At this time of the year, you look out for trends that can enhance your training delivery. In this article, I share the eLearning Trends in 2019 you can use to enhance, measure, and maximize the impact and returns on your learning strategies.
eLearning Trends In 2019 You Can Use To Enhance Your Learning Strategy
As I began my exercise to predict eLearning Trends in 2019, the fourth one in this series, I took a step back to see why anyone seeks upcoming trends.
The top 5 reasons why L&D teams look at trends are listed here. They prompt them to adopt new or better approaches that:
Keep the learners engaged.
Ensure knowledge acquisition happens.
Facilitate the application of the acquired learning on the job.
The desired performance gain and ROI occurs.
A positive ROI on training spend is established.
In this article, I take this need as the thread to share the eLearning Trends in 2019. I have grouped them as follows:
Section 1: I list the trends that help learners learn and, more significantly, apply this learning to show better performance or the required behavioral change.
Section 2: I list trends featuring learning strategies with a proven track record of delivering a better engagement quotient and higher training impact.
Section 3: I follow this up with a list of trends that organizations must invest on to measure, enhance, and maximize the impact of their training.
Section 4: I wrap up with trends that are clearly emerging as front runners for investment in the very near future.
With this approach, I am confident that the featured eLearning Trends in 2019 in this article will offer tremendous value in enhancing your learning strategies in the New Year.
Upcoming Release: I also have a free eBook on eLearning Trends in 2019 releasing on Jan 15th.
Designed as a guide that you can practically use, it features a typical learner journey that highlights how modern learners learn and what they wish to see in their online training delivery.
I use this backdrop to highlight how the featured eLearning Trends in 2019 can be used to add value to learning and its application plus measurement and further gains.
Without further ado, here is my list of eLearning Trends in 2019 banded logically to facilitate their impact and application.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 1: The Trends That Help Learners Learn And Apply This Learning To Show Better Performance Or Behavioral Change.
Digitalization of ILT (to Blended or Fully Online)
Performance Support Tools
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 2: Learning Strategies With A Proven Track Record Of Delivering A Better Engagement Quotient And Higher Training Impact.
Video-Based Learning (Videos and Interactive Videos)
Mobile Apps for Learning
Curation and User Generated Content
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 3: The Trends That Organizations Must Invest On To Measure, Enhance, And Maximize The Impact Of Their Training.
Learning Engagement Platforms – LXP
Big Data-Reporting and Analytics
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 4: Other Notable Trends To Watch Out For—The Future Is Here!
AR/VR and MR for Immersive Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Learning
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 1: The Trends That Help Learners Learn And Apply This Learning To Show Better Performance Or Behavioral Change.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #1: Mobile Learning
Over the last 4–5 years, the adoption of Mobile Learning has been on the rise. This is on account of the flexibility it provides to learners (learning on the go, multi-device support – including smartphones, tablets or laptops/desktops, and anytime and anywhere access).
From an organization’s perspective, this is clearly an approach that resonates better with learners, offers higher engagement, provides better completion rates, and can be used to support both formal and informal trainings.
What I see changing in 2019 is the maturing of Mobile Learning solutions, leading to a bifurcation into mobile friendly or adaptive designs and mobile first or fully responsive designs. The latter will align better to the way learning is expected to be consumed (notably on smartphones) and will feature learning interactions optimized for them.
Additionally, Mobile Learning will be used to offer almost the entire spectrum of corporate training needs. It will feature high-impact formats including videos, Microlearning, and apps for learning.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #2: Digitalization Of ILT (To Blended Or Fully Online)
While the ILT mode is not dying, it will soon start getting limited to niche programs. 2019 will see further increase in the Digitalization of ILT (to blended or fully online). Even the core ILT delivery will get supported by online resources including pre- and post-workshop material and assessments.
The triggers include push from learners to reduced training budgets and shorter cycles to train employees.
My assessment is that in 2019, we will see a higher percentage of programs going to the fully online format that can be consumed on the device of the learner’s choice (ranging from smartphones/tablets to laptops/desktops).
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #3: Performance Support Tools
Performance support tools or PSTs are learning aids or job aids that are designed to address a specific learning need.
