In the previous blog, I had covered some of the technological innovations and trends to watch out for this year. In this blog, I would like to cover some of the learning design strategies that might be a focal point for organizations developing eLearning courses.
1. Blended Learning: Instructor-led training is still very popular; however, organizations are increasingly realizing the potential of introducing online training to complement instructor-led training programs, for effective utilization of time and money. More organizations are likely to train their employees using a combination of instructor-led, as well as online training programs.
2. Customization of Learning Content: One size fits all type of outlook, when it came to the treatment of content, no longer works. Content has to be tailored and customized, to suit the needs of the organization and the employees, for whom the training is targeted. As a result, user interface and design become important, with emphasis on facilitating ease of navigation.
3. Focus on Engagement and Interaction with Learners: Passive page-turner types of courses are being considered ineffective and there is a conscious effort to include learner interaction and engagement, with the content. Inclusion of augmented reality and simulation has been used in sectors such as aviation, but is slowly finding inroads into other industries as well, particularly where costly equipment is at stake.
4. Gamification: The idea of gamification of employee training has stemmed from the idea of making training fun, instead of a rigor or boring activity. Since the idea has first originated, many organizations have started applying it in various area such as marketing, human resources, productivity enhancement, training, and customer engagement. How this trend will progress this year and how learning and design professionals can incorporate this concept into their training activities, is to be seen.
5. Social Learning: Information is everywhere and employees are used to sharing interesting pieces of knowledge/information or news, via social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter. Many learning management systems are incorporating wikis, blogs, discussion forums and social networking sites for promoting employee knowledge sharing. This has been popular so far, only with information technology companies and it is to be seen if other companies catch up with the trend.
6. Collaborative Learning/ E-workshops: Virtual teams have been collaborating on the same projects, though they are physically located at different geographical locations and working in different time zones, as a part of their jobs. The same concept is now being extended to on the job training. Some companies are organizing e-workshops as a part of employee training process. It would be interesting to see how organizations capitalize technology to facilitate collaborative training/learning.