10 Main L&D Trends For 2018
Every year brings new developments to the world of Learning and Development. However, there are some topics from the past year that are still going strong in 2018, from personalized learning paths to game mechanics that make your online training courses more powerful and profound. Here are the top 10 Learning and Development trends for 2018 that every eLearning professional should know.
Personalized learning paths have been among the top Learning and Development trends for years. This is due to the fact that “one-size-fits-all” online training courses seem to always fall short of expectations. Corporate learners need to be able to focus on their areas for improvement, instead of keeping pace with their peers. Learning and Development personalization may come in the form of non-linear eLearning course maps, individualized online training contracts, or self-directed online training activities. The key is to gauge the gaps with pre-assessments, and then give corporate learners the online training resources they require to bridge them.
2. Bite-Sized Support Resources
Corporate learners usually don’t have time to sit through a half-hour online training course. Especially when they’re in the middle of a task or trying to overcome a common challenge. This is why bite-sized support resources are essential in corporate L&D. Everyone gets the information they need to solve the problem and build their skills on the spot. Thus, organizations improve their online training ROI and employees are more satisfied in the workplace. Everybody wins!
3. Robust Reports And Analytics
LMS metrics, website stats, and other sources of Big Data give you the ability to continually improve your L&D strategy. You can track corporate learners’ performance in order to identify patterns and trends, as well as highlight individual strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, you have the power to intervene when necessary and offer the ideal supplemental online training resources. For this reason, it’s essential to look for a Learning Management System with robust reporting and analytics features.
4. Self-Paced Online Training
Corporate learners must be able to go at their own pace and focus on individual areas for improvement. Self-paced online training is one of the top Learning and Development trends for 2018 and beyond because different employees require different online training resources. They need to train when it’s most convenient for them so that they can retain and recall the information. This involves setting their own schedule, developing targeted goals, and seeking out online training resources autonomously.
Badges, points, and leaderboards incentive the online training experience. Corporate learners who may lack the passion and drive to actively participate can use these tools as a springboard; at least, until their intrinsic motivation kicks in. Gamification also serves as a valuable feedback tool. For example, a corporate learner is unable to earn a badge or advance to the next level. This indicates that they need to improve in this area in order to achieve the desired outcome. There is one caveat to keep in mind, however. The rewards must justify the risk. Likewise, you have to find the incentives that spark motivation. For instance, leaderboards are beneficial for some but others might prefer less competitive game mechanics.
6. Responsive Design
Multiplatform-friendly online training content gives corporate learners the power to access online training resources on any device; from laptops to the latest smartphones and tablets. As such, responsive design eLearning authoring tools and Learning Management Systems are “all the rage” in Learning and Development. These platforms allow eLearning professionals to create a master version of the online training course with breakpoints. The system adjusts the layout based on the device. This gives every corporate learner the opportunity to navigate the online training course with ease and actively participate in the online training experience.
7. Collaborative Online Learning Cultures
Organizations are now striving to build eLearning communities that foster personal development. As a result, collaborative online learning cultures are becoming the new norm. Employees are encouraged to work with their peers to solve everyday challenges and share their experiences. A by-product of this is informal and spontaneous learning experiences on a global scale. Everyone contributes to the community and has the ability to expand their own knowledge and skills.
8. Virtual And Augmented Reality
Virual Reality and Augmented Reality online training content is becoming more common every year. This is primarily due to the fact that it has so many applications in Learning and Development, from immersive task-based online training simulations to more interactive serious games. Virtual and Augmented Reality have the power to transform online training experiences by putting corporate learners into the middle of the action. Thus, they are able to gain more real-world experience in a risk-free environment.
9. Online Mentorship Programs
Corporate learners have experience, knowledge, and skills to share. Online mentorship programs facilitate this exchange and give corporate learners more control over the online training process. You can make this collaboration even more effective by incorporating training contracts. As a result, corporate learners have the power to create personalized goals and set milestones.
10. Social Learning Experiences
A majority of your corporate learners already use social media, blogs, and online discussions. Therefore, they are a great addition to Learning and Development initiatives. Corporate learners can use these social learning tools to interact with peers and gain valuable feedback. They also have the ability to share online training resources and create their own online training content, which improves comprehension. For example, create weekly blog posts to recap the subject matter and explore their own perspective, or participate in social media groups in order to discuss important topics and share tips.
These top 10 Learning and Development trends for 2018 give a good indication of where the eLearning industry is heading. It’s all about personalization, ongoing support, and making the most of today’s cutting edge technologies, as well as giving your corporate learners the incentives and social interactions they need to actively engage.