The world of e-learning is always changing. New trends in content development, style, and delivery are introduced on a regular basis and businesses must adapt to these trends to remain competitive in their industry. In this article, you’ll learn about 10 of the most popular e-learning trends that businesses should know about in 2021.
1) Design & Accessibility
Both in terms of design and accessibility, e-learning in 2021 will be markedly different from what we see today. Interactive content is becoming more common in learning platforms; these interactive elements can take many forms, including audio, video, graphics, animations, and text (to name a few). Furthermore, training materials are increasingly responsive. They’re designed to work on any device used by employees—as well as customers—which makes it easier to learn both on and off-campus. And even though mobile devices are replacing desktops as primary tools for learning new skills or refreshing old ones, companies are starting to embrace virtual reality devices like Google Cardboard so users can practice real workflows whenever they choose. Read more here.
2) Emerging Tech
As e-learning becomes more sophisticated, with immersive 3D simulations, virtual reality simulations and serious AI integrated into adaptive algorithms that can scan students’ reactions in real-time, it’s no surprise that emerging tech will have a huge impact on how e-learning looks in 2021. Augmented reality tools will likely dominate in many scenarios, offering an ideal blend of hands-on training with immersive technology. Meanwhile, wearable tech like smartwatches or smart glasses could play a key role in helping instructors to monitor learning progress—similar to Fitbit devices already being used in corporate wellness programs. As VR/AR technologies evolve even further into fully immersive experiences that blur the lines between worlds, e-learning could follow suit.
Security and communication will be heavily featured in e-learning courses. LMSs will put more emphasis on secure data storage as well as allow for voice and video calls. This is because video conferencing has become much more affordable and it allows users to practice interpersonal skills. Furthermore, IT security firms such as Ziften will produce new tools that focus on detecting phishing attacks, DDoS attacks, malvertising, fake domains, and compromised websites. These challenges are a growing concern among companies who spend a lot of money using various e-learning platforms. Since many businesses use online training programs internally, there’s a great chance they’ll need extra security features moving forward. As a result, these features will likely become more integrated into existing e-learning software solutions.
4) Security & Communication
As training shifts to more of a software-as-service model, eLearning developers are creating systems that can be accessed anywhere by an ever-increasing number of devices. Course completion tracking is now almost entirely automated and blended learning programs will be able to communicate with each other. Students will have much greater control over their own learning paths and instructors will spend more time focusing on students who need extra help than managing classroom logistics. Virtual reality could become an important part of how we learn in high-stakes situations. I wouldn’t expect face masks though, since most people still want to see what they’re learning about. Augmented reality might also play a role in training employees, especially when it comes to real-world applications of theoretical concepts being taught through e-learning modules.
5) Mobile Learning
AR is quickly becoming more popular among learners. The use of AR in e-learning has great potential to change how people learn because it allows learners to interact with virtual objects that are overlayed on top of physical objects. There are several advantages that come with using AR in e-learning, including an improved visual learning experience, increased engagement, and greater retention of information. This trend will continue to increase until at least 2021.
6) Augmented Reality (AR)
2016 was a landmark year for AR, which exploded onto the scene with Pokémon Go. In 2017, more augmented reality apps will be released and more of us will start incorporating AR into our daily lives. Many of these applications will be fun and highly entertaining, but others will focus on practical learning. In 2020, it’s predicted that 90% of e-learning content will be supplemented by some form of interactive multimedia technology – many of which may include some form of AR.
7) Virtual Reality (VR)
Virtual reality is one of those terms that just about everyone is talking about and yet, I’m not sure we all know what it means. It means many things to many people and there are dozens of permutations on how it might be defined. For me, blended learning centers around an integrated mix of online courses and more traditional instructor-led classroom activities. No matter how you define it, as e-learning becomes more popular over time I think we’ll see plenty of blended learning examples in some capacity or another. We may also see different mixes depending on industry verticals as some industries will likely be more predisposed to adopt certain types of blended solutions than others (at least initially). That said, here are my top ten predictions
8) Blended Learning
Blended learning encompasses a broad set of educational techniques that leverage technology to combine face-to-face learning with computerized instruction. A key idea behind blended learning is that it combines multiple methods of instruction to create a more efficient and engaging learning environment. The United States Department of Education estimates that blended learning can cut costs by as much as 50 percent and increase student achievement by 10 to 15 percent. As such, it’s likely we’ll see more public schools adopting blended learning programs. Unfortunately, these programs aren’t free – indeed they require significant investments in resources – so they may not be available in all school districts.
9) Course Development Tools
Given that learning can be hugely beneficial to any industry, e-learning isn’t just about using technology to increase efficiency. It can also help your workers learn faster, retain more knowledge, and—perhaps most importantly—continue to develop new skills over time. Businesses that implement corporate training programs can improve retention rates by 10 percent or more, not to mention all of the benefits e-learning brings in terms of convenience, efficiency, and even cost savings. So if you haven’t considered implementing an e-learning program at your business yet, it might be time to start thinking about how you can get started with one.
10) Corporate Training
Digital training is more versatile and scalable than traditional classroom learning, and it’s easier to integrate with day-to-day operations. It’s also a cost-saver: digital learning can lower expenses by reducing travel time, eliminating overhead, keeping up with technology trends, and keeping your learners engaged. Ease of use is another major benefit of e-learning. When you choose an interactive platform to deliver your course content, your employees have easy access to information whenever they need it. This flexibility helps employees develop skills on their own time while saving your company money.