We may only be in the fall of 2015, but that doesn’t mean it’s not the time to start looking ahead to 2016.
Several areas of interest converge within the e-Learning industry. These include the technology of e-Learning, online learning and learning management systems as well as corporate training, human resources, talent management and general technology evolution.
With all of these important areas merging with one another, it’s always wise to look forward and stay ahead of the trends.
Here are some of the developments we’re anticipating seeing as we move toward 2016:
Big e-Learning Investments
Since about 2012 there have been big predictions as far as how corporations will expand their training budgets.
The growth in training investments spending is expected to continue significant growth into 2016. According to TechNavio, the global eLearning market has grown at a rate of 7.9% since 2012 and increasing trend that will continue into 2016.
The Role of Big Data
The concept of big data and its role in e-Learning and human resources isn’t new—it’s something we talked about in our predictions for 2015. At the same time, while it may not be a new trend, it’s just one that continues to have a significant impact on everything from employee training to overall talent management strategies.
Big data can become increasingly useful for businesses as they look to unite their e-Learning training with HR and talent analytics.
Gathering and relying on big data will also be helpful when creating a business case for training, as the collection and analyzing of big data is the best way to determine a return on investment for money spent training employees.
Data will become increasingly segmented and individualized as the tools and options expand. These tools will be provided through talent management software as well as through learning management systems.
An Individualized Approach To Talent Management
Employee training and talent management are intrinsically linked to one another. Training and development are essential pieces of an active talent management strategy. Within each of these areas we’re expecting to see a tremendous focus on personalization and individualized strategies.
With the evolution of both e-Learning platforms and talent management software, it’s becoming simpler and more cost-effective to deliver employee training and development uniquely tailored to the individual.
This will simplify employers’ abilities to create personalized talent development plans and have a better grasp on the development of top performers.
More Automated Options
One of the many reasons corporations are turning increasingly to e-Learning to train employees is because it offers the best of both worlds. e-Learning provides the convenience and time-saving benefits of automation but at the same time it’s flexible, versatile and can be tailored to address a wide variety of needs.
As we look forward to 2016, there is likely to be an increase in the automated offerings available from many learning management systems.
While LMS providers already offer a great deal of automation—for example, automated tracking and reporting—2016 could bring about some exciting additions.
It’s likely that more algorithm-based learning and training content generation will take place, making the delivery of training even easier for managers and administrators.
Many of the coursework design features will move toward automation, as will elements like quizzes and assessments.
The workplace is no longer seen as benefitting from being an extremely secretive environment.
Employees are demanding more transparency than ever and that’s going to spill over to every area of the workplace in 2016.
Employers are more likely to recognize high performing individuals that they see as having a great deal of potential, and they’re also more likely to point out areas where employees are showing weakness.
It will be easier to exhibit transparency in these areas because of talent management and e-Learning technology with detailed record-keeping and feedback tools.
Training Will Become More Specific
As mentioned above, training is no longer seen as something that takes a one-size-fits-all approach. Thanks to evolution in the modern workplace along with new technology, it’s possible to deliver individualized training. There’s also likely to be more focus on training in a precise way.
Rather than training on broad, generalized topics, employees will find that they’re going to be learning in very micro-centric ways. Training will also focus on exact real world issues employees are facing, rather than being simply about an overarching idea of what it is to work in a particular company.
It’s likely companies will find an improvement in their return-on-investment in terms of training budgets as a result.
The idea of annual or quarterly performance reviews as the only source of feedback an employee receives is being edged out.
Thanks to the rise of technology in the workplace, employees are going to be finding out how they’re doing more immediately.
Technology-based record keeping and things like assessments offered in e-Learning modules will help provide a more thorough and instant level of feedback.
This is likely to benefit employees as much as their employers because they’ll have a clearer idea of what it takes to be great, and where they need to make improvements.
Feedback is also likely to be more objective, as opposed to subjective. This is in large part due to a concept we mentioned at the start of this post, which is the importance of big data.
An Emphasis On mLearning
The idea of mobile learning, or mLearning, isn’t new, but it’s going to move into the spotlight in 2016.
Trends likely to emerge as a result of the emphasis on mLearning include a focus on HTML5, which allows for the design of responsive e-Learning design for use on a mobile device. This is important as many organizations are embracing the concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), meaning training and e-Learning need to be accessible on any device.
Overall, instructional designers and companies using e-Learning to deliver training will hone in on what it means to have top-notch responsive design as users increasingly move between multiple devices.
The concept of bite-sized information will also become even more important with the rise of mLearning.
What do you anticipate we’ll see as we close out 2015 and head into 2016?
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