Online Learning in 2021: The biggest eLearning trends to keep an eye on

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The eLearning industry reached its peak during the coronavirus outbreak, but it has been expanding even before the pandemic. With more and more businesses making the transition to remote work, online training and learning have become essential in the corporate world.

Many businesses already converted traditional training methods to eLearning and virtual classrooms, but this trend is yet to become a worldwide phenomenon due to many concerns regarding cybersecurity and learner’s safety.

With that in mind, there are numerous eLearning trends to look forward to in 2021. Let’s see what some of these trends are.

Rebalancing learning models

2021 is already a year that drives a hard reset to workplace learning due to many COVID-19-related consequences and situations associated with the outbreak. While learning still includes traditional development and face-to-face learning methods, this concept will now also encompass eLearning.

2021 rebalance will mostly revolve around a newer concept called blended learning, including eLearning and face-to-face methods.

Face-to-face is more reserved for personalized training sessions for achieving the highest impact, while eLearning aims to deliver better user experiences and help instructors to better convey their knowledge using various tools and platforms such as Zoom and MS Teams.

According to numerous eLearning professionals, LMS functionality will also be subjected to some changes. LMS stands for learning management systems. These are powerful software tools for creating numerous online training courses to improve the skills and knowledge of eLearners.

For example, if your company comes from the IBM industry, you can use LMS software to create personalized IBM training courses to ensure your employees get the knowledge and skills they need to put your company on a highly competitive scale.

While LMS will essentially remain the same tool, it will expand its functionality with new features, including:

  • Communication tools – the COVID-19 virus made video calls become a new standard in communication. With the general increase in remote working, LMS brands will include additional communication and chat options and tracking performance and learners’ attendance, video call features, and other similar tech in their new LMS tools. There are already LMS tools with video and web conferencing features.
  • Personalization and adaptability – since most LMS tools also come with a content system, the newer versions will also include an LXP or learning experience platform that allows instructors to create personalized content delivery systems that rely on artificial intelligence to deliver content to learners in a personalized manner.
  • Increased data analysis and tracking – both analysis and data collection are still the biggest pain points of both LMS and eLearning. Fortunately, newer LMS tools will also provide advanced analysis and reporting features to properly track learners’ data, attendance, performance, impact, course completion rates, progress, gather feedback, etc.

Content creation and curation

One of the biggest challenges in eLearning is coming up with the most interactive, accurate, and relevant content that can increase knowledge retention. One of the best ways to improve your eLearning efforts is to create content that includes video.

Aside from enriching your training, virtual classrooms and webcasting can be useful tools for delivering critical information in a more entertaining way. It improves the information retention rate and can help increase the learners’ engagement.

You can use video for many different applications:

  • Microlearning – solve specific problems with quick training sessions.
  • Quizzes – you can use videos to check the learner’s knowledge by asking them to answer questions related to a specific video they just watched. Aside from improving retention, this also helps them understand the content they are learning.
  • Situational questions – you can use a video to guide learners through different training and learning scenarios with branching answers.

Mobile learning

Mobile learning is currently booming and is expected to go to even greater lengths in the time to come. Modern learners prefer learning on the go, and many instructors are resorting to using materials with an attention-grabbing design to suit the mobile preferences of their learners.

Aside from mobile-optimized content and eye-catching, responsive design, mobile learning allows both learners and instructors to blend self-paced and instructor-led learning methods. Mobile learning is designed to provide an enjoyable and informative user experience with each session and work on all mobile devices, tablets, and smartphones.

The future of eLearning beyond 2021

As technology advances and evolves, so does the way modern consumers and internet users interact with information. Aside from evident changes to content brought by the power of digital enhancement and automation, technologies like virtual reality, mixed reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence have the potential to make the biggest impact on the future of eLearning.

You can already see chatbots on almost every site you visit, taking customer service to unprecedented levels for countless businesses. AI will make them even better and more useful by enriching chatbots with a new feature – eLearning.

Respectively, VR, AR, and MR will make their humble contributions by providing learners with incredible learning, hands-on experiences, allowing them to interact with the content in the most innovative and personalized way.

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