In Dec ’19, I began work on my eBook and this article on eLearning Trends in 2020. This is 9th in the series of articles and eBooks on eLearning Trends since 2017.
To distinguish this release from other offerings, I was mulling over the approach I could use to thread various Trends and I came up with the following 3 important aspects:
With this backdrop, here is my list of eLearning Trends in 2020. I believe all of these will be an integral part of workplace learning for the near future.
Given the large number of trends, I have logically grouped them into 3 sections.
Section 1: eLearning Trends in 2020 that will help you achieve high learner engagement, performance gain, and behavioral change.
Section 2: Trends featuring learning strategies that deliver high impact and immersive learning experiences.
Section 3: Trends that will help you assess the impact and aid you in maximizing the ROI.
Do take a look at each one next…
Today, the term eLearning is being replaced by Mobile Learning as more and more organizations use this approach as the significant mode for training delivery. Accelerated by what learners ask for, as well as with the wider adoption of Microlearning and notably Video Based Learning, this trend continues to be on top.
Loved by learners, businesses, and L&D teams alike, this trend will continue to be the dominant mode for online training delivery as well as to supplement facilitated or Instructor-Led Training (ILT).
You can use it to meet the entire spectrum of your training needs, including:
This is a “must have” trend and will continue to see accelerated adoption in 2020.
Mobile Apps for corporate training provide learners the flexibility to learn anywhere and anytime.
Both Microlearning and Gamification techniques can be used very effectively to offer Gamified learning featuring a series of Microlearning nuggets. These can be easily Personalized (based on the learner’s role, region, proficiency, or interest).
With reducing costs and lower development time, Mobile Apps for learning are worth investing on in 2020.
This is the next big trend (after Mobile Learning and Microlearning) to invest on. My assessment is that over the next two years, this will emerge as the “new normal” in workplace learning.
You can use Personalized Learning for employee training needs at various levels:
Personalized Learning is an approach that will impact your ROI positively and is absolutely worth investing on in 2020.
With increasing pressure on training budgets or driven by the need to maximize the dollar spend, more and more organizations are undertaking a Digital transformation of learning.
A notable part of this exercise is converting the fully facilitated or Instructor-Led Training (ILT) to a fully Online mode or a Blended mode. In this transformation, you can opt for online resources to support ILT or transition to a Blended/fully Online training delivery:
In 2020, this trend will see further acceleration in adoption.
Today’s learners are an impatient lot! Multi-tasking and pressed for time, they do not want to log on to LMS to locate a course that may have the answer to their need or their challenge.
They want learning resources to be within their workflow (read – on their smartphone) and packaged specifically to help them or address their needs. The Performance Support Tools can address their wide-ranging needs, including:
The extensive use of PSTs or instant learning aids and job aids will continue in 2020 to help organizations improve employee performance.
Most of us are familiar with the 70-20-10 model for Learning and Development that maps the learning to be:
Organizations are realizing the need to shift their training spend that is being used predominantly for Formal training to a more balanced approach. This is reflected in providing avenues for Informal learning.
This trend will accelerate in 2020 and will offer a strong support to Formal training.
As kids, our key learning is learning with and from others and this continues to be a significant way we continue learning, even when we are working.
In the last few years, many organizations have invested on providing platforms to promote Social or Collaborative learning. The Next Gen LMSs as well as the LXPs (Learning Experience Platforms) provide a strong core to leverage Social Learning and foster a culture of continuous learning.
While determining the impact of Social Learning is difficult, it does work at several levels. It helps you create communities of practice and you can use it as a great lever for change and continuous learning.
This is a must adopt trend in 2020!
A part of Informal Learning, Self-Directed Learning (SDL) is a great way to empower learners and provide the complete control of the learning to them.
As this is not tracked, organizations are rather weary of this. However, the investment cost (of providing relevant, curated resources and possibly rewards or recognition for consuming them as well as contributing to the repository) is not high. It would help you see a more engaged learner pool that is motivated and committed to this model of learning.