They are available to the learners within their workflow and hence can be easily accessed and used without having to log on to an LMS.
Designed to support formal training (focusing on knowledge acquisition), PSTs can facilitate learning application thereby improving the training impact and learner proficiency. They can be used to support ILT as well as online training, and they effectively serve as a measure to offset the “forgetting curve.”
2019 will see further adoption of PSTs riding high on the increase in mobile learning, Microlearning, and video-based learning.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #4: Informal Learning
The fact that learning happens through multiple channels (and not just formal training) is an established one.
Many of us may be familiar with the 70-20-10 model for Learning and Development. According to this model,
70% of the learning is experiential (that is, happens on-the-job).
20% is through social or collaborative learning (that is, learning with or from others).
10% is through formal training programs.
While we may debate on the percentages shown here, the model does affirm the need of organizations to create a support system and the opportunities to promote informal learning in their workplace.
The usage of measures like performance support tools or PSTs as well as platforms to promote social learning will see significant increase in 2019.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #5: Social Learning
In our early years, our learning is purely from others and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this is true for learning at the workplace too. Over the last 3–5 years, L&D teams have seen value in adopting and promoting social learning.
With the options of platforms, next gen LMS, and learning experience platforms, social learning is finally poised for growth in 2019.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #6: Self-Directed Learning
In general terms, self-directed learning is the approach of moving the onus of learning to the learner rather than the teacher. As an extension, in the context of corporate training, it maps to empowering learners to choose how they want to learn.
Unlike training programs that are “pushed” through LMS, self-directed learning is all about giving this control to the learners. They can decide on what they want to learn, how they wish to learn, when they choose to learn, over what time frame would they want to learn and so on.
As you will note, this approach provides control to the learners and gives them the option to decide their learning path. Alongside social learning and informal learning, organizations are recognizing the value of promoting self-directed learning that can help them create learning as a continuum. This trend will continue in 2019.
eLearning Trends For 2019 – Section 2: Learning Strategies With A Proven Track Record Of Delivering A Better Engagement Quotient And Higher Training Impact.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #7: Microlearning
The debate on the value and impact of macro learning (or traditional eLearning) and microlearning (bite-sized, short learning nuggets of 2–7 mins run length each designed to meet a specific outcome) goes on.
However, the fact is that the usage of microlearning-based training has revolutionized training delivery over the last 2 years, and I see this trend accelerating further in 2019.
Today, you can opt for microlearning-based training to offer formal training and informal training and support ILT. Its flexibility to be delivered as a single, short nugget to meet a specific outcome to a learning path that can have an array of learning nuggets makes it a powerful choice for corporate training. I see an increased adoption of microlearning in 2019.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #8: Gamification
Till a few years ago, the impact of gamification-based training had a big question mark associated with it. While gamification provides fun-based learning to users, does it indeed help them achieve a specific learning outcome?
The usage of gamification for serious learning has been on the upswing in the last 2 years, and I see this trend increasing in 2019.
The application of gamification, including the game-based approach, or partial gamification will see an increased application across various corporate training needs. With the reduction in development costs and shorter time frame to develop, L&D teams will see higher value in this investment in 2019.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #9: Video-Based Learning (Videos And Interactive Videos)
Video-based learning is fast becoming a standard piece of online training. This includes its usage in traditional eLearning formats to its extensive usage in the microlearning-based trainings.
In 2019, I see this trend continuing. Equally interesting is the wider adoption of interactive videos that overcome the passivity of traditional videos and increase learner engagement manifold through interactivities and assessments.
Another usage of video-based learning in 2019 will be through the curation of public domain videos.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #10: Mobile Apps For Learning
The widespread adoption of mobile learning and its updated avatar of mobile first or responsive design leads to an important fact that the learning experiences on smartphones must be optimized to the devices. The interactions must mimic the way we use these devices.
On similar lines, similar to Apps that learners use, mobile apps for learning can provide a very effective strategy for online training. The training can be personalized and updated with ease.
The cost and longer lead time to develop mobile apps for learning have led to its limited adoption. I see this as a very powerful approach; I see it play a significant role in training formats.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #11: Personalization
Today’s learners do not have the patience or the attention span to go through learning that is generic and doesn’t map to what they are looking for.
