After 2020, almost everything. We've been forced to adapt to a new way of doing things, both in our personal and professional life. For most of us, our home became our office, and all of the business meetings moved in an online environment. Also, according to research, in 2017, 77% of companies incorporated some form of virtual training. By 2020, that number jumped to 98%, due to the shift to a remote workforce.
And most of the people approve this change, as surveys of workers have found that 90% of employees want to keep working from home in 2021. Thus, eLearning is needed more than ever and the industry should focus on responding to the needs of the global business environment.
The need for adaptation determines the direction of eLearning to a lesser or greater degree. For example, think of the fact that the traditional training has been practically cut down since the covid pandemic started, so trainers who were used to delivering traditional training programs have been forced to adapt.
Thus, the concept of training for trainers has become a necessity and it is delivered in the online environment, with a focus on providing trainers with the tools and skills they need to keep students engaged and motivated in the online courses.
Also, training programs should be perceived as a form of performance support, rather than learning and development programs that happen once in a while, without a certain continuity and without implementing a continuous learning culture. Training should be fully integrated within the day by day working schedule, seen as a professional support in terms of knowledge and skills, hands-on experience and social learning.
Another change is related to the information delivery channel. Until now, most of the training materials have been created for desktops and adapted to mobile devices. Now, as people are transitioning to spending most of their time on the phone, the learning materials are designed for mobile experiences first.
Moreover, there are eLearning related trends and aspects that are kept during this year, with a focus on enforcing them. For example, social learning is more important than ever, as people need connectivity during this difficult time, and communities of practice are a great way to enforce them. And the eLearning platforms keep up with this trend, coming up with tools that enhance social learning, such as communities of practice that encourage people to brainstorm, come up with insights from their own experience and better understand the knowledge delivered during corporate training programs.
Also, microlearning, video training and virtual learning are still important this year, as the direction is towards training programs that allow for interactivity and actual engagement. Microlearning refers to short-term learning activities and small chunks of learning units that keep the learner focused, while delivering information that can be easily absorbed. Video training is favourable because it enhances both engagement and interactivity and people are more likely to retain knowledge if they actually interact with it, enforcing hands-on experience.
Another trend that is mainly new, but growing fast is the usage of MR, VR, and AR. According to definitions, "MR (Mixed Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), and AR (Augmented Reality) are high-tech means of taking the learning process to the next level. As technology continues to expand and companies get their hands on complex programs, they will be able to leverage MR, VR, and AR to dramatically enhance the learning experience of their employees."
Some (final) thoughts
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