eLearning has been on an upward trend for a long time. While it was always a growing industry, the last two years have caused an enormous uptick in its popularity and necessity.
When the COVID-19 pandemic started, many thought that it would be a passing thing. We were hoping that a short period of caution would allow the world to return to normal. Unfortunately, that’s not how it played out. The longer the pandemic stayed, the more obvious the importance of online learning became.
Businesses began adopting more virtual training technology – including those that may not have considered it in the past. It was no longer an option. If you want to find a way forward, you had to have a plan that didn’t require in-person interactions.
While the world faced a challenging situation, the eLearning industry flourished. Organizations invested in virtual training and LMSs. They established infrastructure that would allow employees to continue doing what they do, even if they can’t be physically present in a classroom or office.
Even now, as social distancing restrictions have eased, many are continuing the online training model. It is a wise idea, considering we aren’t out of the woods with the pandemic just yet. Recent events have made many businesses realize that having no online training option leaves them vulnerable.
There are also the expectations of new hires to consider. With an increase in work-from-home jobs and virtual training, many younger job candidates want this – and it could be a deal breaker when making job offers.
As 2022 begins, business owners should pay attention to what’s going on in the eLearning industry. What trends should you be monitoring as you work to make this year a success for you and your team?
Analytics Will Continue to Be Important
Analytics are not a new thing, but they are still very important. The information provided by the data gathered in your LMS is essential to future success. You can see which courses are over or under performing. You can find out which learners are turning into subject matter experts, and which might need further support.
An LMS that stores and interprets data will help you build a strong workforce. This information is also necessary when making major decisions about changes or additions to your training program.
eLearning That Focuses on the Learner
If you want your eLearning program to be successful, then you have to consider the needs of the learner. Today’s training programs must be designed to meet business needs but also cater to the trainee.
What does this mean for your business? It means making sure that the content provided works with multiple learning styles – or can adapt to different learning styes. It also means making relevant recommendations to keep trainees learning. The courses you offer should provide ways for employees to work on career development.
Many organizations address business needs while giving workers what they want out of the learning experience. It is the best way to increase job satisfaction and build a team of experts that can give you a leg up in your industry.
Microlearning is Still a Winner in 2022
Microlearning is still a big winner in 2022. This approach takes finely tuned topics and delivers them in bite-sized pieces of content that can be completed in a matter of minutes. It’s shown to be more a more effective approach to learning compared to dumping large amounts of information on training classes.
The average knowledge retention rate for microlearning is between 70% and 90% while traditional learning is usually only around 15%. Some reports indicate that it also helps boost engagement. Microlearning resulted in as much as 90% learner engagement compared to the industry average of 15%.
Artificial Intelligence Leads to Smarter Training
Artificial intelligence (AI) keeps improving. It’s a rapidly growing part of the eLearning industry. It can help reduce workload by handling common customer queries or automating back-end tasks. It can also make recommendations for continuous learning.
AI can be used to create a learning program that adapts to the needs of learners. It personalizes experiences and can change the experience for different learning styles. It can also interpret data related to courses and reveal key skills, classes, and top performers.
This is one area that should be watched as developers and researchers continue to find new ways to use AI in employee training and education.
Virtual Training is Here to Stay
Virtual training is here to stay. This is especially true if you have remote employees. Your training program should be able to accommodate people who don’t come into the office regularly (or in some cases, at all).
This is also a valuable tool to have if you plan to expand your team into other parts of the world. You can hire people that are local to your customers even if they aren’t located close to your business.
Having remote learning already in place will prepare your team if they need to work from home in the future due to the pandemic or other world events.
A Mobile-First Design is a Must
With so many people carrying smartphones and using tablets, the mobile-first design approach is a must. This term refers to responsive web design that starts by building for the smallest screen size, like a mobile phone.
This is important because it ensures that everyone who uses your online training content gets an equal experience. Sometimes, mobile users get a lesser experience because the design isn’t made for a small screen. When it is, then they will have access to the features they need with a visually appealing interface that adapts to their device.
It looks far more professional and will ensure that nothing hinders a learners ability to access and use training content.
Content That’s Optimized for Learner Goals
Long ago, training content was typically dry, boring, and built around the needs of the business. The focus has shifted from the business to the learner. While your course should benefit your business, you should also be providing content that aligns with the goals of your team.
Instead of telling ambitious workers to look on YouTube or elsewhere to learn about a subject, provide them with a course that’s optimally designed for their needs. This will help them gain more knowledge and expand their skill set.
If you don’t have the time or resources to create your own content, you can always turn to a training marketplace. Many LMSs connect to third-party course marketplaces that let users buy content and immediately add it to their training program.
Continuous Learning Will Build Your Business
Continuous learning is essential if you want to build a workforce with the most efficient and talented people. Many businesses make this a core part of their corporate culture.
When workers are motivated to continue learning, they will be better equipped to adapt to changes in your industry. They will get you better results, provide a better product or service, and be happier with their jobs. Happy employees mean better retention rates and less hiring expenses for you.
Many LMS platforms include recommendations and learning paths that can push workers into new training territory. These introduce relevant courses or can recommend training material that the learner is interested in.
You should also keep everyone up to date on new additions to your training program and create curriculum for specific training goals or job roles.
Keeping them engaged and motivated will keep them going. Your team will enjoy greater job satisfaction while giving you their best.
This year is just getting started. Now that most businesses have adopted online training technology, it’s time to get the most out of it. Find out more about learning management systems and eLearning at LMS.org.