Every year we analyse new trends in elearning to see what will be hot and trending. This time we decided to focus on workplace training to list what to do and what tools to use to achieve success in the next 12 months. With less time devoted to professional development and pressure on onboarding new staff comes a challenge. Especially when combined with ever so distracted, overwhelmed and impatient workers of today. What technology and elearning trends to use to boost professional development, self-education as well as performance and skills?
‘1 % of typical work week is all that employees have to focus on training and development’, Josh Bersin, infographic
2018 elearning trends
Based on various digital publications and elearning experts views, we created our own list of key elearning trends for 2018. How many of them have you considered to implement this year? It’s never too late to start innovating!
Video, video, video
Our top contender is a video format. It’s high up on companies to do list with ‘98% of organisations saying they would implement video as part of their digital learning strategy’. But to work it needs to be very short and engaging following principles of microlearning (see point 5). ‘Most learners won’t watch videos longer than 4 minutes.’ It can also very easily become a distractor to busy, always connected workers, frequently checking their smartphones and interrupted by messages and chats.
But the power of video learning cannot be questioned. According to 2017 Enterprise Learning Annual Report : ‘In 2016, Web-based training and instructors were tied at 88% as the most used channels for learning initiatives; and video took the #3 spot at 74%. In 2017, the entire game changed: Video came in as the #1 channel for learning delivery.’
So what are the principles to follow when it comes to the one of these most important elearning trends this year – video?
- Short and targeted
- Interactive and available on cross-device
- Based on user-generated content
Although this concept appeared quite a few years ago it seems to continue evolving and returning back with force. Many consider it as an important driver of business performance. It’s an answer on how to showcase various business scenarios, and ask workers to solve them. All of this done with fun and laughter while gaining invaluable knowledge. And in 2018, following key elearning trends, many suggest to adjust it further using Artificial intelligence as learners continue to play.
According to Gartner, in its Gamification 2020 report, gamification, combined with other emerging trends and technologies, will have a significant impact on:
• The design of employee performance
• Globalization of higher education
• Emergence of customer engagement platforms
• Personal development
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‘Research supports the fact that learners tend to retain only 10% of what they learned after 4 weeks of attending a training or eLearning program.’ Therefore key focus of 2018 will be an ongoing, planned and long-term upskilling approach, often called enablement. It’s based on a principle of filling a learning programme with multiple interventions, chat sessions and learning forums.
“Education in the future will deliver learning to people wherever they are and be available when needed and easily accessed. Education will be personalised and tailored to the current and future needs of the learner. Education won’t just be about completing courses, it will also involve collaboration and openly sharing experience so that people can learn from each other.” Matt Guyan; Theedvocate
Workforce enablement is often delivered on desktop but also via mobile. Some call it a ‘digital weapon’ especially in areas such as sales and marketing. For sales reps it can combine various elements. ‘Collaboration and alignment, training and upskilling as well as usage of smart and intelligent technologies. All of them together to improve results and productivity of sales.’ The elearning industry organisation believe that in 2018: ‘Organisations will look beyond standard learning nuggets and look for more tools that can enhance learner productivity. Workforce enablement through targeted interventions will be a strong trend in 2018.
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Big data, analytics and intelligence they bring fully entered workplace e-classrooms. Many experts quote it as one of the key 2018 elearning trends as it enables to refine and adapt programmes and approaches based on results. It’s all about using learning data to improve outcomes for learners. And the future of learning analytics predicted by many is greater integration and interoperability, moving away from disjointed data to one 360 view to gain better understanding of learners’ needs and progress.
An industry research shows that: ‘70% of L&D teams are keen to develop their skills in using data to design, evaluate and deliver better learning solutions.’ It’s all about moving away from flux to focus in elearning – thanks to centralised and well analysed data.
As a part of this trend, many elearning experts add a category of Smarter apps as a key elearning trend. These apps are equipped with better analytics offering a more complete and nuanced picture of how learners are performing.
Microlearning became the industry buzzword that has everyone talking.‘It is training broken down into bite-sized pieces to educate learners without requiring a massive time investment.’ To catch up with need of ongoing small pieces of content, in 2018 companies will need to invest in more content creation and curation. But also focus on giving employees time to process what they learn with attention spans getting shorter. In 2018 it’s expected to take shape of:
- delivered on point of need and location – reducing costs and time of training
- presented as small chunks of learning materials – easy to watch and digest
- scheduled in a shape of campaigns – with small chunks of knowledge delivered to end users as often as on daily basis
- based on show and tell principle -1:3 ratio of telling and showing
New types of compensation
Last but not least in 2018 elearning trends, good performance is often not only about skills but also rewards. Companies spend billions on compensating employees. But in 2018 the focus will turn to new compensation formats. According to SAP Human Capital Management Expert: ‘Compensation is on the verge of significant innovation.’ In his view many companies recognize they need to change but haven’t done it yet. Will 2018 be the year to make the change?
Amongst the elearning trends or 2018, the novelty is to find technologies and systems enabling offering different types of rewards throughout the year (not annual only). All of them adapted to employees expectations, types of contracts and lifestyles. These new formats will push for better mobile platforms to engage, inform and share awards with employees such as onboarding apps.
If you want to check elearning trends from 2017, review our last year’s article.
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