There are many people who will be involved in the development and design of adult learning. Instructional designers, trainers, teachers, web and software developers and more will all need to be involved in the development and design of adult learning as it moves into the future. I think something that is also important is that the adults who are experiencing the adult learning be involved in its development and design since those are the people it will be touching.
According to Dunn (2007), e-learning is the way of the future, and many in the field will need to be get away from the formerly popular Instructional Systems Design (ISD) in order to be successful. There are claims that the ISD process is too exploratory and that it is not clear-cut, and may be a bit messy and inefficient. This article claims that the way of the future is to not even use the ADDIE model anymore (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation). The author feels this way of analyzing and reporting and defining instructional opportunities worked very well for a while, and now we are in different times. He proposes that a new design model, called SCRUM, is radical but the new wave of the future if we are going to really program in the e-learning forum. Whatever the case, or the models that are used, Instructional Designers are a much-needed part of the process.
Since so much of the adult learning that will go on will be involved with the world of information technology, e-learning environments will need to be created. This means that web and software developers must be involved to create the forums in which the adult learners will learn. According to Wan, et. al., those involved in Information Technology will be closely involved with adult learning now and in the future.
In addition to Instructional Designers, web, and software designers, trainers and teachers are going to be an integral part of what is to come for adult learning. They are the ones who are delivering the curriculum, and the ones who are able to see first hand if learners are grasping the information. These people, in combination with the others aforementioned, will be able to deliver the most up-to-date and pertinent information to the adult learners.
Lastly, adult learners themselves should and will be a part of the process of developing their own curriculum. This will be accomplished by end-of-course surveys, interviews, wish lists, and honest feedback completed by the learners to shape what is around for them in the future.
These changes will impact Instructional Design greatly. If there are changes to be made, new technologies to use, new systems and models to try, etc., then there will be the need for those involved in the process to change as well. Open-mindedness, and a desire to learn and grow will be important qualities for those involved to maintain as adult learning moves toward the future. The most important people in this process are the adult learners, and as long as what is best for them is kept at the forefront, there is a bright future ahead.