Looking at the cover of this edition of Training Industry Magazine, many of you may have thought, “Was that a typo? Isn’t it ADAPTIVE LEARNING?” Well, in fact, the term is adaptive learning, but we felt the discussion should be broadened to consider all forms of personalized learning, because in the end, there is resounding consensus that the training with the most significant impact is that which is conformed to the individual taking the program.

We understand that in the corporate context personalizing learning may not always be practical. Our opinion is that the learning and development team in any company should still be looking for opportunities to contextualize learning or bring it as close as possible to the on-the-job reality where the new skills should be applied. As business people, we should default to the situation where learning impacts a company’s performance because it is closing skill gaps, or in some way corrects a behavior, action or inaction that is or could be impacting the company’s performance.

What is really exciting about the current reality in corporate training is that we now have the tool kit required to take big strides in the right direction. If we think of personalization at the total experience level, versus simply at the “course” level, it opens opportunities to truly personalize at scale. These tools and technologies not only facilitate elements of the learning experience that are outside the course, they also allow us to track and modify them as a program rolls out.

For example, personalization may take place in the social learning part of the learning experience. It is not unreasonable to consider focused coaching or mentoring on areas that an employee may have a greater than normal skills gap in. Or perhaps, designing practice that is done on the job to ensure that the skills are applied correctly in the context of the employee’s role.

This collection of articles will share some insights on how your organization may consider adapting your learning initiatives to the needs of the individual in the context of their role in your company. Our goal at Training Industry is to provide you with the insights and tools needed to more effectively manage the business of learning. As always, we would love to hear your thoughts about the points of views shared in the magazine.