Here Are The Top eLearning Learning Trends To Look Out For And How They Impact The Hottest Industries
It’s no secret that the technology industry is chock-full of rapid changes and sudden breakthroughs. We never know what we'll be able to accomplish a year from now with the help of science, engineering, and innovation.
However, based on several online education trends, the next few years are much more predictable regarding eLearning in the continuing education industry.
Providers are implementing online learning strategies via virtual events, webinars, and learning management systems to engage their audiences.
These eLearning tools help participants learn new skills, gain valuable learning and development credits, and connect with other online learners.
Here are five prominent digital learning trends CE content creators and providers should adopt to remain competitive and work best for the top industries.
Five eLearning Trends Your Brand Can’t Afford To Overlook
Trends may come and go, but the ones that stay have a powerful impact on society. This is no different from the world of online learning.
When it comes to digital learning, trends often center around creating an engaging and effective learning environment.
Let’s look at the five top eLearning trends every company can leverage to attract more participants, improve brand awareness, and offer meaningful online courses.
In a nutshell, microlearning refers to educational content learners receive in bite-sized chunks. This technique is becoming increasingly popular across many adult learning initiatives, like continuing education, employee onboarding, and corporate training.
For starters, some arguments and statistics demonstrate today’s learners' attention spans are shorter than they used to be. Content created to cater to this change will deliver better results for comprehension and retention.
There's the case for shrinking attention spans. There are many benefits of microlearning.
Microlearning has also been proven to generate greater engagement with educational materials, which, in turn, tends to increase knowledge recall. Moreover, because microlearning is characterized by content delivery in segments, professional development and training programs are ideal scenarios for leveraging this learning technique.
For instance, a continuing education student might watch a series of 7-minute video clips about a given topic and then complete a related quiz or assignment. As each module covers a singular, highly focused learning objective, the series can work together to provide a complete learning experience to the student.
It’s also worth mentioning that studies show 94 percent of Millennial workers prefer a customized, bite-sized approach to learning. Therefore, while microlearning may not have mattered to your CE organization five or ten years ago, now that Millennials are making up the bulk of enrollment, it’s time to change your tune!
Try creating a series of educational modules with your existing content instead of trying to fit as much information as possible in one session. Your customers, employees, or members will appreciate it!
Did you know that 89% of learners agree they would be more productive if their university, institution, or work were more game-like?
“Gamification” is confusing and can cause course creators to feel apprehensive. Gamified courses are just as educational as face-to-face courses or run-of-the-mill discussion forums.
They are not dumbed-down versions of the original content. This concept is more about taking an existing educational program and applying gaming mechanics to the instructional design to increase engagement and motivation.
CE providers can use game-based learning strategies to provide students with points and badges, enabling the unlocking of new levels, setting mission objectives, using hidden clues, creating leaderboards, and more.
Finding new and fun ways to engage your learners is necessary to hold their attention, but it also helps facilitate the “outside-of-the-box” thinking many course creators are trying to promote.
People motivated and interested in an activity are more likely to spend more time resolving it. In light of this, gaming brings out the seriousness in those students who enjoy games as they truly immerse themselves in the learning process.
Gamification can also be a valuable tool for livening up topics many consider dull. Traditional compliance courses, data security classes, procedural training, and product training are essential activities that require attention but don’t always command it. Gamification presents a viable solution.
3. Mobile Learning
People use their smartphones for just about everything, eLearning included. While most CE learners have traditionally tackled their studies from their desktop computers, they’ve also come to expect access to their learning materials, online training programs, and certificates on their mobile devices.
Suppose they’d like to complete all or part of an online course via their phone or tablet. In that case, providers should optimize the content playback for mobile, and your organization should leverage an authoring tool that responds to various device requirements and offers touchscreen gesture support.
Look for an LMS that takes a mobile-first approach and integrates these tools for a mobile-friendly user experience.
One reason mobile-friendly continuing education content is so popular is its convLogging in and participatingrticipate in a course from anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection is helpful for on-the-go professionals who are already battling full schedules.
Studies also show that students who complete course material via smartphones do so 45% faster than those who use a computer.
Mobile-friendly employee training programs are also becoming more common, as nearly half of all organizations are deploying mobile technology to carry out these exercises in the coming year.
Finally, mobile learning applications are composed of relatively short, modular courses that require a learner to physically engage with the program even more than other forms of eLearning. This touch-oriented aspect facilitates a more interactive user experience, increasing engagement and retention.
4. Scenario-Based Learning
As its name suggests, scenario-based learning places learners in a life-like simulation or storyline that involves solving a problem to develop new skills and apply new information they gathered throughout the session.
This trending assessment method offers students the opportunity to practically apply what they’ve learned from previous assignments or courses and support the commitment of their findings to long-term memory.
This enables eLearning students to quickly see the benefits of the content concerning their educational or professional goals, ultimately making the experience more engaging than a standalone theoretical study.
