Whether you’re a hiring manager, a trainer, a department head or an entrepreneur, it’s important to stay updated on all the latest trends in learning if you want to get the most out of your team. These days, online learning, or eLearning as it’s often known, is one particularly helpful way of educating team members and allowing them to grow and develop.
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Online learning is beneficial because it saves money and time, is more flexible and scalable than traditional learning and allows businesses and employees to gain access to the best speakers and educators from around the world.
Regardless of the type of training programs you want to set up for your workforce or help them get access to, online learning can help. From online Master’s in Education programs through to courses in computer programs and coding or training for speaking and leadership, there will be an eLearning opportunity to suit.
However, to get the most out of this kind of offering, you do need to stay up to date about what’s available. It’s important to know the direction online learning is going and what’s new and available right now. To help with this, keep reading to discover some of the key eLearning trends to be aware of.
Artificial Intelligence and Automation
Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation have been having an impact in all industries lately, so of course, these technologies are affecting eLearning. New developments in technology can help trainers and developers as they design, build, test and evaluate learning programs.
In online learning, AI is currently used in the form of virtual teaching assistants. These help generate and deliver content for students. Virtual assistants are on hand to communicate with learners during their studies and to provide support as needed. AI is handy when it comes to working with students who are falling behind in programs since the program can be designed to help people to focus more on the subjects or assignments they’re struggling with.
In the realm of automation, new tech is enabling online learning providers to automate many parts of their programs, from creation through to assessments. Educational software is getting better and better at reducing the amount of time it takes trainers to build courses, and it’s also reducing the costs of implementing learning programs.
Courses in Unexpected or Highly Specialized Topics
While eLearning was once only used for common courses, today we’re seeing lots more breadth. There are now online courses in subjects you’d traditionally think of as needing to be fairly hands-on and in-person – for instance, fine arts, athletic training, agriculture, fire science, construction management and dental hygiene. Plus, there are more educational facilities offering programs in focused, niche areas. These are often shorter courses, which are designed to attract specific customers.
Micro-learning is another trend. The phrase refers to training which is broken down into smaller, bite-sized learning chunks, such as information presented in 10-, 20- or 30-minute sessions, rather than much longer programs. The benefit of micro-learning is that it suits people who are busy and who need to fit their learning in around work and life schedules. Small doses of education can be taken in here and there as time allows.
Plus, micro-learning also suits people who have short attention spans or learning difficulties. Rather than having to sit in on classes which go for hours or days at a time, people can break up learning into more easily digestible chunks.
Gamification has been a huge focus for many sectors over the last 10 or so years. As you would expect, gamification made the leap into learning. For online programs, using games is a plus because it helps students to understand content more effectively, and to retain knowledge better. It particularly appeals to younger generations such as millennials but can be set up for any age group. It helps students who may struggle with traditional learning styles, and it allows people to make mistakes as they learn. This reduces pressure and enables people to feel better about their progress – and makes them more likely to stick with training as a result.
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