This is where personalization of learning fits in and provides a custom learning path to learners. You can personalize learning based on the learner’s role, proficiency, area of interest and so on.
The Microlearning-based training approach provides the required granularity to draw up highly personalized learning paths for various learner profiles. Rendered over mobile devices, this approach can provide a highly relevant and personalized learning path to each learner.
This trend is worth a watch in 2019 wherein we will also see the usage of machine learning and AI to create more meaningful learning experiences.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #12: Curation And User-Generated Content
While we may be spoilt for choice on data and information that is easily accessible on the Internet, tagging it and identifying the relevant info is a time-consuming process.
Content curation addresses these pain areas and provides relevant learning resources to users. Learners have the flexibility to opt for the recommended learning path or configure their own version.
Furthermore, the exercise also promotes user participation by encouraging user-generated content to keep the knowledge base current and relevant.
This is not all. Content curation enables organizations to tap into resources that are available in the public domain, and they do not need to re-create them.
This trend has been on an upswing, and I see a similar traction in 2019. This too will benefit from emerging techniques like AI for learning, machine learning and so on, to create even more relevant learning paths to the users.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 3: The Trends That Organizations Must Invest On To Measure, Enhance, And Maximize The Impact Of Their Training.
Learning Engagement Platforms (LXP) provide a highly personalized learning experience to users through learning pathways. Besides this, they feature social or collaborative learning, inclusive learning, content curation and facilitation of user-generated content.
In contrast to LMS, the LXPs empower learners to define their learning path from a set of learning assets featuring varied formats. Besides facilitating self-directed learning, they encourage learner participation through user-generated content.
They feature social learning and offer recognition to active participants. They do feature assessments along with badges and certification.
They are fun, more engaging, and relevant for learners, and they will help learners meet specific learning outcomes.
In the short term, including in 2019, they will co-exist with LMS. Many existing LMS players are already offering the LXP option as an add-on. Then, there are new participants that offer AI-based recommendations and aspects like “career pathways” that resonate very well with the learners.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #14: Learner Analytics
2019 will continue to see the usage of learner analytics to review learner behavior and what additional measures can be adopted to increase engagement, motivation, and facilitate the application of acquired learning.
A wider adoption of Tin Can API will provide the relevant cues in this endeavor. Furthermore, the usage of Artificial Inteligence (AI) in learning will further facilitate the usage of this analytics to create more relevant and personalized learning experiences.
I see this trend seeing further traction in 2019, resulting in learning designs that appeal to learners and create the required value and ROI that businesses seek.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #15: Big Data-Reporting And Analytics
Big Data refers to voluminous data that is aggregated from various sources (typically, LMS, LCMS, learning portals, and surveys/polling or assessments in the context of eLearning). Given its volume, complexity, and the fact that it is dynamic, there is no tool that can manage and analyze it.
Big Data-reporting and analytics refers to the methodology to present the data in formats that are actionable. When processed right, this can give us tremendous insights on how learners learn, the impact of training on skills or behavioral change, and the impact on business and eventually ROI determination.
I see an increase in Big Data-reporting and analytics in 2019, leading to further optimization of the training delivery. This analysis can be used to understand learner behavior, the way they want to learn, the learning paths chosen, and how to update the existing training delivery. These cues can then be used to create personalized and more effective learning paths that enable learners to learn, practice, obtain feedback and remediation, and so on.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Section 4: Other Notable Trends To Watch Out For – The Future Is Here!
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #16: AR/VR And MR For Immersive Learning
L&D Teams’ hunt to evaluate immersive learning strategies is an on-going endeavor. Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR) are acknowledged as superb approaches to provide highly immersive learning experiences for a few years now.
High price and substantial lead time to develop them have been two factors that have limited their wider usage. Also, the use cases that justify the investment and ROI are limited.
With main authoring tool providers like Adobe and Trivantis getting into VR solutions, the price points have dropped. Their design approach also makes it easier to author these learning experiences in a short time. I see further traction on VR solutions in 2019 as these solutions become more affordable and can be offered to supplement the formal training.
