Staying one step ahead of innovation is a top priority for all of the best eLearning professionals. So, as we sit down to write our resolutions for 2019, it’s about time we looked at the innovation and trends that might influence digital learning this year.
The first, and perhaps most important thing to note is: Learning is as important as ever.
I recently read a report from Deloitte’s Josh Bersin, his research showed that:
“Employees who spend time at work learning are 47% less likely to be stressed, 39% more likely to feel productive and successful, 23% more ready to take on additional responsibilities, and 21% more likely to feel confident and happy. And the more you learn, the happier you become.”
You can’t argue with that.
So, let’s look at the trends which we think will impact digital learning in 2019:
1. Mobile learning
Mobile learning isn’t anything new, we’ve been speaking about it on the Omniplex blog since 2012. But it’s going to be big in 2019.
Mobile learning continues to grow in importance. A recent study reported that 2 out of 3 learners say accessing training content from a mobile device is essential. Your learners want to learn, but they want to learn on their own terms. Why wouldn’t you give them the mobile learning they want?
This report also showed that:
- When it comes to mobile, video content is king
- Mobile learning improves engagement
- The number of mobile-only users (27%) now surpasses the number of desktop-only users (14%)
So, it’s clear to see that mobile learning is paramount for your 2019 learning strategy. Personally, I have seen more courses designed mobile-first in the past year than any other. So, I’m confident in saying, mobile learning is growing, and if you haven’t already – it’s time to integrate mobile learning into your digital learning strategy.
2. Video content
Video content is on the rise within eLearning, particularly interactive video and animation. The increase in popularity of video content is partly due to younger generations entering the workforce, but also due to the sheer effectiveness of video. Interactive video is proven to improve knowledge retention, by engaging with viewers on multiple levels.
So, what’s so good about video learning?
- Bite-sized. Video content is perfect for bite-sized courses. Video conveys concepts in a story-like format, allowing your learners to sit back and watch the story unfold.
- Knowledge retention. Video is known to increase retention, based in part on ‘dual coding theory’. Whilst watching a video, humans engage with both the audio and visual channels of the brain – which work together to reinforce material.
- Emotion. Emotions can often be lost through text, which is critical in many eLearning courses. Video can accurately portray emotion in a concrete, understandable way.
Many eLearning professionals have the impression that video is expensive, however, there are many ways to create effective, low-cost videos for your digital learning, including Vyond. So why not try video in your eLearning this year?
3. Social learning
Social learning is still somewhat of a ‘new beast’ for organisations. We have spoken a lot about it, but very few of us have acted on it. But our workforce is changing. Millennials are set to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, and they bring with them a whole host of changes – including how they learn.
One of the hottest ‘buzzwords’ in the social learning realm this year is ‘user-generated content’. However, an astounding 90% of attendees on our recent ‘digital learning in 2019’ webinar, were not currently using user-generated content. And all I can ask is ‘Why?!’
User-generated content is simply content created by a community, for a community. So perhaps in your organisation, it would be learning content created by your employees, to help their peers learn. This allows employees to share their knowledge; whilst reducing time spent scheduling time with SMEs, scripting courses and course creation.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly becoming more integrated in our learning strategies – especially when it comes to social learning. Our friends at Docebo have recently integrated AI by adopting a ‘Netflix’ approach to learning – suggesting new courses to learners based on their previous interactions with the LMS. Plus – learners can suggest courses they believe their peers may be interested in.
Learn more about why social learning should be part of your learning strategy, here.
4. Augmented and virtual reality
Both AR and VR have been in the learning industry for a while now, Learning Technologies 2017 was littered with stands demonstrating both. But we’re yet to see a huge real-life application of either. But why?
Let’s start with the difference between the two:
Virtual reality is an immersive experience through technology. You’ll most likely recognise VR by the headset worn – transporting users to a computer-generated environment.
Augmented reality combines digital information with the individual’s ‘real-life’ environment. For example, a QR code to display information on a mobile phone, based on the individual’s location.
We know that both AR and VR provide an immersive experience for our learners, triggering an emotional response. This is known to reinforce learning – so why isn’t there more of an uptake?
Until recently, AR and VR have been a costly learning strategy. Coupling this with the ‘fear of the unknown’, organisations have been reluctant to give it a go. However, there are some clear, real-life applications of this technology, which would benefit organisations worldwide, including:
- Immersive branching scenarios, evoking real world emotions. Enabling employees to practice tasks without the fear or risk of failure
- Putting your product in the (virtual) hands of your learners
- Allowing your new starters to experience and explore the work environment before their first day
With these great, real-world examples coming to life, and the cost of AR/VR implementation decreasing, I predict 2019 will be the year more organisations test the waters with augmented and virtual reality.
So, there you have it, the four top trends I think will impact digital learning in 2019. If you think anything else will have a huge impact on how we learn this year, why don’t you tweet us @OmniplexeLearn – I’d love to hear your thoughts!