The workplace in the modern world is changing: from the way we work, the behavior of employees, and even learning habits; nothing is unfolding as it used to be. Going even further, demographic changes in recent decades mean that a new type of worker is here, with needs and characteristics very different from previous generations. All these factors, combined, mean that the traditional learning methods (depending mainly on instructor-led format) may not be effective anymore in today's business environment. Workplace learning must evolve along with the changing needs of the workforce and the fast-paced economy.
But where do you start? What decision do you need to make? Don't worry, in this article we introduce you to the most important eLearning trends for workplace learning in 2022. With an overview of what's next, you'll be able to plan and decide in the way that suits your business best.
- 4 reasons why face-to-face training is no longer enough
- Adapt and Evolve: Strategies for Creating eLearning Courses for Modern Students
Trend #1: Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most popular eLearning trends in the business world today. According to MarketsandMarkets, the world’s AI in the education market is predicted to increase to 3.68 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 47% from 2018 to 2023.The reasons? Mainly because of its ability to personalize learning and automate repetitive tasks:
- Personalization of learning. AI uses algorithms to collect data on each student's strengths, weaknesses, interests, and competencies; this information is very useful for understanding student behavior. In this way, training and development teams can recommend content based on the goals and challenges each student faces. This helps create hyper-personalized and relevant learning experiences.
- Automation of tasks. eLearning platforms such as SHIFT use AI features to automate and streamline the creation of eLearning courses. In this way, training and development professionals have more time to deal with the most complex issues, and speed up repetitive tasks.
AI in eLearning is no longer just a buzzword. This technology has taken off and will continue to redefine the online learning landscape in 2022 and beyond.
Trend #2: Mobile Learning (Mobile-first)
Having an eLearning course is a must, but designing mobile-first courses is becoming more important than ever. Given that mobile learning is booming and can reach more than $280 billion by 2027, this makes a lot of sense.
Mobile adoption is becoming the standard. This means that, while laptops were the standard years ago, it is now widely accepted that workers spend more time on their phones and tablets than they do sitting at their desks. This means that even the best courses around have had to make sure that they are focusing on mobile-first.
According to an eLearning Guild report, 67% of all eLearning developers now use mobile technology to provide training. Therefore, it is not surprising that companies are becoming more interested in making this learning format part of their training and development strategy in 2022 and beyond.
Some advantages of using mobile devices for business training:
- Mobile devices allow better interaction with course material and greater accessibility for “on the go” contributors. In this regard, 99% of mobile students say that this form of learning improves their experience (according to the eLogic learning report).
- They also provide just-in-time learning content, keeping workers interested and making it easy for them to keep up to date on topics on an ongoing basis
Trend #3: Hyper Personalized eLearning Experiences
With more and more workers from new generations entering companies and many of them working from home, “on-demand” eLearning and “self-directed” courses will continue to increase as well. More companies are encouraging their employees to learn on their own time rather than taking them away a whole day or two from their work.
A recent poll shared by Brightwave: 77% of L&D specialists feel that personalized learning experience has an important role in staff engagement.
Prior to the arrival of hyper-personalized or adaptive learning experiences, all workers had to consume the same learning content always and in the same order. This caused many critical factors to be ignored, such as the fact that each student learns uniquely and has different needs. In this way, it became difficult to engage an audience with very specific needs.
Now, students who are enrolled in the same eLearning program should ideally be given different materials based on their role, strengths, needs, and performance. An e-learning platform monitors their progress, skills, and knowledge through tests, identifying strengths and weaknesses.
So, this 2022, forget the linear way of delivering content! Instead of designing the typical point A to point B experiences, offer learners a clickable, flexible, and easy-to-navigate experience that features diverse activities. Remember, your learners are looking for just-in-time solutions. You need to give workers bite-sized modules frequently, to fit into the different needs of your diverse audience.
How do you get to personalize the learning of each student? This issue is directly linked to the next trend.
Trend #4: Big Data and Learning Analytics
Big Data is about harnessing the power of data collected by the systems (LMS, LRS, social media, etc.) that you use in your learning and development department.