In my opinion, 2019 will see a wider adoption of AR-based training, including mobile apps that embed VR features. The use cases will expand to include soft skills training as well as learning to trigger behavioral change.
eLearning Trends In 2019 – Trend #17: Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Learning
The usage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in learning is one trend in 2019 that you should watch out for.
AI can facilitate the creation of highly customized learning paths by analyzing the data it collects. This data can then be used to understand the learner’s interest, proficiency, and recommend further learning assets that they may not be aware of. Potentially, personalized learning will not only engage the learner better but also help L&D teams gain the impact they seek.
I hope this article helps demystify the value and impact of each eLearning trend I have listed and provides the context of why you should use them.
One of the major challenges HR and L&D professionals face is getting the employees to get interested in the learning programs. Games or rather game-based learning can help here. This article will focus on how a company can market its so-called boring learning programs and make them interesting.
So, the solution here is not just creating the most engaging course ever, but also making it sound like it is as interesting as the next iPhone or the next Avengers movie.
Now imagine these 2 scenarios:
Scenario 1: You’re standing in a meeting room and you say this—Raise your hands if you want to go through my next eLearning course!
Scenario 2: You’re standing in a meeting room and you say this—Raise your hands if you want to play my next learning game!
Which announcement would generate more curiosity? A game would definitely have the upper hand. As a planet, we play 3 billion hours of games every week. Why not use this to transform your training program into the next iPhone!
Games As A Medium For Marketing
Games have been used for marketing for years now. Go to the Play Store and search for ‘Justice League games’ and you will know what I am talking about. Games are exciting, competitive, and provide an immersive experience.
The first thing you should do is move to game-based learning. Stop thinking about your course in terms of a presentation with images and tabs. Think of it as a game, where the learner must find the hidden treasure or kill the demon, and the learning content will help him achieve this objective. Add a storyline and let the assessments appear in the form of learning games. Now you have an engaging and exciting game-based learning course ready. Is that all? Target achieved? Not at all. This is just the beginning.
Think Like A Marketer
Stop thinking about your course as a learning manager and start thinking like a marketer. You’re no longer marketing a course, but an exciting game. Get your marketing department involved as well. How would you go about it? Plan your marketing campaigns in 2 phases:
Phase I – Pre-Launch Campaigns
Start with a teaser campaign with catchy copy, like ‘The Lost Treasure. Coming soon!’. Send out emailers or put out posters with cryptic messaging. Plan this for a week or two before your course launch and start attracting eyeballs. Make sure you use game-related visuals or theme to put this out. They have to connect back to your game so your audience can relate to it when you reveal your course.
Have you seen these short videos featuring the characters from the popular game—Clash of Clans? Here’s one of them. These entertain you and generate curiosity about the game. Create short videos like this and share with your employees. These will help you with the much-needed virality. You don’t have to create rich animated videos like this, but you can create simple ones. There are a lot of tools out there which can help you get these created or one of your training partners can help you with this.
A lot of products offer samples to provide a first-hand experience to the customers. It is one of the most effective strategies. Create a quick learning game which you have used in your course and plan out a quiz contest using the same. Reward the top players with vouchers or certificates to encourage word-of-mouth publicity. Plan this as a trailer and inform your players to watch out for the larger game.
Phase II – Post-Launch Campaigns
Leaderboards And Rewards
Once your learners start playing your course, monitor it, and look out for the early adopters. These are the first ones to access your course. Reward them for this feat. Do create a leaderboard featuring the top 5 or 10 players. Share this within the organization to recognize the top players.
Have you ever bought a happy meal from McDonald’s? Remember the free toy which you got? It is one of the major reasons why people buy a happy meal. Giveaways have a huge recall value and do encourage virality. See if you could plan for a small giveaway, like a keychain or coaster which features one of the characters from the game.
Remember, just because you have put a lot of effort to create the best eLearning course, does not mean others would be interested in it as well. You have to communicate it in a way which your audience would find it interesting. So, put your marketing hat on and get started!
