eLearning has changed the way businesses onboard and train employees. Schools have also joined the push for more technology in education. eLearning can improve knowledge retention, productivity, and cuts down on classroom expenses.
According to a Global Outlook and Forecast report, the worldwide eLearning market is expected to reach $238 billion by 2024. The industry’s value continues to rise along with the demand for its platforms. New content and features are continually being developed to provide a better experience for the end-user. This leads to a shift in how these in-demand platforms work.
Whether you are an independent professional, a business, or a school, you should pay attention to what’s coming down the eLearning pipeline. Doing so will give you an advantage when identifying opportunities that will improve your training or educational programs. So, what should you keep an eye on now and into 2020?
- A Shift to Learning Experience Platforms
The learning management system (LMS) served many organizations well. And it still does in many ways. However, there’s a shift away from the classic LMS to the learning experience platform (LXP).
The administrator typically drives an LMS. Content is selected by Learning and Development managers, and employees usually have little to no say in the matter. The LMS is often a closed system that doesn’t always connect with external resources. An admin must add new content, which can create a bottleneck for the training program. The LMS also tends to be more rigid in terms of subject matter and learning skills.
An LXP, on the other hand, serves a similar purpose but with more flexibility. There’s an emphasis on personalization, making it employee-driven. The learner can choose the content they want to cover and can often add or create new content. This material can be made available so that anyone in the company can discover it. The LXP is open and can include any URL as a resource. Everyone can become a curator.
While the traditional LMS isn’t being phased out yet, more developers are working toward an LXP format. It creates the versatile learning environment that the end-user expects in today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world.
- Show Instead of Tell with Video Content
Video content is essential to your training program. More users prefer a visual experience. A 2018 study found that over 80% of participants felt that video content is becoming more important. Around 67% of respondents said they use YouTube for marketing, while 57% use videos on homepages. A 2017 Cisco report predicted that online video would make up approximately 80% of all internet traffic by this year.
Younger students and employees perform better with a visual experience. A 2019 State of Video Marketing report found that 72% of consumers preferred video over text marketing information.
Humans begin learning at a very young age. Much of this is done by watching our parents and siblings. According to Stanford University psychologist Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory, people adopt behaviors from their environment through observation, modeling, and imitation. Video content mimics the way we naturally learn from the day we become aware of the world around us.
- Mobile Learning is Required
Your eLearning platform needs to have mobile capability. Over 50% of workers reported that location or IT was a barrier between them and their online training. The same study also found that 64% of respondents pointed to their mobile device as essential to overcoming this obstacle.
As far back as 2014, 71% of millennials stated that they connected more with mobile learning material than they did with L&D training or formal education.
- Multi-Channel Learning is a Must
As millennials take over the workforce, employees are becoming more tech-savvy and tech-dependent. This has created a need for multi-channel learning. This concept means that organizations present more than one channel to educate the end-user. Multiple formats can be used to maximize reach and knowledge retention.
For example, if a small piece of informational text was shared among learners, this could be enhanced by adding a video or audio segment. This gives the reader more options. Someone who is commuting could listen to the audio in their car. Someone who is at work can quietly read it at their desk or put on headphones and watch the video.
Multi-channel learning is another way to customize the experience and help learners get more value out of the material.
- Adaptive Learning Plays a Bigger Role
Adaptive learning uses algorithms that let the system adapt to the user’s needs and preferences. They react based on each action taken. If a learner takes a test, the algorithms can use that data to understand what the learner knows and doesn’t know. The system can automatically deliver content that will fill knowledge gaps. This can all be done without the intervention of an administrator or trainer.
The learner gets a better, personalized learning experience and is more likely to be successful. They can work efficiently and avoid wasting time on material they already know.
Adaptive learning can be applied in different ways. Any situation that allows the user to provide a response or complete an activity can be used.
- Augmented Reality May Outperform Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (VR) is an exciting development that’s evolved over the years. It allows trainers to create realistic situations for learners without the risks of doing it on the job. VR is still a valuable tool, but augmented reality (AR) is quickly rising to meet or even exceed it.
AR is a technology that superimposes images and information on the real world. It creates a composite perspective for the learner.
Trainers can take their trainees to real locations while giving them the benefit of computer-generated data. For example, someone training to become a home inspector could be taken to a real house with storm damage. AR can be used to show the learner how to assess the damage in a real-life situation.
eLearning coordinator Jane Bozarth explained that “I see enormous potential for augmented reality. Everybody is kind of in love with VR, and it’s very sexy and very cool, but I think there are a lot of practical applications now for augmented reality.”
- Your LMS Needs AI
Artificial intelligence (AI) was once a novel thing. Now, it’s becoming an expectation in the eLearning industry. Recommendation engines, predictive analytics, and chatbots are already here and show enormous potential as we near the end of 2019.
Chatbots, in particular, are a helpful training tool. They imitate human interaction and can be integrated into websites, social media, and apps. They can be created to help educate customer service workers who are learning how to engage with consumers.
Some businesses use chatbots for onboarding purposes. New hires can talk to the chatbot to learn more about company policies, job roles, and expectations.
AI can also serve as a tutor to help guide trainees in the right direction while making the trainer’s job easier. It still has a long way to go, but AI continues to improve the way many people learn.
- You Still Need Microlearning
Microlearning has been popular for a while, and for good reasons. Corporations love it because it can reduce the cost of developing their training programs by as much as 50%.
Learners showed a 20% increase in information retention using this format. It also was found to increase engagement by 50%, with 71% of learners stating that microlearning videos played a significant role in their in-depth learning. If you haven’t tried microlearning, now is the time to check it out.
- Gamification Continues to Thrive
Did you know that over 60% of CEOs, CFOs, and other senior executives take game breaks at work? The gamification market reached $5.5 billion in 2018.
Gamification in employee training can have a positive impact on learner success. It builds motivation by awarding points and badges. It creates a greater sense of achievement and satisfaction when an employee completes an objective.
You may not need all of these features, but some could boost the effectiveness and lower the cost of your training program. Check out LMS.org to learn more about LMS platforms that offer these and other in-demand features.