Keeping on top of trends is part of the eLearning job description. But are there any overlooked topics, technologies, or techniques you should be aware of this coming year?
There are a few hot topics that seem to steal the spotlight every year. They show up on virtually every trendsetting list, and for good reasons. These trends are paving the way for the future of eLearning design and implementation. However, there are others that don’t seem to get their fair share of attention. But these underrated online training trends are still worth keeping on your radar. As they have the power to improve resource allocation, employee engagement, and ROI. Plus, they make for amazing conversation starters. Collaborative training communities and data mining are great icebreakers.
Analyzing Big Data on a more regular basis may be one of the underrated online training trends, but will be all the rage in years to come. eLearning professionals are realizing that it’s not about the quantity of information, but the quality and how you analyze it. Analyzing Big Data gives you the opportunity to focus on specific KPIs, training objectives, and gaps to identify areas for improvement, both at the employee and organization-wide levels. Thus, it’s crucial to create a weekly checklist of the most essential analytics. Then delegate them to the appropriate team members so they can glean insights.
Collaboration has been a hot eLearning trend for years. Which comes as no surprise, given that it bridges the geographical divide by making learners feel more connected. But in 2019 and beyond, we’ll see more focus on communities and culture. Organizations will encourage employees to form their own sub-groups based on shared interests or goals to facilitate peer-based support. There will also be an emphasis on knowledge sharing across the board. This might involve mentorships, peer-based coaching, and other deep-rooted collaborative initiatives.
Skill-based training is already an integral part of the online training repertoire. However, the future will bring more soft skill development for the modern workforce. For example, teaching employees how to hone their interpersonal abilities for better team-building. It will also be ingrained into virtually every topic. From diversity training to sales support tools, as soft skills are the basis of providing customer care, boosting sales, and improving brand image.
Another highly underrated online training trend is employee-centered coaching. Allowing staff members to learn from mistakes and pointing them in the right direction, rather than directing their every online training move and ‘forcing’ them to participate in mandatory exercises. For example, encouraging an employee to figure out what went wrong during a task and why the customer walked away, so that they can seek out answers on their own using the available online training resources.
Employee-contributed online training libraries not only increase engagement and participation rates. They also lower online training costs. Not to mention, improve knowledge retention since employees know the topic inside out to summarize the key points. For example, they must understand every aspect of the task, including which skills and tools are required. Otherwise, they won’t be able to develop that online training tutorial or checklist and upload it to the user-generated library. Another perk is that they gain peer recognition for all their hard work. In fact, you can tie it in with your gamification strategy by enacting ‘posting’ leaderboards. Employees who create the most impactful online training content rise in the ranks.
With such rapid development of technology, mobile-first design is developing multiplatform-friendly content from the ground up, instead of merely creating content, and then uploading it to the mobile platform. It yields better results because the online training resource is intended for the mobile screen. Thus, employees don’t have to struggle through online training activities that aren’t tap or swipe-friendly. It’s true. This is the underrated online training trend that may require most time and resources. However, you won’t have to worry about modifying the mobile learning content to make it suitable for modern employees, as it’s already got all the essential mobile-first components.
Video-based training has seen immense growth in the recent times and it is one trend you don’t want to miss out on. Because of its interactive and immersive experience that facilitate real world application, employees can follow along with the task walk-through or product demo. Then click on embedded links to access supplemental simulations and scenarios to try out their knowledge or skills. Another great way to make your videos interactive is to opt for the ‘choose your own training path’ approach. Employees can decide how to proceed, which gaps to focus on, and even set their own pace.
It’s not enough to simply launch a mobile training library. The training content needs to be equally mobile and available. Native apps allow you to deploy online training on a global scale. Even when they don’t have an internet connection. You can also equip it with geolocation features to deliver more intuitive and relevant online training resources. For example, employees in your European branch automatically receive online training content in their target languages, as well as online training courses that tie into their compliance issues, local rules, and company policies.
Of course, there aren’t enough hours in the day to tackle these trends right away. So, pick-and-choose ones that are relevant and realistically feasible for your organization. Are you intrigued in the ways that the above underrated online training trends can make your eLearning course stand out from others? Download Infopro Learning’s free ebook Modernize for engagement to find out the need for organizations to modernize and develop projects that encourage learning.