Everyone knows what microlearning is, it a more focused bite-sized learning to achieve specific objectives. But often, micro-learning is incorrectly implemented leading to undesirable outcomes for the course. The best fit cases for microlearning in a corporate environment are
Product Training: Product manuals are very large and typically contain too much information. The learner will find it hard recognize key take ways and forget them in days following his learning session. No one really wants to go through the entire document or video to recollect a few key features. Micro-learning can help break cumbersome courses in smaller portions, each containing 5-10 key take ways that you want the learner to remember. This will increase retention and easy recollection for the learner.
Compliance Training: Given the integrated and fast-changing world we live in, the legal, compliance and regulatory policies are changing all the time. You need to ensure the relevant stakeholders are regularly trained. Micro-learning will help deliver the key content in a continuous and easy to assimilate fashion.
Induction and HR Policy training: Ok, so you hold a weeklong Induction training for new joinees running through your company history, ethos, and HR policy. You can be assured that they would have forgotten most of it within two weeks of the course completion. HR policies regarding Sexual Harassment, Employee benefits, and Whistle Blower policies need to be delivered on a regular frequency to reinforce appropriate behavior from your employees.
Negotiation and Objection Handling: You can only organize and run so many case studies, live demonstration or use cases in a two-day workshop. You will have to keep sending short new use cases or simulations to all your learners throughout the year to maximize learning.
With a growing need to foster effective learning and cater to the training needs of a global workforce, organizations across the world are implementing learning management systems for corporate training.
A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that can deliver course material to learners, administer assignments and tests, track the performance of participants, manage records, and offer continuous support.
When your business’s corporate training requirements start to become more complex, an LMS is likely to be the best solution that can meet your needs. With that in mind, here are five benefits of a learning management system for businesses:
1. All the eLearning content is accessible from one location
With a cloud-based LMS, your organization’s eLearning content is not stored on different offline hard drives or devices. Instead, its securely saved on the cloud which allows your employees to access eLearning courses wherever and whenever they want. This also greatly reduces the risk of losing data, since all the information is saved on a secured remote server.
The easy accessibility of an online LMS makes it the right fit for organizations that have a global or a remote workforce and it also ends up saving time for your employees.
2. Mobile readiness
Over99% of the mobile usersbelieve that mobile learning has enhanced their overall learning experience. That is why, with mobile-ready learning management systems, you are able to offer a great user experience to your employees and in turn get increased overall productivity.
Your employees are no longer required to stay at their desk to access and complete online courses. Instead, they can log into the LMS app on their mobile phones and view eLearning content while they are on the move. This is one of the main reasons why67% of the organizations are already implementing mobile learning in some form or the other.
3. A more engaging learning experience
There was a time when corporate training was all about spending hours listening to an instructor in a conference room. But today, learning is more personalized with LMSes that offer interactive lessons, fun quizzes and games, video conferencing, and forums to discuss the courses.
The new learner-centered approach has not only led to a more engaging experience during the learning process but also helped achieve better results at the end of the course.
Since the LMS is already accessible online, it is possible to integrate social learning into your eLearning strategy. You can create eLearning exercises that are centered around peer collaboration and even add online forums where your workforce can discuss and help each other.
Games augmented reality, and virtual reality can also be leveraged to incorporate interactive simulations and scenarios that can easily explain and highlight complex tasks or processes.
4. Reduced time and costs
With an LMS, you no longer have to worry about instructor costs, printing course material, or setting up a conference room for training sessions. Your employees can carry out all the training online and your business is able to save a sizable sum on your learning and development budget.
Since LMS gives online learners only the information that they need in a more direct and organized manner, you are also able to reduce training time. Instead of sitting through a 3-hour seminar, your employees can just access the online modules on the LMS that they need to learn. With the flexibility that LMS provides, your employees are able to take these courses according to their own time, which doesn’t disrupt their important everyday work as well.
5. Driving compliances is easier
Compliance rules and regulations get regularly modified, but updating your traditional offline course to reflect these changes can be a rather time-consuming task.
With an LMS, it becomes possible to update your learning content according to the new compliance standards in just a matter of a few minutes. This is in stark contrast to the traditional courses where you would have to send the updated courses to every employee separately and different versions of the same course could create even more confusion.
LMS can ensure that all of your employees are on the same page about the company policies and the compliances are always followed.
A learning management system clearly has numerous benefits. You are able to create a more skilled, productive, and engaging workforce in your organization while saving time and costs. It’s also possible to track the training progress of all of your employees and generate reports in real-time.