This might look like students participating in group activities or role plays in a traditional classroom setting. But in an eLearning environment, it’s essential to put creativity to good use when integrating scenario-based learning.
When building scenarios into a CE eLearning course, content creators must include as many relevant interactive elements as possible, such as augmented reality options and social learning components. This will help improve learner engagement and make the content more authentic.
It’s also good to highlight characteristics your audience can relate to and leverage these characters as “avatars” in the educational storyline. Just be sure that the scenario is as realistic as possible while remaining focused on one learning objective.
5. Personalized Learning Experiences
Undoubtedly, online learning will continue to become more personalized. Organizations are starting to realize the benefits of providing a tailored experience to their attendees—and they’re opting to partner with eLearning platforms that can help them deliver customized learning paths.
This can manifest in many ways, including creating a profile or account where your credits, viewing preferences, and requirements are tracked and easily accessible. But another technique for personalizing the educational experience is through pull-based learning.
A truly personalized CE journey gives the end user more agency in choosing the content. Which topics are they most interested in? Which lessons will help them do a better job at work?
Businesses realize that it is possible to be your source of education and accreditation when you put the right pieces in place with the right eLearning platform rather than relying on other institutions to deliver the content your employee needs.
This shift also helps businesses deliver a unique experience because they can create content specific to the employee’s work environment. It’s a smart move for Continuing Education providers to follow suit!
How The Future Of eLearning Will Impact The Top Industries
The eLearning market is constantly changing, especially in how it applies to various industries.
And while eLearning trends come and go, some stick in specific areas because they elevate the online courses and help facilitate meaningful learning and development for those professionals.
Let’s look at how the future of eLearning will change the game for the top industries and catapult those professionals to the next level.
Continuing legal education is essential for lawyers across the country to ensure they stay up to date on the latest developments in their specialty area and the legal industry. Lawyers depend on case studies, simulations, and discussions to gain this valuable information.
Content curation is quickly becoming a popular eLearning tool in CLE courses. This means CLE providers will create and procure content related to a specific topic or practice area. For instance, a provider may gather videos, case studies, reputable articles, and podcasts to offer as a media library within their eLearning course.
This is a great way to pool resources and offer lawyers and other legal professionals an easy way to earn CLE credits in a specific area.
Doctors & Nurses
Healthcare workers have dedicated their lives to providing the best care to those that depend on them. This means participating in continuous learning to earn CME credits that will help them establish or maintain their licensure.
Blended learning is on track to be a popular eLearning strategy for healthcare professionals like doctors and nurses.
This approach involves integrating face-to-face learning with virtual sessions. Since physicians must participate in certain educational activities that involve hands-on practice, like CPR certification, blending learning allows them to gain that experience while accessing important CME activities from anywhere.
It’s important to ensure any CME courses you offer are fully accredited. This means they have been approved by the proper accrediting board, like the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education or ACCME. Without this approval, healthcare professionals will not be able to use these activities towards recertification.
If you are a hiring manager or work in the HR department of your company, you know how much training goes into onboarding new employees.
An eLearning trend that is gaining popularity in the corporate training industry is adaptive learning. This means participants access learning activities customized to the stage of their onboarding and which skills are most important.
For instance, if there are compliance procedures a new hire must learn, they would use an LMS to access those training materials. If a new hire doesn’t need to worry about compliance, they will attend a virtual training on a more relevant topic.
Not only does this give new employees the skills they need to succeed in their new role, but it also helps to hire managers to implement essential training without clogging their already busy schedules.
More and more psychiatrists are offering virtual meetings to help their clients access critical mental health care when needed.
So it’s no surprise that mental health professionals are turning to LMS apps to help them access training modules from anywhere.
Apps allow participants to take courses on their mobile phones to work on learning experiences between client appointments without traveling to a classroom for face-to-face learning.
This saves them valuable time that can be spent helping their clients and booking more appointments.
Professional organizations and associations offer continuing education opportunities to improve the value of their member’s dues. These courses also create an additional stream of non-dues revenue for associations.
Microlearning is an eLearning trend that’s a game changer for associations. These organizations can add value to their CE library by offering bite-sized educational opportunities to their members.
The more topics offered, the more potential members the organization will attract. And since microlearning is perfect for shorter attention spans, it will appeal to more people and improve your organization's credibility.
Access The Top eLearning Trends With BeaconLive
No matter what your brand’s industry is, keeping up with eLearning trends is vital to the success and efficacy of your continuing education program.
Not only that, it’s important to choose the right trends that fit well with your company goals. This will ensure that you invest in the technology that will help elevate your CE offerings.
If you'd like to take your CE program to the next level, try incorporating these techniques into your eLearning course. And if you're shopping around for a new LMS or platform that supports the adoption of these trends, check out BeaconLive.
Gamification Statistics. (2023). Pathways. https://www.pathwaystrainingandelearning.ca/single-post/gamification-statistics#:~:text=Employees%20say%20gamification%20makes%20them,respondents%20receive%20training%20with%20gamification.