It’s that time of year again which can only mean one thing; I get to peer into my eLearning crystal ball and look at what is coming down the tracks for the sector in the coming year. In this short blog post I have picked five key trends that we are starting to see momentum in and we would expect to have an impact on eLearning in 2018.
Let’s start with everyone’s favourite topic – compliance. The General Data Protection Regulation is a new EU data protection regulation that will come into force May 25th, 2018. GDPR has far reaching consequences for how eLearning vendors process data and how organizations and institutions manage data they control. A key part of next year for everyone is to ensure compliance with this regulation. Enovation has already been helping clients with this and we are also working with our partners in Totara and Moodle to ensure GDPR is as painless as possible for our customers.
2. Learning Analytics
Learning analytics have been around for a long time. Its a very rich field of research that aims to use learning data to improve learning outcomes for learners. If you are interested in this research area check out SOLAR, the society for Learning Analytics Research (https://solaresearch.org/). Analytics is starting to become a more common part of the conversation when we work with clients to improve learning outcomes. We have seen an increase in use of tools such as Intelliboard (an Enovation partner) and also the implementation of analytics driven learning tools within Moodle and Totara. Moodle have also started an important project to use data from Moodle sites around the world to build an intelligent agent to support learning in Moodle sites. This is a really exciting project that could be a real gamechanger in the industry due to the reach that Moodle has. For more information on this check out Moodle Learning Analytics.
3. Career Frameworks
This was also one from last year but we are seeing great interest in career frameworks and using technology to allow employees more control of their development and ultimately their career. Organisations that harness career frameworks will allow talent to blossom and will also give employees an increased sense of satisfaction within their organization as development opportunities are clearly communicated. This will also ensure that the best talent is identified and recognised, ensuring maximum retention of these key people. For more information, you can check out our Aura webpage.
4. Virtual/Augmented Reality
With costs of wearable headsets continually reducing, VR and AR are fast becoming an affordable reality for many organizations. While Virtual Reality has been here for a while now, Augmented Reality is opening new possibilities in the immersive learning space. Their application in compliance learning are increasing for handling high risk tasks and performing complex procedures that encourages deeper learning. The possibilities are endless when applied to a working environment.
5. Social Learning
By any measure, social learning is one of the fastest growing segments of the training and education space. Social learning and networking is essential for collaborative working in the internet age. While public social networks have become part of our daily lives, the co-creation of content, communication, sharing of ideas, resources and company policies needs secure spaces for your organization or extended enterprise. It’s important to build community in an online learning programme, in a tech centric world whereby Facebook has almost 2 billion monthly active users and Twitter averaging 328 million users per month, organizations cannot ignore the potential of virtual interaction in learning and development. Our partner Totara has built Totara Social to help manage and connect your people to the knowledge and resources within your organization. With tools like Totara Social, learning is about sharing and collaboration.
You will read a lot about e-learning trends in the L&D field as everyone in the sector is giving their predictions for the year ahead. The truth is that each organization is different and you will need to decide which technologies and innovations are best suited for you. The first question you should then ask yourself is ‘Do I have the right system in place to manage, train and retain your employees and will it continue to adapt to our constant evolving needs?’ With this in mind and the right tools, you will be able to build a strong L&D culture and contribute to your organization’s growth.