September 8th 2020 – Article – 5 minute read

7 eLearning Trends For 2020 And Beyond

When companies hire new employees, it is important that new members are introduced to the workflow immediately in order to maximize the team’s efficiency. However this objective requires an organized process, where a new member goes through SMART training and is able to see clear progress. This can be achieved through eLearning — the practice of digital education.

eLearning has its origins in 1990s when it began as a method to enhance learning. Over the decades it has evolved due to and also by technology where workforce skills and knowledge are increasingly important. Trends and requirements to train employees quickly, cost efficiently and also to pass down knowledge in a systemic way, created a need for eLearning. While companies relied (some still do) on instructor training, having eLearning course ultimately generates better results while also reaching many more people, that an instructor ever could.

By 2025 the eLearning market is expected to reach $325 billion. Employee requirements for skill and productivity change as technology related changes bring new trends. Corporations use digital systems to organize and standardize learning practices that make education more streamlined and fun to do.

Why is eLearning getting so popular? Well the reason is digitization and rapid technological advancements. Digital connectivity, information sharing, ease of use devices, all help eLearning to utilize the best learning programs which cut training time, are cost effective and standardize knowledge that is passed on. Flexibility of eLearning is what makes it such a great investment for corporations.

Corporations are slowly realizing that using the correct eLearning tools can increase productivity by 30%. Lets not stop there. Employee engagement while using eLearning is 18% better than traditional methods, while also cutting down on time spent learning by 65%. To make these stats even better, eLearning knowledge retention rates are up to 60% higher compared to instructor training.

There is no doubt that eLearning is the future for any corporation or company that relies on instructors training their employees. The main advantage of eLearning is that it is the best presentation of learning you can create, while at the same time it offers entertainment to your trainees. And when trainees have fun, they remember more. There are many reasons why corporations and schools will continue adapting eLearning: it is cost effective, time saving, flexible, convenient and can be adjusted to any age group.

To help you understand eLearning a bit more and what trends are currently popular, we will describe them in this article. Once you understand what each of the different eLearning technologies do, it will help you execute proper training program to develop your employees skills. Our goal is that you find the best training strategy and receive a return on investment.

eLearning Benefits in Corporate Training

Advancement in research of human behavior and learning, helped eLearning industry grow quickly with the technologies it is incorporating. With many companies having multi generational workforce it is vital that training is done to pass knowledge quickly, and as clearly as possible to your workforce.

eLearning benefits for business

1. Mobile Learning

Mobile phones have become portable computers in their own way. It allows instant connectivity to billions of people around the world, take photos, watch movies, visit social media and websites, all in the palm of their hand. To put into perspective why this is important, the estimated number of smart phones around the world is set to reach 7 billion in 2021. Since world population is estimated at 7.5 billion this means more than 90% of people own a smart phone.

As the number of people owning a smart phone grows, so too grows the accessibility and usefulness of smart phones. Today we can access bank accounts, scan QR codes, use a phone camera to see which clothes or glasses fit on us. That is why smart phones are a great eLearning platform due to their mobility and ease of use. This is why companies put a lot of effort into mobile learning and use it as the cornerstone of their learning and development strategy.

Mobile learning might not have reached its potential yet, but the current results are already promising. It is estimated that 67% of people access learning on their mobile device, while 99% believe that learning through their phone enhances their experience.

What makes mobile learning so attractive to companies is the mobility. Trainees can decide to learn when and where they want to learn, while their performance can be monitored and assigned an instructor should they not understand the course completely.

Mobile learning offers great benefits such as flexibility, accessibility and mobility. This is why advancements will be made to focus on smart phone learning in the future. Apps will be developed where trainee performance will be monitored via camera that will record and analyze trainees facial expression to see whether they understand and if they need additional help learning. It is safe to expect that mobile learning will be among the most used and impactful learning platforms.

Key talking points:

  • The freedom and convenience to learn on the go is the reason mobile learning is growing.
  • Mobile learning is expected to continue growing, thanks to increasing usage of mobile devices.
Mobile eLearning

2. Video Learning

Video is currently the most used and sought after eLearning tool. You might have just watched a learning video without knowing on popular social media such as Youtube or Facebook. Since these platforms enable video sharing, they helped video establish itself as the most entertaining form of media online.