I believe this trend would be an important part of workplace learning in the future and is worth investing on in 2020.
Microlearning has been the most talked about training approach in the recent past.
As short, focused bites that can be easily consumed on the go, it is certainly learners’ favorite format to learn, explore further, or meet specific on the job needs. It is action-oriented, and each bite helps learners meet a specific outcome.
Its versatility makes it a great choice for L&D teams to use it for:
The wider adoption of Microlearning does not mark the demise of Macrolearning or traditional eLearning. They will continue to co-exist, and Microlearning will be used to supplement or complement traditional eLearning. In fact, traditional eLearning courses will leverage the best of Microlearning techniques to increase learner engagement.
While it is not the answer to meet all kinds of training mandates, it will continue to lead in 2020 too. This trend is absolutely a “must have” in your training delivery in 2020.
In spite of the big question mark on the impact of Gamification, it continues to be an important learning strategy to engage learners.
Learners are drawn to it as it makes learning fun and it doesn’t appear to be a chore anymore. It can be used effectively to engage today’s multi-generational workforce.
For L&D teams, its variant “Gamification for serious learning” is the one that delivers the required ROI as it focuses on delivering specific learning outcomes (much the same way any other learning strategy does). Well-crafted Gamification for serious learning will help you achieve the following:
You can multiply its impact by combining it with other successful techniques like Microlearning and Mobile Apps for learning as shown here:
Gamification techniques can be applied across all corporate training needs.
With reducing costs, shorter time to design and deploy, several use cases and success stories, this trend is worth a serious look in 2020 if you haven’t looked at it thus far.
With an acceleration in the adoption of Microlearning and reduced costs of development, the usage of Videos will continue its upward trend in 2020.
You will see an extensive use of Microlearning videos as well as learning pathways (Read More/Explore Further) that are curated from public domain assets.
You will also see an increase in the use of Interactive Videos that provide a high degree of engagement through learning interactions and assessments, similar to traditional eLearning courses. Unlike classic videos, the Interactive videos can be tracked from the LMS.
Videos are a high-impact medium and are a great way to handle your varied corporate trainings. They:
Their versatility enables them to be used across the Learning and Performance Improvement mandate:
This trend is also a “must have” in 2020 in your training delivery to offer highly engaging and immersive learning experiences.
While there is no debate on the strength of immersive learning strategies like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR)—for multiple reasons, their usage hasn’t quite matched the hype. Given the higher costs and lack of justification of ROI, there have been relatively fewer takers for these strategies.
In 2020, you will certainly see more traction on this trend as these solutions become more affordable and can be offered to supplement Formal Training.
Today, the Internet provides access to information in seconds, but we still need to review the maze of data to identify what we really need.
Content Curation is emerging as a great way to offset this challenge and offer on-demand, relevant content to the users.
Significant value that LXPs offer over traditional LMSs are:
There is a major churn in the LMS space, and there is clear movement towards the adoption of LXPs that will continue in 2020.
As organizations increase the focus on the impact of training on the learners as well as the gain for the business, Learner analytics is a crucial aid in this endeavor.
Learner Analytics can provide valuable insights on the learner behavior to validate what is working and what is not. It can also provide actionable insights to enhance or change the current approach and align better to the goals.
It can also provide cues on what more can be done to:
This is an investment you must plan for in 2020.
In the previous trend, I had highlighted the use of AI in Learner Analytics. It will also be a trend to watch out for in the context of enhancing learning in 2020. While it has been the talk of the town for a while, we are seeing its practical value now.
We can look forward to more applications of AI for learning in 2020.
I hope my article stands out (from the other similar offerings) by giving you useful insights on each trend, its value, and how you can leverage it to create higher impact training and maximize your ROI.
Meanwhile, if you have any specific queries, do contact me or leave a comment below.
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