As the year is coming to a close, HR departments tend to focus less on learning and development and more on such lovely endeavors as office Holiday parties, team buildings and reward systems for loyal and efficient employees. It is indeed the season to be jolly, look back, celebrate success and acknowledge past challenges.
It is also a time when if you try to take a sales person out of the workplace during office hours they will not have nice things to say to you – commissions run high in December as people are more inclined to spend money both on themselves and the ones they love.
But there is one thing concerning corporate learning that holds specialists’ attention and that is the road it seems to be taking in the following year.
Top 5 e-learning trends for 2019
Providing quality learning opportunities means knowing what the trends are and moving with them. Here are some predicted directions for 2019:
Video learning will gain even more terrain
Video content has become very important in modern-day life. Clips are shared and commented upon whether they are of funny kittens or world-wide heartbreaking catastrophes. They are so popular that they gave the term ‘viral’ a positive connotation to go along the ominous epidemiological meaning it originally had.
The success of video content online gave organisations the impulse they needed to incorporate that into their learning. There are a lot of channels dedicated to teaching users about subjects they are interested in and statistics show that 60% of YouTube subscribers follow advice of video creators rather than their favorite movie or TV personality.
As a consequence, whether learning will be instructor-led with meaningful videos intercalated or e-learning with a strong video component, it’s definitely a growing trend for the year to come.
Micro learning is a major trend
One of the things appealing about videos is that they are normally short and speedily make their point. Organizations have already started to turn to micro learning as an easy solution for a complicated and unsolvable problem – the day only has twenty-four hours and modern man has no time to spare.
Bite-size learning units are both cost and time-effective and they hold the great advantage of being available on demand unlike extensive instructor-led courses. Micro learning makes the L&D specialists’ life a lot easier since it is a great way of deploying objective driven instruction that easily reaches everyone in the organization. Both the deployment process and the results are a lot more facile to track so this type of brief and to the point learning is here to stay – and grow in this busy digitized world we live in.
Adaptive learning is on the rise
Our social media pages show us ads and promotions that match our recent interests. Our phones tell us to pack an umbrella and take an alternative route if the one we usually use is subject to traffic jams. Everything digital seems to strive to be tailored to our likes, needs and aspirations and (when it isn’t scary like in the case of an app asking us about our feelings) we are comfortable with that.
Corporate learning has already begun to tap into the potential adaptive learning has both for engagement and productivity. 2019 will see adaptive learning becoming more and more prominent with organizations investing in digital solutions that will be aimed at making the learning process more personalized and enjoyable. Incorporating effective assessment tools will ensure users can skip content they are familiar with and navigate only what is really relevant and useful to them.
Game based learning is here to stay
Adapting to the audience is crucial when the end objective is to provide learning that sticks and is later translated in the workplace. Today’s audience is mainly Millennials, a generation digitally raised on games and the instant gratification given by a passed level or a shiny frame and a top place on the leaderboard.
Companies that provide the technology to gamify learning are well aware of the immense potential, as 53% for stakeholders consider that by 2020 gamification will be widespread. They think that by that time, gamification “will be making waves on the communications scene and will have been implemented in many new ways for education, health, work, and other aspects of human connection and it will play a role in the everyday activities of many of the people who are actively using communications networks in their daily lives.”
AR and VR are showing a lot of promise
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are emerging as very engaging and effective ways of implementing learning. They give that “hands-on” quality that is so important for in-depth understanding and information retention.
Apart from the entertaining effect, VR proves of great help in demonstrating safety related procedures and protocols. There are a lot of advantages of immersive learning, some I have explained here. E-learning companies are all aware of the potential this has and constantly improve the VR user experience. Employing a well-proportioned mix of 360-degree photographs, 3D movies and animations as well as other immersive visual effects, designers are taking the VR learning experience to the next level.
While it may not become the norm for e-learning in 2019 (mainly due to cost restrains), immersive learning will still grow and become increasingly present in corporate e-learning.
All in all
It’s obvious that like all things digital, e-learning is subject to constant transformation, upgrading and becoming increasingly user-centered. Let’s just say 2019 will be a great year to be (and learn) online.
Raluca Cristescu is a Faculty of Letters graduate with over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.