7 eLearning Trends For 2018 You Should Watch Out For

7 eLearning Trends For 2018 You Should Watch Out For
Summary: With no more than a month left in 2017, its time to get the ball rolling on the exciting trends in store for 2018.

What Are The eLearning Trends For 2018 You Should Know About?

Did you know that corporate eLearning has grown by almost 900% in the past 15 years? There is no doubt about the enormous impact of eLearning in 2017. Technology and innovation have made eLearning a sustainable alternative to traditional learning. Easy access to tablets and mobiles has paved a path to what's known as the pocket learning. A steady increase is seen in the number of companies investing in Learning Management Systems (LMS) and other educational tools to train their employees. With this trend kicking in, there is no surprise that the eLearning industry is all set to become a global phenomenon by the end of this decade. So, here are 7 prominent eLearning trends for 2018:

1. Microlearning

In microlearning, the learning modules stretch out to not more than 7-10 min. The various formats here include videos, PPTs, audio files, quick reads etc. These are spaced out with regular quizzes and surveys to test the knowledge gained. Inspiring a student to learn in a short interval of time is what made microlearning a massive hit. 8 out of 10 professors in L&D favor the idea of learning in small chunks as their students prefer it too! Studies have already proved that human brain retains/absorbs data when presented in small snippets. This is exactly what microlearning does!

With 50% more engagement with the students, microlearning has already caught up in the industry and is expected to grow multifold in the coming year too.

2. Mobile Learning

Taking advantage of mobile becoming an inevitable part of our lives, eLearning has brought out the concept of "Learn anything, anywhere, anytime". Mobile learning is the most convenient way of learning without having to take the efforts of traveling distances to learn. According to elogiclearning.com, more than 67% of the people now use their mobiles for learning. SMBs comprise a lot of Millennials who are glued to their phones. Hence, the companies look at mobile learning as the most efficient way to train them. The flexibility in usage and the accessibility of the device are banked upon by learning providers who have ensured that their product is mobile friendly. With videos, flashcards, and quizzes already existing as a part of mLearning, more forms of learning are due to open up in the future.

3. Tests and Assignments

It is a common feature to provide quizzes, tests, and surveys at regular intervals to the user during online learning. Participants are encouraged to take up these tests and check their progress at regular intervals. The answers to these questions are explained in a very inquisitive manner, thus reinforcing the concepts. Nowadays, a lot of Learning Management Systems (LMSs) also offer peer to peer monitoring where students can pose questions to their peers. This is a very effective way of knowledge transfer within the organization. The employees gain knowledge by what their peers share. Today, a lot of experiments are being conducted for interesting interfaces and better learning environments. This is likely to continue in the year of 2018 too.

4. Gamification

Gamification is the future of the eLearning industry. Most eLearning modules fail due to boring videos or monotonous PPT's being presented in the same fashion. Most employees find very little value in the content they learn and are often disengaged in the process. This ultimately adds no possible value to the employee or the company, resulting in a waste of money and time. This is where gamification comes into the picture. Gamification promises to keep an employee engaged in the process of obtaining knowledge. It may be a new way of explaining concepts or the interface in which a quiz is presented, the opportunities for gamification are endless. According to a survey, 53% of technology stakeholders said that by 2020, the use of gamification will be widespread. The ease of creation and adaption to different areas of study makes gamification a great value addition to eLearning.

5. Social/Community Learning

Social learning methods have a 75:1 Return On Investment (ROI) ratio over web-based training.

Dating back to the theories of learning, it is evident that learning involves observation, extraction of knowledge and implementation to solve other problem statements. It may be the people, environment, platform etc. Everything influences the learning process for obvious reasons. This is what exactly social learning is.

Leveraging the bond we share with social media and our constant urge to associate in communities, social learning is emerging as the next big thing in eLearning. In this learning technique, people share knowledge, get insights from others, and thus improve their knowledge. This way they feel more motivated to get involved in social communities. Another huge step in social learning is companies developing knowledge repositories with the help of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Most organizations believe that 20% of the learning happens with social interactions, and this is one such opportunity.

In the months to come, LMSs are increasing services aiding social capabilities.

6. Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality Technology

Augmented Reality is where a live or direct view of the real environment is modified by computer-generated information. This enhances one's perception of the reality. On the other hand, Virtual Reality replaces reality with simulated information. These technologies have been around for a couple of years in the eLearning industry. But, as expected the costs of deployment and delivery were relatively higher in the initial stages. Now, with the costs coming down we can expect learning to be magnificently transformed by the AR/VR technology. Ideally, one could put their learners in realistic environments which could be explored further. Sounds super exciting right?

7. Open and Flexible Systems

Gone are those days when 'one size fits all' training model would work for companies. Every organization has a particular set of requirements and it is highly impossible to accommodate them in a concrete LMS. Today, a lot of organizations are moving towards Learning Management Systems which can accommodate changing needs regularly. They are in need of tools that freely integrate and extend functionality that fits their business best.  In case of any change in technology which a company uses, this new open source LMS would accommodate it with ease. This way scaling up in new domains is simplified multifold. The year 2018, promises to deliver more such LMSs to the industry.

With all the new trends dominating the industry, eLearning has been quite popular in the past decade. The coming year promises to accommodate new changes, methods, and technologies making learning interesting and fun. It is now the turn of all companies to use these innovations to train their employees and uplift their growth. Ultimately top-notch training leads to a productive workforce. Isn't it?‌