Corporate learning has now become one of the main business elements in organizations that want to focus on employee training. Over the years, corporate training has come far from classroom training. However, there still are a few aspects that need to be focused on to make it a universally adoptable and financially viable across geographies.
In recent times, the eLearning industry has undergone rapid improvements owing to the changes in the organizations to match to the needs and expectations of the learners. Today’s learners have moved beyond just a passive learning experience. Learning needs to happen in a way that engages them and provides them easy access to information on the fly. Learners don’t just want to learn. They want to experience learning.
While we speak of how there has been a paradigm shift in learning, let’s look at the changes 2017 has brought in the world of corporate eLearning.
Here are a few ongoing trends in corporate learning that have caught the attention of eLearning industry experts this year:
For those of you who are wondering—what is Microlearning, it is a short, focused learning chunk of information on topics that is designed to fulfill a specific learning objective. These modules are typically 3-5 minutes long. They could be shorter too, depending on your training objective.
So, if we say that modules of about 10-15 minutes in length have a completion rate of 97% approximately, what would you extract from this fact? It is important to offer learning to millennials who have arguably shorter attention spans, especially as their counts go up in organizations. Well, with research facts like these, it is quite clear why microlearning is now becoming a buzzword in the industry.
2. App-based learning
Mobile-based learning is now being widely used to deliver training to learners. Recent statistics on usage of mobile apps also reveal that app-based learning has gained popularity in most organizations as it enables employers to easily connect with their employees/learners to provide on-demand online training.
Some of the proven benefits of app-based learning include effective implementation of microlearning, simulation and game-based learning, extensive control on tracking and learning management and, off-line performance support applications anywhere and anytime. Hence, with a shrinking attention span of millennials, and a growing workforce (particularly millennials) in organizations, app-based learning is a trend to look forward to for on-the-go training in corporate organizations.
It goes without saying that we want everything “on the go”. With an increasing number of mobile users across the globe, delivering their training to them on their devices, in addition to tablets and computers, is a continuous rising need.
Making your training available on mobile phones makes it accessible to about 70% of learners! That’s a huge number, and we only see that going up. That’s one of the reasons why mobile learning will continue to grab the attention of learners in 2017. With more content going online, learners can access information across different devices based on their location or needs.
2017 is also the time to incorporate video learning in your training courses! If it still does not convince you, think about the popularity YouTube has gained in recent years. The fact that our human brain processes videos about 60,000 times faster than text, there’s no doubt why we frequently reach out to training channels on YouTube to fill a knowledge gap!
A recent study revealed that courses with videos have a 51% completion rate while those without videos have as low as 36%! So, want to make your courses more engaging and interactive for your learners? Integrate video learning!
5. Social Learning
Social learning is not a newly introduced concept in learning, but it is certainly on the rise. This is because in most organizations, social learning or informal learning takes place through eLearning. This occurs based on the fact that not all individuals are solitary learners, and this is where informal learning or social learning comes into play. Collaborating and connecting with others who are taking the course benefits them while they interact.
Training companies have taken to integrating blogs, LinkedIn courses, and social media pages into their current training programs to ensure learners benefit more from these courses. Social learning may also include social polling where learners are encouraged to give their opinions and rate something such as a video, and later reveal what everybody else thinks about the video. This way, learners also explore the grey spaces that remained untouched by eLearning in the past instead of just focusing on the black and white spaces.
The 70:20:10 model talks about 70 being on-the job training, 20 being learning from peers and 10 being formal learning. This 20peer learning is actually in part largely from social learning whether they are within the organization or outside. Now this may be done via social learning on corporate social and collaboration tools or externally on social media networks like LinkedIn, even Facebook. Hence, social learning is a trend to watch and adopt in today’s corporate learning courses.
So why is gamification here to stay in the list of trends for 2017? Well, that’s because its primary benefit is motivation. Offering incentives, certificates or badges upon completion of courses, encourages learners to complete their courses in a competitive manner. In addition to this, point systems, leader boards, and timed challenges/quizzes are a few ways gamification can play an important role in your training strategy.
Although Gartner had predicted that by 2015, 40% of the world’s 1000 biggest companies would implement gamification in their training modules, gamification has still not gained that level of popularity or preference. Thus, 2017 could be the year to fetch some real traction towards gamification!
7. Adaptive Learning
Since the advent of the eLearning industry, there has been a constant growth in terms of its efficiency and effectiveness over the years. However, what was developed back in the late 20th century as static eLearning is now a concept that is outdated, and hardly has any impact on its audience. As the term suggests, adaptive learning is about customizing learning to the needs of the learners.
Adaptive learning programs are so much more than static learning. These programs focus on learner requirements and their current understanding of the matter. This helps them progress at a faster pace in the subjects that they are familiar with. Thus, adaptive learning has been of great importance for mobilizing eLearning to its full potential as it pays attention to the points of interest of learners through a more personalized training.
While developing a course, it is understood that no two learners are the same and hence, with adaptive learning, learners can learn at their own pace. It accelerates the learning along with reducing the cost of content delivery. This has made vendors optimize their resources to deliver maximum value to their clients.
Adaptive learning works both ways in corporate training. Low and average performers can utilize it to improve their performance with time, while high performers can quickly sharpen their skills with it.
8. Augmented Reality
Augmented realty is yet to be implemented on a large scale. Hence, it remains to be seen how widespread augmented reality will be used in the eLearning industry. However, industries with high-risk occupations will be seen utilizing augmented reality to its best potential in the coming time. These could be surgeons who can use technologies like Google Glass and Oculus Rift to polish their skills, without risking the lives of their patients.
Virtual reality has the potential to change the overall landscape of the eLearning industry via the immersive experience it provides to the learners. Complex subjects can be recreated in a life-like environment to explain it in an elaborate manner. Consider an example where a real-life case study based on leadership is created in VR and you can play a role from one of the various characters available. This will help you learn leadership lessons. Such VR case studies do not require physical presence of the learners and hence, can be accessed from any part of the globe. With minimal requirements of a fast internet connection, a computer or mobile device, and a compatible 3D headset for VR, these can help learners with advance eLearning solutions. Undoubtedly, this technique can prove to be the most powerful of them all if it is implemented effectively in the time to come. A strong component of your learning and development strategies in the very near future!
Innovations and experiments in the industry are responsible for the trends that emerge over time. With new methods coming up through advancement in technologies and consistent efforts towards making learning easy, engaging, and accessible to learners, these trends will gain popularity based on their efficacy. As an industry professional, you must pay attention to newer techniques being implemented and development in training on a regular basis. Thoughtfully drafted strategies can then be laid out based on these for business growth. You can follow the above mentioned trends in 2017 to keep up with the industry and plan your strategy to suit your business requirements.