Samantha Read
By Samantha Read on March 17, 2023

L&D Trends vs Theoretical Learning

L&D trends come and go, so as 2023 takes hold we wanted to put a few of this year's top trending L&D strategies up against the age-old classic... theoretical learning. 

Firstly, let's take a look at this year's top trends:

  1. Virtual and Remote Learning: With the rise of remote work and the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual learning became more important than ever. Many organisations are using online learning platforms and webinars to train their employees remotely.

  2. Microlearning: This is a trend that has been growing in popularity in recent years. Microlearning involves breaking down complex information into small, bite-sized pieces that are easier to digest and remember. This approach allows learners to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule.

  3. Personalised Learning: With the help of AI and machine learning, it is becoming increasingly possible to personalise learning experiences based on the needs and preferences of individual learners. Personalised learning can help increase engagement and retention.

  4. Gamification: This trend involves using game-like elements, such as points, badges, and leaderboards, to make learning more engaging and fun. Gamification can be particularly effective in motivating learners and reinforcing learning outcomes.

  5. Blended Learning: This approach involves combining different methods of learning, such as virtual learning, in-person training, and on-the-job training, to create a comprehensive and effective learning experience.

As for the question about social learning, it's important to note that social learning can be incorporated into many of these trends. For example, virtual and remote learning can involve social elements such as online discussion forums and video conferencing. Personalised learning can also include social components, such as peer-to-peer learning and collaborative projects. Therefore, it seems that social learning is still an important aspect of learning and development and not moving away anytime soon.


Okay, so how do these trends perform versus theoretical learning?

It's important to note that these trends in learning and development are not mutually exclusive of theoretical learning. In fact, many of these trends can be used in conjunction with traditional theoretical learning approaches to create a comprehensive learning experience.

For example, personalised learning can be used to tailor theoretical learning materials to meet the needs and preferences of individual learners. Gamification can be used to make theoretical learning more engaging and interactive. Blended learning can be used to combine theoretical learning with practical, hands-on experience.

The effectiveness of these trends versus theoretical learning may depend on various factors, such as the learning goals, the subject matter, and the learning style of the individual learner. However, in general, these trends are designed to enhance and supplement theoretical learning, rather than replace it entirely.

Overall, the trends in learning and development mentioned earlier can be seen as a way to make theoretical learning more engaging, interactive, and relevant to real-world situations. By incorporating these trends into theoretical learning approaches, it's possible to create a more well-rounded and effective learning experience.


How does Ethical Angel's offering of learning with purpose work versus theoretical learning?

Ethical Angel's offering of learning with purpose is designed to provide learners with practical and relevant learning experiences that are centered around real-world issues and challenges. The approach is based on the belief that learning is most effective when it is aligned with an individual's values, interests, and goals. And of course the power of practice…

In contrast, theoretical learning focuses more on the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of theoretical concepts and principles, which may not always be immediately applicable to real-world situations.

Ethical Angel's learning with purpose approach involves fully immersive practical projects that are designed to help learners develop practical skills, behaviours and knowledge in areas such as sustainability, diversity, and social impact.

The approach is designed to be highly interactive and engaging, with learners being able to collaborate with peers and receive feedback from causes around the globe. This can create a more engaging and relevant learning experience, which can lead to greater motivation, retention, and practical application of the knowledge and skills acquired.

Could theoretical learning be the prerequisite to Ethical Angel's offering and actually enhance what Ethical Angel offer?

Yes, theoretical learning could be a prerequisite to Ethical Angel's offering of learning with purpose, and it could also enhance the effectiveness of Ethical Angel's approach.

Theoretical learning provides learners with a foundational understanding of concepts and principles that are essential for effective problem-solving and decision-making in real-world situations. By learning theoretical concepts and principles, learners are better equipped to understand the context of real-world challenges and develop practical solutions.

Ethical Angel's learning with purpose approach builds upon this foundational knowledge by providing learners with practical experiences that enable them to apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world issues and challenges. The practical experiences offered by Ethical Angel can help learners to further develop their problem-solving and decision-making skills, and to gain practical experience in areas such as the ones mentioned above;  sustainability, diversity, and social impact. And many many more.

Therefore, by combining theoretical and social learning with Ethical Angel's offering of learning with purpose, learners can gain a more comprehensive and effective learning experience that is grounded in both theory and practice. 

Contact Sammy to find out more about what we can do to make all of the above work for your learning & development challenges.

Published by Samantha Read March 17, 2023
Samantha Read