Adaptive learning: A key accelerator in human flourishing
According to UNESCO, “Human flourishing is both the optimal continuing development of human beings’ potentials and living well as a human being, which means being engaged in relationships and activities that are meaningful, i.e. aligned with both their own values and humanistic values, in a way that is satisfying to them.”
Simply put, this means optimizing the way we live for a more satisfactory and meaningful lifestyle. How can this be implemented in our careers and daily lives?
Consider this: With advanced wearables/IoT, augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR), co-bots, brain-computer interfaces (BCI), and AI/ML, learning can become inclusive, accessible, adaptive, empowering, progressive and sustainable. Along these lines, our personal development and professional careers can be transformed through tailored learning. An ideal system would understand and adjust to our individual and collective needs, individual abilities, moods, reception modes, content preferences and future opportunities. If we are able to tap into our potential and personalize the way we learn, adapt and grow, human flourishing is within our reach.
By 2026, different aspects of technology and learning are expected to enable a higher quality of life at work, and support individuals in progressing towards self-actualization and flourishing. In psychology, self-actualization is the process by which an individual reaches his or her full potential — in other words, the intersection of what we are and what we can be.
In this article, I would like to focus on adaptive learning and its role in human flourishing as we try to define how we actually learn as opposed to how we want to learn. Are we ready to review our habits and leave our comfort zone?
Adaptive learning: An accelerator in human flourishing
In late 2021, members of Atos Scientific Community conducted a study in human flourishing, aimed at investigating employees’ learning ambitions. The researchers observed that, in terms of engagement in the learning processes, more than half of the participants considered a duration of 2 to 4 hours per week as optimal for learning, preferably in a hybrid or online environment.
In general, the participants preferred content delivered “live” by an expert in the respective area and/or online in a dynamic setting — where interactions between lecturers and participants are possible. This is largely related to their understanding of the term “adaptive learning,” which means everything from individual adaptation to current needs to completely customized learning experiences.
Human flourishing means optimizing the way we live for a more satisfactory and meaningful lifestyle, and adaptive learning is a key driver for it.
An adaptive learning system should understand and adjust to our needs, abilities, moods, preferences and opportunities — but are we really ready to leave our comfort zone?
Figure 1: Learning preferences of employees, based on the Atos study in human flourishing
These results are well aligned with forecasts for the next few years.
For instance, Forbes recently published an overview of workplace HR trends in 2023 and beyond. It is not surprising to see the huge importance that hybrid learning will have for the enhancement of corporate learning academies.
Even more critical is the need to define quickly and precisely what is meant by a hybrid model, so that all parties are on the same page. Great attention must also be paid to personal learning and mastery according to areas of interest and deepening expertise.
We also need to address the co-existence of humans and bots – which is rapidly becoming the new blended workforce.
There are some interesting insights on how crucial it is to have a healthy ecosystem that supports human flourishing and lifelong learning. One of the most insightful views is the proposal for a 24/7 opt-in, AI-enabled, user-friendly super app that transcends industry boundaries. Leading businesses and brands would be the primary resource of providing services for this app that will incentivize and guide individuals towards sustained human flourishing. Why not offer an opt-in community (in-person, virtually and eventually in a global Metaverse) that allows members to support the achievement of optimal wellbeing for others? They can do this by supporting causes that help the poor, those who lack services, and those seeking new possibilities on their journey to flourishing.
All that aside, what is this new hunger for learning all about? What are the biggest areas of interest and motivation for future development? Keeping in mind recent trends, it is not surprising that artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cloud, cybersecurity, and metaverse are taking the lead.
Human flourishing: What’s on the horizon?
Is this the future of human flourishing? Will human flourishing become entirely virtual? We do not have a clear answer yet, but we still need to deliberate and discuss the following pertinent points:
- Who is driving the learning journey? Is it the individual, society, the technology advancements, market needs or something else entirely?
- How can a well-established habit be changed? Is it even possible? How can the ambition to transform and make the desired future a reality push the buttons of its transformation process?
- What about transactional processes like giving and receiving? How do personal engagement, time allocation, active participation vs. stimulating learning environment, content, technology, and mentors play a role in this?
- What about reality? The real one? The augmented one? And the virtual one?
Most importantly, how do we align with the new? Do we live the change or lead it? And how do we envision the future of human flourishing for ourselves and those around us?
If you would like to continue the discussion about human flourishing or adaptive learning, I’m excited to exchange ideas with you. You can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with me on LinkedIn.