That is why it is no surprise that more and more organizations are implementing LMSes for their workforce. When are you incorporating an LMS in your organization?
Arijit Lahiri and Kamalika Bhattacharya, who spent over a decade in organisations like ABN Amro Bank and Intellecap, saw learning department heads begging, bullying and even bribing their learners to stick to their learning agenda.
So they put on their marketing hats to understand what would catch learners’ attention. “Game-based learning pretty much screamed itself up,” says Bhattacharya. Games allow for more engaging learning experiences while also making the learner behaviour more measurable and analysable. Today, their company, QuoDeck (earlier Ptotem), uses board games, murder mysteries and treasure hunts as learning methods, and these have been used by organisations like PepsiCo, Unilever, Aditya Birla Group and Tata Group.
According toIDC, the estimated market opportunity of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) solutions by 2020 will be $143 billion. Companies of all sizes are increasingly using AR and VR for corporate training and to acclimatize their new employees to the work environment.
In fact, according toSTRIVR, learning retention rates with AR/VR can be as high as 75 percent as compared to just 10 percent retention rate through reading or lecture. Whether its management, customer services, or seasonal situations, businesses are successfully using AR and VR for numerous purposes.
For your company, that means if you are still not incorporating AR and VR in corporate training, then you are missing out on a lot. Here are some of the ways you can take advantage of AR and VR for training your employees.
1- VR workplace tours for new employees
With a virtual tour of the workplace, your new employees can familiarise with their new work environment, even before actually coming to the office. For you, it means your employees will be ready to get started with their work right from the first day since their learning curve will reduce greatly.
They would already know the breakrooms, bulletin boards, their team leader’s office, and their own cubicle when they arrive. You could also design the entire onboarding training module for new employees as a VR tour to make it more engaging and interactive.
2- Emergency drills
Emergency drills are a necessity for every company, and they have to make sure those drills are being conducted from time to time. But just getting a safety expert to explain the different scenarios to your employees is not enough. Most people find emergency drills boring as it interrupts their work, and they often don’t even pay attention to it.
However, you can create emergency drills using AR/VR technologies to check if the employees can handle stress and identify the correct security protocols through simulations. The biggest advantage of this is that employees can take these courses according to their own time.
3- Task walkthroughs
To help your employees get a better understanding of the tasks that they need to perform on a daily basis, you can create online training simulations which would allow them to learn in a virtual environment.
With these simulations, they can determine the skills and steps they need to follow to complete a task, and it would also give them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes without any consequences.
Bear in mind, it’s important to make sure that the simulations are as realistic as possible to provide your employees with a fully immersive experience that they can implement in the real world.
4- Compliance training
For companies, compliance training is one of the most important and mandatory processes, and they have to make sure their employees are well accustomed to it. But handing out a large document to every employee and hoping that they would read every line of it is not enough and it may not even help your organisation in the long run.
Instead, you can use AR/VR to create virtual workplace environments where employees can get a better idea about the compliances they need to adhere to through online simulations. You can also create game-based lessons where employees are given different situations to see how they would respond to it, whether its accepting gifts from a client or a workplace injury.
5 – Virtual case studies
There is no better way to understand the business and skills, than by going through previous case studies which had successful results. But most case studies are text-based and they aren’t as engaging. With AR/VR technology, your employees can understand these case studies in a more interactive way, as they will be able to see those examples in action.
By adding simulations, activities, and fun quizzes, the otherwise boring case studies become more life-like and allow your employees to retain more knowledge.
Getting the most out of AR/VR training
By implementing VR and AR technologies, you are also able to measure the performance of your employees accurately. Heat maps make it possible to see exactly where users look during their 360-degree experience and the instructors can monitor trainees in real-time. You can create VR/AR applications that can be easily integrated with your Learning Management Systems (LMS) as well.
Augmented and virtual reality training provides an innovative and new way to increase employee engagement, improve productivity, and save costs while offering a cutting-edge learning experience. With the latest advancements that have happened in the AR and VR technologies, the barriers are quickly fading away making it a viable option for immersive training for any industry.