A survey revealed that 70% of trainees want to watch a video over any other form of content to learn about new knowledge about products or services. That is a powerful indication just how important is to utilize video as your learning method.

Video learning is easy to consume and can be highly entertaining to the trainee watching it. Imagine having the perfect instructor, that tells jokes, keeps things interesting, engages trainees and has high level of effectiveness. That is what video training does. It creates the best version of an instructor possible since it is well thought out in advance, combining only the best entertaining and training value to the viewers.

Video learning enables absorbing new knowledge in easy to understand format, while also allowing viewers to replay and rewatch any information they might have forgotten. What videos do great is that they are dynamic and entertaining. When combined with interactive interface, they can promote quick distribution of knowledge and increases engagement rates.

Considering that attention span is only getting shorter, having interesting videos will greatly help you train employees properly and with great effect.

Video learning can be combined with pretty much any other eLearning method, making it a lasting and well thought out investment that will help companies grow and educate their employees.

Key talking points:

  • Captures attention and increases engagement rates.
  • Video learning offers many benefits with makes it a must use for any company.
  • Video training will only gain in efficiency and popularity.
Video Learning - eLearning

3. Augmented, Virtual and Mixed Reality learning

Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) – AR/VR/MR are new emerging immersive technologies. By incorporating physical and virtual worlds they are redefining learning experience which makes it increasingly popular in corporate eLearning. While these technologies might be new there are still making an impact.

VR is currently mostly used for training in military, medicine such as surgeons, fire fighters and other high risk jobs. This technology is highly valuable because it can put trainees through situations that enable them to learn and gain valuable experience without being exposed to any dangers. Such training helps develop skills needed for their jobs efficiently and quickly.

What makes AR/VR/MR so promising is the ability to integrate information and content which is projected in virtual or augmented environments. These technologies are called the future of eLearning due to their limitless potential.

A good example of how AR/VR/MR can be used was shown by Walmart when they trained over 140,000 associates for Black Friday experience, when they used these technologies to pass down valuable experience and knowledge in order to prepare their workers.

What researches discovered when using immersive technologies is that it has cut training time by nearly 75%! This makes immersive technologies incredibly useful to corporations and schools to implement into their training courses.

AR/VR/MR technologies are estimated to grow between $40 to $120 billion industry by 2024. Considering the near limitless possibilities of AR/VR/MR in teaching, it’s development is gaining speed. Not only do they allow for fast and efficient learning they can also reach and teach people in remote areas. These technologies will most likely become the prevalent teaching method in schools in the long term future.

Key talking points:

  • AR/VR/MR is an immersive learning experience.
  • The use of this technology in training will continue to grow.
  • Immersive technologies enable trainees to gain valuable experience.
VR learning takes less time

4. Game-Based Learning

Game based learning uses fun game mechanics to get high engagement and boosts retention rates of learners. While it’s beginnings weren’t actually serious (initially it was meant as a marketing gimmick for learning) but it has established itself as modern eLearning strategy. Game learning in many ways owes it’s sudden rise to actual puzzle based games and researches that studied their effect on kids playing them.

Surveys also corroborate that game learning actually helps employees. 95% of employees said they enjoy using gaming inspired elements in their work. Game learning participants score 14% higher skill based assessments. 83% of employees claim they feel more motivated when their training is gamified.

Businesses and schools of different types and sizes are now using gamification to increase the effectiveness of learning. By learning through a gaming experience, the users have incentive to play and finish the course. That is why organizations use game eLearning to improve employees skills in engaging way.

Game based eLearning courses aim to simplify the learning process. The core idea is to create fun experience to the learner, boost motivational levels and boost retention rates. Game based learning in corporate training also helps create emotional learning experience.

Key talking points:

  • Game experience approach in learning helps deliver knowledge in fun ways.
  • A fun experience creates incentive to finish and remember training course.
  • Gamification use will increase use across multiple corporate training models.

5. Microlearning

Microlearning is a method designed to give the learner small size content to facilitate quick knowledge absorption and better retention rates. Microlearning has short learning courses about 2-8 minutes long with specific and direct knowledge. These easy to consume courses help the learner reach a specific goal, fast and efficiently.

