10 Predictions for L&D in 2026

10 L&D Predictions for 2026

As part of our research for the State of L&D 2016 report with InSync Training, we asked for predictions of “What will L&D look like in 10 years?”

We received a lot of great predictions. Some were farfetched while others predicted a future not too different from now. Overall, respondents predicted curated learning experiences, expect that technology will continue to influence learning, and that the blended approach will remain. Several respondents spoke about the role of virtual reality to enhance training while others yearned for a future where the L&D role is considered more integral to the organization.

But enough from us. Here are 10 predictions for you to read for yourself:

L&D Predictions 2026

  1. “I am sure that most of the training will be online in some fashion (social media, mobile, web-based, asynchronous, live streaming) but it won’t look as different as you might think because we need personal interaction between trainer and trainee as well as validation from administration. Measurement can’t be based on course completion, mastery must be demonstrated.”
  2. “Learning will be more self directed, learners will pick their own content and the learning experience will be customised to each individual based on their role, social profile and integrated with technology to track their learning and reinforcement in real-time e.g. mobile device to track location and time, wearables to track their heart-rate, body temp, voice, tempo, body movement, stress level to analyse their learning such as a client demo, presentation or performing a specific task.”
  3. “[V]irtual reality glasses for immersion training with lectures, live synchronous group activities, simulations, and regular tips.”
  4. “Ten years from now, L&D will be totally personalized based on competency requirements and will be applicable to all.”
  5. “Similar as today. With the following: Neuroscience is helping us be more targeted in effective strategies. Integration of technology to support identifying leading performance metrics and analytics, Learners having several digital tools to support self paced learning, recognition that learning strategy and business outcomes are well integrated.”
  6. “I think we are finding out that e-Learning cannot replace all training, and we are moving to a more blended approach with some e-Learning and some face-to-face coaching and mentoring. I believe that the future will look like this along with the use of mobile devices.”
  7. “Ten years from now, L&D will be seamlessly integrated into work. Contextual help, distracting learning events (they pull you away from what you’re doing to help you do it better), and play. Much L&D is still stuck in a linear mode when we have hypermedia at our fingertips and know that we learn in strange ways!”
  8. “I think L&D will take a turn back into the classroom. People like the personal touch and the opportunity to practice what they’ve learned with other people. I also think there will be a true acceptance of coaching in the workplace, which will reinforce training efforts the way I wish they were being reinforced now.”
  9. “[L&D] wont exist.  There will be social collaboration across silos supported by organisational experts, including some who might see their historic hinterland as being L&D.”
  10. “Hopefully more than “order takers”: integrated business partners who assess needs, co-design solutions with clients/partners, consistently evaluate and improve our processes and results, are viewed and treated as essential members of the organization who contribute to the bottom line.”

Of course, these wouldn’t be predictions of the future without a couple of Ray Bradbury-influenced answers, so we give honorary mentions to: “Vending machines that fire knowledge lasers directly into one’s brain through the eye” and “the scene from the new(ish) star trek where spock goes to school :)”.

Which of these predictions do you think is correct?

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