in a classroom to finding ways to transport those benefits in an online setting is critical for the future. Does the advent of VR and AI relegate instructors to becoming glorified data collectors? Where does the human appeal fit in?

Mobile learning and social engagement have been key trends in training for several years now. The growth of just-in-time learning through phones, tablets and other electronic devices demonstrates the change in both the mode of training and the instructor’s role. Instructors will need to develop skills in creating video and audio courses that are engaging and do not require two-way feedback. Through podcasts, video microlearning and similar methods, instructors can still use their unique human appeal to teach learners.

Other trends, such as gamification, responsive web design and learning apps, are burgeoning ideas on the training delivery horizon. While many learning leaders think we may be another five years away from fully realizing and implementing these methods into mainstream learning, it behooves established instructors to develop their skills in these areas to be prepared for the shift in learning. Organizations will need knowledgeable and time-tested learning professionals with these new skills, coupled with knowledge of adult learning theory. Here is where the rubber will meet the road for many instructors.

Learning professionals and instructors need to make an shift in their approach to managing their career, their training and learning in general. It’s no secret that change is hard. It’s uncomfortable and a little scary. Often, we cling to the past and our current strengths and use them to foresee a future that may not be in line with industry trends. Now is the time to grab hold of the creativity, innovation and future of learning in a big way. Be the front-runner.

The future is coming, and it does not paint a picture where we dust off and modify our old ideas and present them as new. Industry disruption is coming. You can either usher it in and train the trainers for it, or you can be on the other side of the door, awaiting entry with every other learning professional who missed the curve.