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The e-Learning market has grown exponentially in the last decade. According to figures published by Statista in 2014 it was valued at $165 million but fast forward to the end of 2022 and it is now worth $244 million.
The reasons for this growth are mainly due to disruption brought about by the onset of COVID-19 which stopped face-to-face training being possible and the drive from workers to upskill to reinforce their job security.
There is no denying the benefits of e-Learning within corporate training. A recent poll by Shift eLearning showed that:
- 60% found it increased knowledge retention
- 30% found it increased productivity
- 18% found it boosted employee engagement
But as face-to-face training becomes more widespread again due to the relaxing of COVID restrictions, what does that mean for the e-Learning market and will it continue to grow?
Here we look at six e-Learning trends that developed in 2022.
Virtual learning continues to provide a very valid way of obtaining knowledge and can be helpful in closing the skills gap within organisations. As workforces evolve and hybrid working continues, virtual learning offers an opportunity to impart knowledge without having to be in a face-to-face situation. This can make it more affordable and more convenient for a lot of businesses. Often virtual training will include virtual classrooms, webcasts, video, and audio conferencing, virtual co-working, file sharing, and content co-creation.
What we’re expecting to see is augmented or virtual reality (VR) being increasingly incorporated within virtual learning. This will help combine the virtual with more hands-on learning as well as greater personalisation. With the use of VR passive training can be made more immersive. According to CNBC, VR use within businesses is forecast to reach $4.26 billion in 2023.
In 2022 we saw an increase in the need to address diverse learning styles which has led to the development and uptake of microlearning. This is where, built on the foundations of cognitive science, learning topics are broken down into more manageable pieces and introduced with spaced repetition. This proven retention-boosting method repeats content with adequate spacing between lessons, in short bursts and bite-size chunks.
The on-demand design of microlearning improves:
- employee engagement
- knowledge retention
Microlearning has been proven to improve focus and support long-term retention by up to 80% (eLearning Industry, 2021) and is often favoured by millennial learners, as they prefer training to be customised to their needs.
Off-the-shelf courses provide instant access to vital information and are sought after due to their lower-cost degree offering. As COVID hit, the demand for online learning and alternative credentials skyrocketed and they remain popular.
These courses are pre-designed and available for purchase to anyone who signs up. Instant access to short and focused courses makes upskilling easy which is why this trend has continued to grow.
However, there are disadvantages to adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to learning and development.
The drawbacks of off-the-shelf courses include:
- they offer little room for branding for a company
- the online training content may not support organisational objectives
- there is a lack of learning personalisation
- they can require special licenses or subscriptions
- it can be more difficult to revise or update your online training course
At CLP we have taken on board the advantages and benefits of off-the-shelf courses but ensure that any of our pre-designed courses are ready for us to quickly customise to our clients’ specific requirements.
Planned Learning Journeys
A planned learning journey is a strategic approach to employee development by anchoring it within a company’s business strategy. As the development of employees is key to a company thriving, it makes sense to incorporate learning and development into business objectives to encourage a return on investment.
A well-designed learning journey provides a clear alignment between employee development and the organisation’s business strategies. It can create new perspectives and insights whilst building a culture of continuous improvement.
91% of HR professionals find that utilising a journey-based approach, with continuous learning and a mix of methods can be very effective (Source: HR.com and Development Dimensions International, 2020).
Hybrid learning combines virtual and in-person classes with teachers offering in-person teaching as well as online elements combining a variety of different delivery methods.
The hybrid model can offer convenience, efficiency and can address the different learning preferences of those undertaking the training.
A combination of e-learning tools is used within hybrid learning, including microlearning, smart content creation, video-based learning, game-based learning, interactive content, social learning, and adaptive learning.
86% of employees say that collaborating with others helps them to learn the skills they need for the job. That is why social learning is so important as it occurs each time an interaction takes place, which makes it an effective tool in the formation of shared values.
Collaboration in the workplace facilitates social learning as both environmental and cognitive factors interact, which influences learning and behaviour. This means it can be a helpful tool in building organisational culture and positive learning environments.
Social learning is an important e-learning trend because the digital realm engages audiences especially within gamification leaderboards, direct message functions, forum discussions, and comment boxes.
What Can We Expect from eLearning Trends in 2023
Suffice to say, since the pandemic, technologies have continued to refine and redefine the way we learn. The digitisation of learning has brought convenience but also offered ways for companies to gain crucial insights that inform their learning strategy.
E-Learning will continue to dominate the Learning and Development space in 2023 with software trends providing equal access and customisation to answer the needs of every learner.