Microlearning was created as a means to educate employees that simply do not have time. In average an employee dedicates only 1% of their work week to professional growth. In a 40 hour week, that means they only use 24 minutes. For employees that simply do not have time to have in depth training, microlearning offers a great alternative.

For corporate training, microlearning shines for two reasons. One is that allows companies to deliver direct and purposeful knowledge tailored to what the trainee needs. Short, focused courses allow for more efficient training.

The second reason is that it can be utilized on any device, be it mobile, desktop or tablet, with any form of content such as video, graphics or text. The ability to deliver microlearning on any device is certainly a great feature that allows for maximization of employee training.

Considering the great strides that microlearning has been making over the past few years it is safe to say that the benefits it provides will make it grow exponentially in the coming years.

Key talking points:

  • Microlearning enables short and specific courses of training tailored to the needs of the employee.
  • It can be used on any device at any time, with different content such as video, game, picture or text.

6. Big Data in eLearning

Connectivity shapes the world and it enabled us rapid advancement in technology, changed behavior of people and brought new work related challenges. This means new models of learning will need to be implemented in schools and workplaces.

Big data isn’t just describe the volume of data being collected, though that is part of the equation. It refers to brand new types of data being collected that were previously unavailable, but that can now be analyzed thanks to rapid advancements in computer processing power, providing us with new answers to questions about how people learn and digest information.

Big data uses data collected by system that people use, such as social media, or learning software. That means if someone uses a training course program, data is collected on course completion rate, progress, results, efficiency and any other information that is relevant to their training.

The collected data is then anylized which enables organizations to tailor training to the unique needs of trainees. Since the system analyzes how a person operates inside a training module, it sees where they struggle, what the difficult parts are, the mistakes they make and their level of understanding of the training course. This provides insight that enable organizations to improve their learning modules in order to help employees get the best learning.

The process that Big Data uses to analyze learning is called Learning Analytics (LA) which helps companies remove ineffective training. It saves organizations time and money, while also providing adaptable and efficient learning.

In fact Big Data is all around us already. Just as Big Data uses consumer habits for digital marketing (targeting and re-targeting through social media and search engines) so too is Big Data used in eLearning. It’s goal is to predict which learning module will yield highest results in order to best help learners gain new knowledge.

Key talking points:

  • Big Data analyzes training efficiency and helps organizations predict the best possible eLearning courses.
  • Big Data tracks training KPIs: course completion rates, training efficiency, where improvements can be made, offers personalized learning experiences and engagement rates.

7. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is truly the eLearning technology of the future. It is slowly working it’s way into the corporate and business world. What AI brings is potential to revolutionize learning as we know it.

The main selling point of AI learning is it’s continues learning. By doing so it can personalize learning suited to each trainee, since AI takes into consideration of learners weaknesses, strengths, interests and personality.

AI analyzes all information about the learner’s behavior in order to gain insight into what learning options should be created. By doing so it serves learning modules personalized directly to the learner taking a course. By offering such personalized learning experience, the rate of engagement and success rise dramatically.

AI is the technology that organizations will need to implement in order to start offering learning experience that appeals to learners. With further hardware and software advances, the sky is the only limit for AI eLearning.

Key Artificial Intelligence Takeaways

  • AI creates personalized eLearning experience for learners by understand their behavior and strengths.
  • AI is constantly evolving and learning to accurately predict which learning course learners will need.

Enhance your (e)learning

The forward thinking organizations will take advantages of eLearning trends we described in order to promote growth and expand their workforce knowledge. But like with any organization it is up to you to think about how your learning programs work and what would be best to implement in the future.

What is certain is that workers will need more and more knowledge while the allocated time to get relevant experience will only get shorter. Training needs to be well thought out and companies would be smart to start with Big Data to first understand their workforce before moving on to applying the best eLearning system.

These trends should help you understand what the future hold and how you can prepare and educate your employees. The eLearning industry will only grow in the future and companies need to decide whether they will grow as well, or be left behind in the learning curve. Employees are the greatest resource any company has, therefore investing into expending their knowledge should be number 1 priority for any organization.

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