7 E-Learning Trends to Keep an Eye on in 2016

2016 is expected to see e-learning that is even more individual, well-timed, and technologically advanced.

According to the Docebo’s report, the overall e-learning market is expected to reach $51 billion in 2016. The industry grows by 10 percent annually, constantly introducing new improvements and innovations. What are the latest trends and changes that Training & Development experts are looking for this year?

1. Big Data: The future of corporate training comes with the mass usage of big data. By its very nature, e-learning enables collecting lots of information on learners’ achievements, course popularity, and format effectiveness. All that helps companies provide employees with personalized and user-oriented training. In 2016, we will collect and use integrated data from several sources, including customer relationship management systems (CRMs), and human resources management systems (HRMs), and learning management systems (LMSs), to find out employees’ knowledge gaps and close them individually. If you are still big-data-naïve, it’s high time to go take some online courses on it.

2. Personalized Learning: Personalization is an ongoing e-learning trend closely related to the previous one. E-learning tools allow for the creation of individual learning paths, automatically adjusted to current employees’ tasks and needs. An accountant and a sales manager get completely different training programs—how could we have imagined that just a few years ago? Moreover, combined with quick-and-easy personnel assessment, online training becomes a powerful weapon on the employee productivity battlefield.

3. Gamification: It seems that everything about gamification already has been revealed, but according to elearningindustry.com, that’s the key trend for 2016. What could be new about gamification?

First, it comprises both personalization and interactivity. Today, the course’s plot changes depending on the learner’s answers and actions. Every step can result in success or failure—just like in real life.

Second, as revealed in recent research on gamification in education, it doesn’t work without deep understanding of employees’ competencies and weaknesses. This is bad news for those who think that educational games are just about entertainment. Only smart gamification based on learning analytics brings desired results.

4. mLearning: mLearning’s rise is a logical consequence of the increase in mobile technologies. Some experts already claim it’s able to replace conventional desktop e-learning. Instant access via any possible devices, use of technologies such as QR-codes and GPS, integration with social media, and mobile applications usage—all this makes mLearning key for 2016. Most e-learning providers keep up with this trend and make their courses available through tablets and smartphones. Step by step, mobile technologies make corporate training learner-centric.

5. Augmented Reality: E-learning augmented reality puts users into “real-life” conditions. Now, workers can study and try new machinery without any risk to their health and company assets. Car drivers can get prepared for extreme situations, and even sales managers can talk to virtual “customers” using new technologies.

6. Automation: Automation is going to become an integral part of e-learning. It already enables content providers create courses faster and, most importantly, cheaper. In the nearest future, tests, dialogue reactions, and exercises will be generated automatically, based on the course content. Ready-to-apply templates and smart algorithms will save e-learning developers a lot of time and effort.

7. Cloud-Based E-Learning Platforms: Most companies utilizing e-learning already have switched to cloud solutions. In spite of a common misconception about insecurity of cloud data storage, e-learning providers constantly are improving their data security level.

More importantly, cloud systems are easy to use and support. You don’t need to install the software on each computer, and you don’t need to hire technical staff to maintain the system’s work. Finally, your software is update automatically, and you don’t have to pay for it. No wonder that, according to Docebo’s report, more than one-third of organizations will learn with cloud platforms in 2016.

2016 is expected to see e-learning that is even more individual, well-timed, and technologically advanced. Spare no efforts to apply these seven trends to your corporate training—or find somebody who will do it for you—because your competitors are doing so already.

Elena Masolova is the founder and CEO of Eduson.tv, a corporate cloud-based e-learning platform represented in 20-plus countries and four languages, educating more than 100,000 employees at Coca-Cola, Heineken, Efes, Schneider Electric, and other companies. Masolova is an expert in the field of corporate e-learning and a successful entrepreneur and investor (she founded two venture funds and 20-plus startups).


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