Keep a Weather Eye on eLearning: 5 Trends for 2020

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eLearning Trends for 2020 – A Close Look at 5 Game-Changers

Yoo hoo training managers! All set to begin your 2020 training voyage? Good. But before you start your journey, you might want to take a peep at the latest eLearning trends and practices that will add a bit of zing to your upcoming corporate training program. Are you thinking it’s going to be the ‘same old, same old’? Well… I wouldn’t be so sure.

The last two decades have witnessed a lot of advancements in technology – computers became faster, multimedia became cooler, mobiles have taken over, and lot more. And what is more relevant to us as training managers, online training has gained a firm footing in the corporate world.

According to latest market reports, eLearning is expected to reach $238 billion by 2024. It’s no more a technological novelty. You don’t need to think twice about offering it, and your employees don’t need any handholding while taking eLearning courses. Corporate online training has finally arrived, ready to meet the requirements of an evolving digital workplace.

So, what’s new? A lot’s new! A few cool trends are all set to make their mark in corporate L&D, let’s get to know them.

What to Expect from Corporate L&D in 2020: 5 Online Training Trends

1. Rapid eLearning 2.0

By now, most of you must have heard of this tricky little term ‘Rapid eLearning’. But did you know that rapid authoring software and courseware development tools can reduce eLearning design and development time by almost 40%? No wonder rapid eLearning has grown so popular in recent years. So, what does Rapid 2.0 mean?

Download this mini guide on rapid eLearning design.

While authoring tools have certainly proved themselves to be effective, there are many more tech tools in the market now that help in eLearning development, cutting down time as well. Two such tools becoming increasingly popular are Panopto and Amazon Polly.

Panopto is an online platform which enables recording, live streaming, storing, and managing videos within a cloud or through the LMS. Learners can search and fast-forward to specific points in the video to access information instantly. It is equipped with built-in analytics to monitor video activity.

Amazon Polly converts test into lifelike speech. It reduces the hassle of using voiceovers in eLearning courses. The audio quality of Amazon Polly is far superior than any other authoring tool’s TTS (text-to-speech) service.

Rapid eLearning 2.0 is not just about tools. It includes many training development practices that help reduce turnaround time and effort. Let’s take the case of webinars.

Businesses spend tens of hundreds of hours creating webinars for employee education – working with internal SMEs, external SMEs, trainers, and industry leaders to come up with content. And what happens once the webinar is done? Typically, it is archived and forgotten, never to be used again. But you can repurpose that content. Webinars can be converted to short microlearning modules or interactive PDFs; even the audio-heavy ones can be converted to podcasts.

2. A Culture of Edutainment

Gone are the days of lengthy and mind-numbingly boring eLearning courses which induced sleep instead of engaging employees. Also, gone are the days when employees just nodded their heads and finished training without a complaint. This is the age of the Millennials and Gen Z employees and if you can’t engage them at work, you won’t be calling them your employees for long.

It is no longer enough for an online training course to be informative; it needs to be engaging as well. The new-gen workforce needs a fine blend of relevant content and an effective instructional strategy in their training – and both content and strategy need to be, first and foremost, learner-centric! And to this blend, you will need to add a pinch of fun. This is what we mean by a ‘culture of edutainment’. And there are various ways of achieving it.

  • Social learning elements in online training allow learners to interact and form relationships with peers, experts within the company, and industry thought-leaders.
  • Game-based designs and gamification are popular eLearning instructional design strategies which bring an element of play into training.

3. Artificial Intelligence in eLearning 

Artificial Intelligence – the debates and anticipation for AI in L&D have reached a peak. Articles are being published every day, either heralding AI as the best thing since sliced bread or condemning its arrival because of potential loss of employment. But what does AI automation really mean? Does it mean we are entering a dystopian world? Or is AI more like JARVIS; a super intuitive and human-like assistant?

The answer is no – for both! AI in corporate training is not going to bring about radical life-altering changes, neither is it as advanced as our movies would like us to think. AI in online training will have a two-fold benefit.

In eLearning development, AI will make the process more efficient, error-free, cost-effective, and easy. Let’s take the case of eLearning translations. An AI-enabled translation memory tool will automatically translate the given learning content to multiple languages without the need for humans, thus saving time and money. All it will need is data of previous translations fed into its memory.

In training delivery, it is a bit more complicated. We have all heard of adaptive learning and we often confuse it with personalized training. While adaptive learning has personalization at its core, it goes way beyond simply asking learners’ names. A fully adaptive learning design will anticipate the individual training requirements of each learner by analyzing their learning activities and provide a customized learning path in real time. This is possible only with the help of an AI-enabled adaptive engine.

4. Customized LMS with Learning Analytics

The popularity of learning analytics in corporate L&D is increasing by leaps and bounds. And how could it not? It is the best way to measure training effectiveness and prove its ROI. But how does learning analytics work?

Simple – through data, analysis, and action. And two out of three of these elements depend on your LMS. The learning management system tracks learning activities, collects data, analyzes it, and reports it. We do know all that.

What is lacking in a traditional LMS is effective analysis of collected data. Though most LMSs have a few analyzing criteria such as completion and passing rates, they don’t offer many valuable and actionable insights. This is where the magic of learning analytics comes in. An LMS customized with an analytic engine will analyze collected data much more efficiently, providing descriptive, prescriptive, predictive, and diagnostic reports.

5. Immersive Learning 

Human evolutionary history and neuropsychologists stand by the fact that we learn best through experience. While most online training programs strive to make learning experiential in terms of content and strategy, providing an environment which emulates real-life is quite difficult. This is why immersive learning is becoming more and more popular.

Imagine yourself standing within a simulation using augmented or virtual reality, where you can look at and feel your surroundings. Sounds way better than taking a regular eLearning module, right? This is exactly why industry expert Josh Bersin started endorsing the use of AR and VR in training. His once skeptical mind was blown away when he experienced the magic of immersive learning.

While immersive learning can be expensive and requires advanced software expertise to build, its benefits are also far-reaching; especially if the learner’s job is risk prone.

Summing it Up!

Aren’t you tempted by these trends and eLearning practices that are set to make life more interesting in 2020? You should remember that the trends of today have the potential to become established norms of tomorrow!

If you would like to see more trends being adopted by top-performing organizations, register to the webinar today. Watch and video and click here to register.

eLearning Trends for 2020 - 21 Cool Ideas You Can Try!