5 eLearning Trends That Are Dominating In 2020 (And 5 Predictions For 2021)

5 eLearning Trends For 2020 (And 2021 Predictions)
My Life Graphic/Shutterstock.com
Summary: In this article, we take a look at 5 eLearning trends that are dominating the industry in 2020, as well as 5 predictions that are likely to redefine industry standards in 2021.

Top eLearning Trends In 2020

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the eLearning industry was expanding at a steady pace. But now, the closure of most businesses and educational institutions has led to explosive growth as more and more organizations are investing in virtual learning experiences for their employees. According to a new study by Global Market Insights, the eLearning market is set to reach $375 billion by 2026. This means there are tons of opportunities for businesses looking to use eLearning to fuel growth and expansion. In this article, we take a look at 5 eLearning trends that are dominating the industry in 2020, as well as 5 predictions that are likely to redefine industry standards in 2021.

1. Mobile Learning

A study published by CNBC states that by 2025, almost 3/4 of the web population will access the internet solely through their smartphones. The increased mobile usage extends to accessing training and learning content via mobile devices. This means that, in order to meet the needs of mobile learners, it's crucial to build courses with mobile users in mind, and ensure that the materials are responsive and flexible enough to allow publishing to multiple outputs. This will give learners the best experience regardless of which device they access their education or training from.

2. Microlearning

Microlearning is perfect for the new generation of learners with shorter attention spans. In order to help students absorb knowledge in a more efficient way, it's essential that information is provided at a rate that matches their ability to focus. This will improve learning transfer and engagement, as well as increase development speed. It will also help to reduce development costs for businesses looking to get the most from their Learning and Development.

3. Personalized Learning Experiences

This trend started with millennials, but as the true digital natives—Generation Z—begins to enter the workforce, organizations will benefit by providing them with personalized learning experiences that include curated and mobile-ready content, gamified content, microlearning assets, and other learning experiences that are in line with their custom of having the internet at their fingertips at all times.

4. Data-Driven Processes

Data influences society in a variety of ways. In the past few years, we have seen the power of data affect individuals and enterprises. One example is the GDPR regulations [1]. Today, it's vital for designers to not only know the most effective ways to use data to inform their decisions but also learn how to protect the data of online learners as well. They must have a deep knowledge of qualitative and quantitative data in order to reach design decisions, meet the learners’ individual needs, and excel in instructional design.

5. The Rise Of Peer-To-Peer Learning

Much of the soft skills development that is taking place at many organizations around the world happens through learning content that is created by peers and coworkers. According to LinkedIn [2], soft skills like creativity, analytical reasoning, and persuasion were among the most in-demand skills that businesses were looking to cultivate in 2019. This trend has continued to grow in 2020, and it's those companies that have the ability to package and scale peer-to-peer learning of this type that'll make the biggest strides in bridging the ever-widening skills gap.

5 eLearning Trend Predictions For 2021

As the coming year fast approaches, the online learning market is expected to increase even more. This means that organizations must be on the lookout so they can stay up-to-date with the coming eLearning trends in 2021. Here are 5 trends to watch out for:

1. Learning Experience Platforms

After the Learning Management System, the next milestone is the Learning Experience Platform. In 2021, many companies will use this new platform to enable self-directed learning to meet the updated standards of the eLearning industry.

This is the future of the system and it is something that a lot of leading eLearning software companies have already begun to implement.

2. Bigger Big Data Analytics

Big data analytics has allowed creators of educational content to cater to individual learners' needs.

In 2021, it is expected that this trend is going to explode in growth and allow companies to increase their training ROI by gathering relevant information of their learners' experiences so they can present them with suitable training formats.

3. Artificial Intelligence Tutors

The introduction of Artificial Intelligence instructors can help in the creation of highly customized training paths through the use of data analysis. Students can have personalized tutors helping them in their online training. These teachers will be available 24/7 and easily accessible on any device. With the integration of Artificial Intelligence, there will be smoother interaction between students and AI teachers for an overall improved online training experience.

4. AR, VR, And MR

In the coming era, students can expect a better learning experience through the introduction of AR, VR, and MR. A large portion of learners prefers to have information displayed as opposed to reading. For these students, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Mixed Reality will serve as an effective method of helping them achieve their full potential.

5. User-Generated Content

User-Generated Content, or UGC, is a trend that has already been implemented by many large companies. There has already been a marked drop in companies’ use of external suppliers for creating bespoke eLearning content, and in 2021, it is expected that we will see this democratic approach to learning and sharing knowledge being used on a larger scale to deliver enhanced training. Much of this inevitable shift toward a more open working and learning environment is the direct result of technological advancements that enable easy collaboration.


We live in a world of constant disruption. Trends are continually shifting in the eLearning industry. Use the information in this article to help you stay on top of things so you can make the most of your organization's learning and development efforts.

What other eLearning trends do you hope to see in the industry in the coming year? Let us know in the comments section below!


[1] What is the General Data Protection Regulation? Understanding & Complying with GDPR Requirements in 2019

[2] New LinkedIn Research: Upskill Your Employees with the Skills Companies Need Most in 2020