Flash Five: #Learning Trends in August 2021


Snippets of what caught our eye in the world of learning


Learning Trend #1


GCSE and A-level results days brought headline good news, demonstrating the resilience and determination of young people in the UK.


However, some - including an education trust and an education provider - argue that extra funding to help students and efforts to address entrenched inequalities should be stepped up.


3 female colleagues

Learning Trend #2


According to Coursera's 2021 Global Skills Report, women have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Global total employment loss for women is at 5% in 2020 vs 3.9% for men.


The opportunity for training providers is clear - as women continue to seek new opportunities, the share of course enrolments from female learners has increased at an unprecedented pace from 38% to 45% between 2018/9 and 2020. 


colleagues looking at a tablet


Learning Trend #3


NCFE has launched a £1 million assessment innovation fund. The fund aims to support the piloting of new approaches to assessment. This includes testing out new and innovative ideas and exploring the use of technology.


NCFE is offering up to £100,000 to fund 2 pilots as part of the phase 1 funding round that closes on 1 October 2021. Applicants from any organisation are invited to submit their ideas for better assessment that meets the needs of learners and educators today.

technology jobs

Learning Trend #4


The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has said that retraining is essential as 20% of companies consider redundancies post-furlough. The BCC calls for the government to extend skills training as their research shows nearly 1 in 5 companies are considering making redundancies as the next phase of furlough tapering begins.


The BCC says, "With widespread skills shortages across the economy, some will find new jobs where their skills are in demand, while others will need to retrain for opportunities in a different sector. It is crucial that employers and the government give them the support and training they need to be re-engaged and productive."



active listening in a meeting

Learning Trend #5


What does active listening really mean? Recent research by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman has shown that it isn't enough to do what many of us have always thought constitute good listening, i.e.:


  • Not speaking when others are talking


  • Let others know you’re listening through facial expressions and verbal sounds


  • Able to repeat what others have said


Instead, key findings from Zenger and Folkman's analysis show that:


  • People perceive the best listeners to be those who periodically ask questions that promote discovery and insight.


  • Good listeners made the other person feel supported and conveyed confidence in them.


  • Good listening was characterised by the creation of a safe environment in which issues and differences could be discussed openly.


  • Good listeners may challenge assumptions and disagree, but the person being listened to feels the listener is trying to help, not wanting to win an argument.


The authors conclude that good listeners are like trampolines. They are someone you can bounce ideas off of — and rather than absorbing your ideas and energy, they amplify, energise, and clarify your thinking.


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Carol Y. Pang

Carol Y. Pang is a Content Manager for findcourses.co.uk. Prior to this, she has 12 years of experience in the corporate and financial sectors. She believes that people are fundamental to an organisation’s success, and that effective training can create a motivated and engaged workforce.