Instructional Design Trends

2016 – 9 Trends on the eLearning Landscape

What are the eLearning development trends in 2016?

How can eLearning developers create programs to satisfy the growing and unique needs of learners? Every year TalentLMS comes up with a revolutionary list of eLearning processes and procedures for eLearning development. Here are the latest and most popular eLearning trends!

1. Gamification

The impact of gamification on eLearning still looks amazingly strong. Experts and mainstream learners can’t deny the success of gamification in enhancing human cognition.

Game dynamics, when applied to non-gaming environments, bring about powerful results. Learners are being motivated and engaged through gamification well into 2016. Recall and application skills are also better than in gamified learning environments. For these fantastic reasons, we encourage eLearning developers to integrate gamification into their eLearning programs. Gamification is still the hot eLearning trend in 2016!

2. mLearning

No business is complete without a mobile app version of the website. This trend quickly paved its way into eLearning. The reason? Users are looking at mobile phones for all their computing needs. If your eLearning program is incompatible with mobile devices, you very well might be rendered out of the industry this year!

Experts are predicting a heavier inclination towards mobile apps and mobile computing experiences in the upcoming years. mLearning literally places knowledge and information in the palm of the user, regardless of the place and time. This power is becoming easier to develop and even easier to achieve.

Supporting applications that create HTML5 and other mobile-friendly outputs are widely available for all your interface experience design needs. eLearning will soon benefit the pre-existing location-based marketing technologies, QR codes, GPS and many others. mLearning is also the leading source of authentic learning experiences created through augmented learning.

3. Personalization

Personalization is an eLearning trend we have devoted an entire article to. The main method to achieve customizable content is to produce independent chunks of learning. These can also be called micro learning units. They are portable and easy to assess. They can also be updated much faster than large volumes of eLearning programs.

Personalization of material for learners can also be achieved by adjusting the pace of instruction, leveraging student interests, letting learners choose their own path and pace, and adjusting content presentation by choosing text, images or videos.

4. Adaptive and competency-based programs

Adaptive and competency-based programs are not new to pedagogy. Remember those math placement tests in college? You solved math problems and, depending on your responses, the questions got increasingly challenging.

When this concept is brought to eLearning, you have learners who are able to opt out of learning sections simply by testing. Employees love this feature. It helps them evaluate their current knowledge while keenly eyeing the upcoming information. A lot of time is saved by preventing employees to repeat themselves! Competency-based models are soon becoming the core of all organizational training programs.

5. Automation

We are more used to the term rapid eLearning development. Seems like advances in rapid eLearning development have lead to the automation concept. The design time, cost and efforts are slashed down substantially. Automated technologies can curate assessment questions, exercises, tests, and several other course content elements. Instead of working on user experience and other aesthetic design details, eLearning developers are focusing on improving the quality of the content and linking content to context.

Automation will soon create faster course authoring tools that are efficient and effective in presenting the content. They will also aid in preparing quicker assessments and other eLearning content.

6. Augmented learning

Three years ago, when augmented learning was still in the air, it seemed like a magical technology! Imagine being able to experience an authentic vision, place or an environment. Immersive eLearning got even more immersive with augmented learning.

Other examples of augmented learning include touch screens, voice recognition, and interaction where the learner draws down the required information in their chosen format, as needed. Augmented learning could top this list in 2017!

7. Big data

The term “big data” is as big and humongous as it sounds. Given the exponential pace of information generated daily, big data continues to rise as a thing to look out for. Computing technologies like data analytics determine trends, patterns and associations between different data to yield meaningful information. Big data will soon aid eLearning developers to create better eLearning programs. And learner analysis will be more thorough than ever.

8. Cloud technology

We had to mention “cloud technology”, as much as we tried to avoid it in this list! The Cloud has prevailed over server-based applications. With the initial security and integrity concerns dampening away with time, Cloud tech is here to stay. Instant and scalable learning management systems can easily be set up using the Cloud. Course authoring and deployment tools are increasingly earning respect on the Cloud.

The technology is simply getting more responsive, more user-friendly and agile with time. Cloud-based applications will only get better this year and in the upcoming years.

9. Corporate eLearning

Employee development is the number one priority for growing companies. eLearning has proven to be the most cost-effective option for the employee learning needs. Moreover, ambitious adults look for professional development and growth opportunities provided by their companies. If they strike out, they are ready to move to companies that have similar learning values as them!

Organizations also realize that innovation and creativity is fatally hindered if no learning and training intervention is available to employees.

Moreover, companies know that external training developers can only guide the training department and its goals. The best eLearning programs are the ones produced (over time) within the company, by the employees and managers themselves!

A plethora of smart learning strategies are available that are enabling employees to reduce training time and enhance performance. Businesses are working hard to achieve in-house training and eLearning development programs that will improve their KPIs. Corporate eLearning seems to be spreading across the eLearning horizon!

eLearning trends come and go each year. But there are some that refuse to budge from the “popular” list. This simply means that these eLearning trends are working well with learners and eLearning developers need to polish these skills further.

Some new educational technology tools have been entered the “popular” list; and while we have skeptics and naysayers to these eLearning trends, we also have a rising group of digital eLearners who are willing to adopt anything new and exciting. Whether the new ones will stay on the list or the old ones will go, only time will tell.