For example, if you have an eLearning course, the data could be student progress, test results, course completion rates, or any other input that is relevant to your L&D department. Are your collaborators following the steps as expected or are they browsing the course in an unexpected way? What areas of the course make them get stuck and not progress? These considerations are a great starting point for creating eLearning courses that are even more impactful.
Other data that can be monitored are:
- Mistakes students make during training.
- Popular lessons.
- Personalized learning paths.
- Workers' strengths and weaknesses.
- Access to information within the workflow.
- Student engagement and social learning.
By collecting and analyzing this data, companies can understand the behavior, preferences, and path each student takes. With this information, they can adapt courses to the unique needs of their students and improve the overall experience of workers in the company and training opportunities.
In short, what big data and learning analytics enable is to get to know students better and thus make better decisions. As eLearning platforms offer more advanced options for collecting relevant data, business leaders can use them to optimize existing programs and design more effective future plans. This helps them stay tuned to where there are skills gaps in an organization and identify potential talent for the future for example.
Trend #5: Micro Courses/Microlearning
Microlearning is another major trend in the eLearning industry at the moment, as it not only adapts to the modern workforce expectations but also boosts knowledge retention.
Did you know that in 30 days, students won't remember 80% of what they learned? This is where microlearning comes into play. Through this strategy, content is delivered in smaller, bite-sized pieces, helping students absorb and remember more information.
Microlearning is especially popular in organizations that continually change their processes, introduce new products and make updates constantly.
And this is not a new trend certainly. Although it already existed for years, it has lately had much more adoption thanks to the boom of smartphones. In fact, the main microlearning platforms are like a mix of Twitter and Instagram, but educational.
Microlearning is a powerful option for corporate training for two main reasons:
- When the subject of courses is dense, applying a “bite-size” approach to content is ideal for maintaining students' engagement and helping them retain new knowledge.
- Microlearning is flexible, that is, it can be done through any device and at any time. Today, there are two constraints that challenge learning leaders every day: time and reduced attention spans. Microlearning's flexibility helps overcome these obstacles.
For these and other reasons, microlearning is expected to account for at least 50% of all corporate training, if not more. If your company is not yet creating microlearning modules now, you should consider them without delay.
Trend #6: Blended Learning
As physical offices reopened around the world, many companies chose to continue offering the option of working remotely. Both employees and employers recognized the value of more flexible work agreements to improve the quality of working life. But changing where and when employees work also means changing the way training is presented. That's why many employers now have the task of implementing training that serves a combination of office and remote workers.
Empowering a hybrid workforce requires a different approach. Companies need solutions that provide workers in the office and remote with a quality training experience. They should focus on communication and inclusion to help those who work from home feel part of the company. And they need to re-evaluate their training and possibly put less emphasis on face-to-face courses.
The hybrid workplace requires a hybrid training model, also known as blended learning or blended learning. Basically, it's about implementing training at a certain pace, combined with some live (online) sessions.
This type of commitment satisfies the variety of work situations within the organization.
These trends have been stepping strong and refuse to be just a fad. Without a doubt, they are powerful tools that can take corporate learning to the next level.
For forward-thinking organizations, this is the time to be more attentive to new developments. Try to rethink your training programs, taking into account what's next in eLearning. Consider, how do you incorporate AI into your training? Are adaptive learning, mobile learning, and microlearning the best ways to bring knowledge to your employees? Also, as an organization, are you using Big Data to understand your collaborators' learning habits?
Pause and reevaluate your training approach to consider the needs of remotely working employees. Use trends as a guide to redefine the learning process and make it relevant to the modern generation of students. Finally, focus on providing engaging, interactive, personalized, and accessible eLearning courses.
In this sense, the personalized courses we develop at SHIFT always reflect the latest updates in the eLearning industry. Our experts are ready to help create personalized courses that will have a genuine impact on your team!
Contact us directly to start your next eLearning project! We'd love to talk to you.