As the year comes to a close we’re already looking forward to what’s coming in 2017 for the e-learning industry. However, 2016 was an interesting time for learning and development and we’re excited to recount some of the most notable trends of the year. Industry professionals predicted that 2016 would deliver interesting advancements in the e-learning space, including:
This year, micro-learning catapulted to the top of industry blogs as bite-sized learning became more popular with companies such as Uber Technologies and Gap Inc. reportedly making the shift to harnessing micro-learning training options. In addition, with the last of millennials entering the workforce, we saw more content providers offering a series of courses in shorter segments to cater to the new demands of the learning market.
Although gamification’s interactive format has already shaped e-learning, in 2016 we saw gamification manifest in customer-facing products such as Nike’s Nike+ and Starbucks’ rewards program. Over the past year these programs grew in popularity and became a creative way to boost customer loyalty. In the corporate learning space, we saw companies like Deloitte continuing to utilize gamified learning methods in addition to companies seeing rising engagement rates with gamified courses.
AUGMENTED AND VIRTUAL REALITY (AR/VR)
2016 was the year of Oculus Rift’s consumer products and OpenSesame has been experimenting with AR/VR to explore ways to make enterprise training even more valuable for learners. While gamification allows learners to interact and “level up” in courses, AR/VR provides an immersive environment where learners directly interact with content. This year we saw several industries using virtual reality with companies such as General Motors (GM) using VR to train employees. As e-learning courses are created in AR/VR environments, we expect to see notable changes in the industry.
THE “OPEN LEARNING EXPERIENCE”
Josh Bersin, founder and principal of Deloitte, noted that 2016 was a year where the notion of an “open learning experience” began to thrive. In an article with SHRM he describes how open learning experience companies “help employees discover and publish any content they want (including materials they author)...” In 2016 we saw the growing popularity of custom learning paths and “recommended” courses available to learners. In addition we saw training extend into social learning spaces offered through an LMS, making the learning experience catered to the learner.
Throughout the year speculators predicted that the prominence of big data in e-learning would change the way companies think about learning and development. In 2016 we saw LMS and e-learning companies amp up e-learning analytics, collecting data ranging from time learners spent on courses to testing reality-based scenarios against text-based problem solving. This has been an exciting year as new trends technologies are providing better user experiences. Courses are gradually becoming shorter, more immersive, and more interactive with data for companies to track. Although data surrounding 2016 e-learning trends are still being collected, with the emergence and growing adoption of AR/ VR and other technologies, we’re anticipating an exciting 2017.
TRANSFORMING THE E-LEARNING INDUSTRY
OpenSesame allows you to support your learners, the way they want to learn. Whether you need mobile friendly, short format, long format, ebooks, or a mix, OpenSesame’s catalog has the right content. As the trusted provider of on-demand e-learning courses for midmarket and Global 2000 companies, OpenSesame delivers:
>> The most flexible buying options to maximize your budget
>> The broadest catalog with 20,000+ courses from the world’s leading publishers, updated constantly
>> Compatibility with every LMS
Leading organizations depend on OpenSesame to train millions of employees. An entirely new and better way—easier, more economical, with less risk—to access the best on-demand training. With thousands of business, safety, technology, and compliance courses, OpenSesame helps train organizations of any size.
—BY SIMONE SMITH