The Future is Here: 10 eLearning Trends to Look Forward to in the 2020s

1.      Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence has many applications in the realm of learning. AI can help you simulate hyper-realistic training situations. It can also help clients without wasting valuable manpower on simple questions. A cheap way to do this would be to program a simple chatbot to respond from a pool of phrases based on trigger words. Employees can then use it to practice speaking with customers. The chatbot could respond to “how can I help you” with “I am looking for x product” or “I don’t know how to access my photos.” As the conversation continues, the bot could become angry, distressed, or remain neutral depending on the user’s entries.

2.      Alexa Skills

Alexaskills are extremely versatile. For example, a skill can play audio from an instructor or step-by-step instructions. Skills could also communicate short training courses complete with knowledge checks. Such a skill could send an email to HR or even integrate with an LMS system to track employee progress.

3.      Adaptive eLearning

Adaptive eLearning allows users to skip ahead or review content depending on their progress. This type of learning is great for those who are new to a course, but not new to a subject, as well as those who are returning to a course for a refresher. It can help users who are struggling with the content by suggesting sections of a course they should consider reviewing.

4.      Virtual Reality/Environments

Virtual reality is a cost-effective solution for things that are dangerous and/or expensive to teach to newcomers. It has applications for many fields, such as medicine, the military, technology, chemistry, and industry. Clients can manipulate a product they are considering purchasing in virtual reality and see how they might use it. Students could visit locations, such as Pompei. Employees could explore the job site before their first day. Bomb disposal experts could practice in a safe environment. Line workers could practice moving products through the system away from delicate and potentially dangerous machinery.

5.      Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) allows digital information to be overlaid onto our world via a device such as a smartphone. An AR application could display information about the parts that make up a product. Visitors/clients could use AR to get directions around a large building. When paired with instruction manuals, AR could identify which parts belong to each step. It could also be used as a troubleshooting method, displaying information about how to solve certain errors.

6.      Game-Based Learning

Gamification, which uses techniques that games use, such as badges to track progress, or mini-games as knowledge checks, is not the same as game-based learning. Game-based learning is an immersive experience where the entire training takes place as part of a game. One example is a virtual environment that a learner can explore and interact with as part of their “first day on the job.” They could complete quests for managers and/or clients. This allows learners to get a feel of the work they will be doing. For a retail store, an employee might have to pull products from the stock room, deal with a shoplifter, handle scanning items at the cash register, or even help a customer navigate the floor.

7.      Social Learning

Social learning is when learners can communicate with one another about what they have learned or struggled with. Reviewing these interactions between users can help you improve your content in the future. Social learning can be achieved through comments, online discussion groups, score-leaderboards, and learner achievements/badges. Achievements and leaderboards can improve performance by creating passive competition.

8.      Learning via Apps

Most people have a mobile device on them at all times. Learning via apps allows users to learn when it is convenient, such as while traveling or on a client site. App-based content also allows users to work with software on their computers while looking through guides, viewing training videos, or completing a step-by-step course. This relieves the hassle of having to constantly switch back and forth between windows.

9.      User-created Content

User-created content puts learning and training in the hands of the users. This type of eLearning consists of videos or guides created by users for users. The content could vary from step-by-step videos to quick tip video guides, online discussion forums, and even audio podcasts about the things people have done with your product. It is often self-moderating since most platforms that support this form of content allow comments and provide ranking systems. Hosting the content yourself provides more control over the type of content and information that gets put out there, whereas if it was on YouTube, your ability to revoke incorrect or inappropriate information is very limited.

10. Embedded training

One of the most convenient ways to train your employees or clients is to embed training videos or courses within the software itself. Users can easily follow along with step-by-step instructions. This eLearning trend makes relevant learning content immediately available to your users.


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