Top eLearning trends 2020
Fueled by demographic changes, technology advances, and shifting work paradigms, the eLearning industry registers a constant growth. Many tech players have emerged with better solutions to meet the increasing need for more meaningful learning experiences. Currently, technological advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI), human augmentation systems (HAS), and responsive applications are helping people handle basic tasks and administrative work, leaving more time for creativity and innovation, while from a demographic perspective, millennials dominate today’s workforce and Gen Z has just stepped in. This type of professionals wants more flexibility, collaborative environments, and self-directed career paths.
An even more collaborative learning system is expected to emerge due to the multiple advances in what we call sharing or peer-to-peer economy. Based on trust and multiple technologies and solutions that improve the security of data sharing, the peer-to-peer economy services have exploded in popularity over the recent years. According to Statista, the global sharing economy is predicted to increase to USD 335 billion by 2025, from only USD 15 billion in 2014.
With this shift to a modern approach to learning, it is no surprise that, earlier this month, Elon Musk announced on his Twitter page that he is recruiting for Tesla, mentioning that ‘I don’t care if you even graduated high school’. Similarly, Google, Apple or EY are among the growing number of companies that no longer require an academic degree from their future employees. The shift to more flexible approaches to work has determined many companies to focus on internal learning and development (L&D) programs to respond to the current market trends and technology developments.
As professional development is taking on a bigger role, there is a gradually increasing demand for a more digitalized way of learning in the processes of constant self-improvement, up-skilling, and re-skilling within companies. According to Shift Disruptive eLearning, seven out of ten employees state that learning and development opportunities influence their decision to stay loyal to their company. eLearning programs prove to be of much help in this sense, as they help in crafting learning experiences that are relevant and engaging, in tracking progress effectively, and in improving learners’ retention levels. Overall, this type of learning program can respond to the need for meaningful lifelong learning experiences and in developing a more engaged workforce.
Understanding the trends that shape the eLearning space is crucial for all companies that currently implement L&D programs of various types but also for those that are interested in investing in more immersive learning experiences for their employees.
1. Omnichannel, personalized, and flexible eLearning experiences
To respond to the change in what modern learners want, organizations have started putting more importance on the value that a certain learning strategy brings to the table. To stay ahead of the competition, they also adopt measures that can foster a culture of learning.
Modern learners seek learning programs that are in harmony with their lifestyles and are integrated seamlessly into their workday. They want the flexibility to get educational resources tailored to their specific needs easily, on the go, and on their preferred devices. They also want recommendations that are based on their areas of interest, or what would entice them to stay hooked and keep coming back for more. Moreover, they pursue learning experiences that match their career progression, growth aspirations, different levels of proficiency and resonate with their learning styles.
Every learning experience, especially if it is one with high stakes, is like a journey, and a gamification approach can bring in the sense of learning for tangible and early rewards. This approach boosts motivation levels, improves the learner experience, and ensures a proper behavioral change. Combined with personalized feedback, gamification can help in extracting valuable information about the learner’s progress, knowledge gaps, and strengths.
Besides encouraging the learner and offering a motivation boost, L&D departments within companies can leverage the gamification approach in an eLearning program to get more data that can determine content and resources for future learning strategies.
According to a report by Deloitte, the average employee needs to dedicate approximately 1% of their time per week to learning in order to stay up to date with best practices and developments in the industry. Using a microlearning approach, employees can absorb small chunks of information at their own pace, while still being able to focus on their everyday tasks.
Providing employees with small learning chunks of a few minutes is more object-driven and has a higher impact. Moreover, a microlearning approach can help in improving learners’ retention levels, allows learning to be implemented on different devices, and ensures an easier update process when needed.
Modules can also be made more interactive and immersive through videos, games, quizzes, infographics, and realistic scenarios to keep learners engaged.
Microlearning approaches are the response to a phenomenon that has emerged in recent years. A 2019 study from researchers at the Technical University of Denmark suggests that the collective global attention span is narrowing due to the fact that people now have more things to focus on but often focus on things for short periods of time.
The benefits of implementing eLearning programs
Another reason behind the growth of eLearning is the need to ensure consistency across organizations, especially for global ones. Employees should be trained on the same materials and in the same way regardless of their location, which is crucial especially when it comes to company policies. A single eLearning product accessible from any location through the cloud is what helps companies overcome geographical distance, reduce costs, and ensure the desired consistency.
Multiple studies and research pieces suggest the benefits of implementing an eLearning program within companies. In 2017, the Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Outlook Survey found that eLearning could reduce employee training time by as much as 40-60%. Moreover, actively engaged workforces deliver 2.6 times the earnings-per-share growth of their unengaged counterparts.
When looking at the Top Fortune 500 list, 41.7% of the most profitable companies in the world are currently using eLearning tools for online training. Shell, Toyota, Paypal or Booking.com offer a wide range of eLearning tools, offering their employees unlimited access to online courses, webcasts, e-books, and guides. Such solutions help in providing training for new employees and in ensuring the affordability and efficiency of the ongoing employee training. Using an innovative eLearning solution, employees are better equipped to generate higher profits, maximize efficiency, and properly focus on their career path.
Written by Ana Păstrăvanu. Learn more from Maxcode here.
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