A corporation can be made or broken by its ability to keep pace with the latest industry trends. Human resource personnel, staffers and corporate trainers are all challenged to stay on the lookout for groundbreaking trends with the potential to completely change the industry. Here are five elearning trends that are poised to shake up the corporate landscape in a major way in the near future.
1) Bring Your Own Device
With ever-increasing ubiquity of smart devices, it’s no surprise that one of the most powerful elearning trends has to do with learning on the go, and while smartphones and tablets are becoming increasingly commonplace, smart watches are quickly gaining momentum.
What smartwatches lack in screen space, they more than make up for in usefulness. Their real-time data capture capabilities can optimize employee performance by giving at-the-moment feedback on work performance and information on how to perform the job correctly. Such feedback is made possible through the use of motion-sensing technologies such as gyroscopes, pressure sensors and accelerators.
Instructional designers and content developers are working hard to create content for the smart watch’s uniquely small screen. Once smartwatch content applications are perfected, it may be possible to display charts, diagrams and other learning graphics on its screen. This will further enhance the employee’s ability to learn continuously, whether they’re near a computer or not.
2) Augmented Reality
What if you could put on a pair of glasses, walk down the street to an empty lot, and see it overlain with a computer-generated image of the building that stood there 100 years ago? This is augmented or virtual reality, and it’s now possible through technologies such as Microsoft’s HoloLens and Sony’s Smart Eyeglasses. While the concept may sound like an amusing novelty at best or science fiction at worst, it actually has some astounding implications for corporate elearning trends.
Augmented reality is a highly effective tool for augmented learning, that is, a learning methodology in which the environment interacts with the learner, adapting to their needs in real time. With their ability to superimpose geographical information over physical locations, show foreign language translations over important documents, and display information about new business contacts, the potential uses of augmented reality for global elearning are virtually endless.
Corporate training programs are placing greater emphasis on personalization, a learning technique that improves information retention through the use of customization. Most of this type of learning occurs online where trainees fully control the pace and focus of their learning experience.
Customized learning modules, smart applications and personalized learning environments put the students in greater control of when, how, and how much information they receive thereby enhancing their ability to assimilate and recall new information. Personalized learning programs use artificial intelligence-based subsystems to give the learner feedback about their individual performance, thus allowing even further refinement of the learning process.
Corporations are leveraging humans’ basic impulse to compete and win in order to spur accelerated learning in the workplace. This new form of performance management is based on theory that people learn faster and retain more of what they learn if they are allowed to apply that learning, even in the form of a simulation or game.
Through narrative-style games that employees can access on their smart devices, managers set clear goals for employees, create a natural call-to-action and appeal to workers’ natural competitiveness. This helps employees at all levels of the organization to reach their work goals in a way that is challenging and fun.
Gaming, in one form or another, comes naturally to most people, and gamification skyrockets productivity by creatively encouraging employees to maximize their abilities. This un-intrusive performance management technique is among the most popular elearning trends. It is becoming more and more routine in the corporate world and will only become more widespread as smart technology continues to grow.
5) Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs)
Staying competitive means attracting the best talent and maximizing the training resources invested in that talent. Massive online open courses are courses that live online and provide access to thousands of students at once. They feature aggregated course materials like slides and video lectures, as well as a forum for students to communicate with one another.
Some universities are offering MOOC degrees, and more are expected to do so in the near future. The most popular MOOC belongs to MIT who started their MIT Open Courseware project in 2002 and have since drawn over 125 million students. Co-branded MOOCs such as those co-created by Google, GitHub and AT&T are even more targeted towards grooming corporate talent and are steadily increasing in popularity.