The vast majority of corporate learning organizations (89%) are already using generative AI, but most individuals still remain apprehensive about the technology’s impact on their professional and personal lives. Generative AI is expected to both reduce repetitive tasks and accelerate the trend towards socially isolated professional environments, escalating the demand for learning experiences that center on human interaction and are built to create organizational alignment. To demonstrate, 52% of employees believe onboarding should either be at least one year or continuous, and 35% of employees say online, cohort learning is the best modality for onboarding, more than one-on-one virtual meetings (27%), mobile learning applications (22%), or virtual reality orientation (12%).
This timely data is from a just-released study run in partnership between global HR research and membership firm Executive Networks and NovoEd, the leading social and collaborative cohort-learning platform for deep capability building. The analysis finds that individuals crave community participation in times of uncertainty and are drawn to learning experiences that encourage and stimulate connection. Cohort learning, in particular, is a powerful way to engage employees in times of rapid transformation and can be used to both teach and communicate complex ideas and cultivate community within and beyond the boundaries of traditional enterprises.
The new report, “Cohort Learning in the Age of AI,” surveyed more than 500 professionals in the United States and United Kingdom to better understand the future of workplace learning in an age of generative AI. The insights bring to light several key findings about sentiment regarding generative AI and the ways in which this wave of technological disruption is accelerating transformative value of peer-driven, experiential learning.
Connection matters across every facet of the enterprise, both internal and external, and can even be a competitive advantage. “Companies must expand their audience and approach to learning to engage a larger pool of potential talent,” said Jeanne Meister, Founder of Future Workplace and Executive Vice President of Executive Networks. “Extending opportunities for cohort-based learning and pathways to career development for an organization’s full ecosystem also creates natural opportunities for connection with important stakeholders and deepens relationships that matter with employees, customers, partners, and communities.”
Additionally, as workplace demographics and work environments shift, learners are bringing expectations from the on-demand, personalized media of their consumer lives to the workplace. Today’s learners look for experiences that are peer driven and integrate the best possible content with a rich community of deliberate practice. With the advent of generative AI, learning organizations are becoming more free than ever before to think creatively about the content and ideas they are communicating as well as the learning experience within which that content is enmeshed and delivered.
“In the face of generative AI transforming our workplaces and ways in which we approach our jobs, online cohort-based learning is uniquely suited to bring the texture, dynamism, and weight of in-person human interaction into remote and hybrid contexts,” said NovoEd Chief Strategy Officer Todd Moran. “While the ability to source data from an array of tools gives us all a wealth of information and opportunities at our fingertips, it’s what and how we learn from each other — as human beings — that brings that learning to life. That’s why top organizations are investing in learning that puts peer-to-peer community and interaction at its center. This both decentralizes learning and drives engagement by enabling people to learn the way that they live and connect.”
About the Survey
The Cohort Learning in the Age of AI: 2023 Future of Learning Study was conducted by Executive Networks and NovoEd. These organizations jointly conducted a survey of 505 professionals evenly split between the U.S. and the U.K., representing a range of age groups, company sizes, and demographic communities. The study reached corporate learning executives as well as both full-time and part-time workers.