Since the very roots of eLearning in the 1960s until today, the industry for online education continues to grow and change. eLearning offers myriad benefits over traditional classroom education, from cost and accessibility to flexibility and functionality. As a result, learners with all manner of education goals and interests have found value in engaging with online courses.
As the eLearning industry grows and changes, more opportunities are becoming available for executives and their workforce to improve without stepping foot in a traditional classroom. Here are a few eLearning trends that could impact organizational education and training and that business leaders can use in their decision-making processes going forward.
First, and perhaps most important, is the effect on learning and development (L&D) departments that eLearning has demonstrated. According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report, 64 percent of specialists in L&D believe that the field has progressed from a “like” to a “need” across organizations — as a result of the same forces that are driving adoption of eLearning.
Digital transformation has significant influence not only on the performance of a company within its market but also on the needs of employees within the company. As the organization adopts new tools and processes, its workforce will require new training to function effectively within the new paradigm. Similarly, as more workers take advantage of digital technologies to work remotely, organizations need L&D solutions that connect work from home (WFH) employees with corporate vision and goals.
eLearning, alongside L&D, has transitioned from a practical tool to a mandatory one. Executives need to recognize that developing eLearning solutions is essential for the continued engagement and development of their workforce.
Increasingly advanced digital technologies are improving every aspect of business operations, and it should hardly be surprising that advanced tech is affecting eLearning opportunities, as well. In particular, artificial intelligence developers are beginning to revolutionize eLearning platforms, delivering greater accessibility and better student outcomes thanks to intelligent programming that can analyze engagement and experience.
While not all eLearning platforms currently offer AI solutions, the growth of the AI industry and the widespread adoption of AI means that more eLearning solutions could leverage this advanced tech in the near future. Executives across industries would do well to learn more about AI applications, especially in eLearning, and make moves to integrate AI into existing eLearning tools through development and partnership.
In traditional learning environments, there are few opportunities for organizations to experiment with different styles and methods of imparting information. To a significant degree, companies are dependent on the techniques of their instructors, who may be more or less effective at influencing the knowledge and skill of the workforce.
In contrast, eLearning platforms are capable of collecting exceptional amounts of data on different education strategies, measuring factors like student engagement and performance. As a result, eLearning tends to offer organizations improved strategies for training, such as:
Psychologists suggest that humans engage with stories as a means of finding logical and emotional patterns in an often chaotic and cold world. By using storytelling techniques in course design, eLearning platforms can bring real-world lessons into the classroom.
No two learners are exactly alike. eLearning tools can personalize the student experience by providing more control over critical aspects of the course, like style, speed and schedule of education. Additionally, advanced eLearning platforms can offer personalized feedback based on student performance.
Microlearning is a method of education that involves delivering relatively small amounts of information to learners in the hopes that learners will learn more effectively with less on their plates. This method of eLearning can take several forms, from online short courses in advanced topics to bite-sized texts, so executives can experiment with different microlearning environments within their organizations.
Mobile device use dominates desktop use in almost every arena, from web traffic to eCommerce sales and more. Many eLearning programs are migrating to a mobile-first experience to improve experiences for learners who enjoy the convenience and ease of mobile device use.
The sooner executives recognize the value of investing in eLearning solutions, the sooner they can deliver high-quality training and support to their staff. By understanding eLearning trends that deliver organizational value — and by engaging with a variety of eLearning solutions themselves — executives can develop effective strategies for harnessing eLearning into the future.