According to a survey by Stat Counter in 2016, the number of mobile users surpassed the desktop users for the first time, with 51.3% mobile users and 48.7% desktop. It is no surprise that mobile has now become a preferred medium for people to access content. In fact, according to a report by Growth Engineering, 43% of people find learning from mobile devices very useful and essential.
Mobile learning is more than a way to learn through a mobile device. It allows people to learn on-demand, at their own pace, and in the form of bite-sized micro lessons.
For companies, the question is no longer whether to consider mobile learning. The question is — How long will they wait to implement mobile learning in their organization?
Here are some of the reasons why mobile learning is the future of corporate training:
International assignments and global mobility continue to rise
Talent mobility has become a norm for most organizations. In the last decade, international assignments have increased by 25 percent, and if it follows the same pattern, then we could see another50% increase by 2020.
When your business is sending an employee to an unfamiliar and new location abroad, you need to make sure that your employees have all the training and information they need to make their assignment a success. After all, for any business, international assignments are already expensive, and lack of preparation can lead to decreased productivity and poor results.
That is why it is important for businesses to train their employees in advance so that they can deal with any type of challenge that they may experience when they are on the assignment. Though the employees may not have enough time to get their training before leaving or during work hours, with mobile learning. With mobile learning as part of your corporate training, it becomes possible for your team to learn on the go and make their international assignments a success.
Millennials prefer short bursts of information
It is estimated that by 2020 nearly half of the workforce will comprise of millennials, which means companies have to change their corporate training programs as soon as possible to make sure it caters to the new generation and trains them in the most effective way.
Now, millennials are used to smartphones and tablets, and they are from the social media generation where they consume information in small bursts. Handing these millennials a 50-page manual or conducting a 2-hour seminar about a new technology that you are going to implement in your firm, may not help them retain as much information as you would want them to.
Instead, with mobile learning, your corporate training program can be converted into a scenario-based fun game that the millennials can play on the go and it can also help them retain more information leading to a more productive and an efficient workforce.
In-house training to make sure your team is constantly learning and evolving
With high competition, it has become crucial for companies to only have the best talent on their team. When you are hiring new talent for your company, you go above and beyond during the recruitment process to make sure the people you are selecting have all the necessary skills and knowledge.
But the business world is constantly changing, and without the right in-house training you might soon realise that you have an under-qualified staff. By implementing a mobile learning program, you can allow your team to gain new skill sets and always stay ahead of the competition by creating a corporate training program that everyone can partake in at their own speed, without affecting their work.
The rise in the remote workforce
Companies around the world are embracing mobile workforce. By allowing employees to work outside of office, according to their flexible timings, organizations are able to get better results and efficiency.
When your workforce is operating in different geographies, you also need to change your corporate training program to fit the new workforce. After all, you cannot expect the remote employees to cram all the information in a single instructor-led training event.
The employees won’t be able to understand or implement information accurately when they are taught everything in a small span of time. Instead, with a mobile learning application, your team can learn the new course and technology remotely, and at their own pace, which would make retaining and implementing information easier.
Enhanced collaboration and engagement
We live in a world where people prefer sharing their ideas online instead of doing it in person. By leveraging the social aspect of mobile learning in corporate training, you can generate more conversations among your employees and create a continous learning experience. This, in turn, increases collaboration, engagement, and motivation among your employees and makes training fun.
For instance, you could implement mobile-based gaming lessons for your team and keep the scores of the top ten people. You could also create a community page where employees could share what they learned from the game or ask questions about certain sections of the game which would encourage peer to peer learning.
With the flexibility and efficiency that mobile learning provides, there are no doubts that it is indeed the future of corporate training. If your organisation is yet to incorporate it into your training program, then its high time that you did.
Learning management systems come in all flavors and mostly you will consider selecting between Moodle, Blackboard, SkillSoft, etc. based on the features you want to implement. All of them can provide the feature set you are looking for, and the choice really comes down to the quality of implementation partner you find for each.
I will propose an alternative to these, with the caveat that our company has developed a product which fits this and this might be construed as a bit of shameless self-promotion.
For large organizations, we believe a single large LMS does not work. Each team in the company wants customized content structures, workflows and analytics. We propose using a MicroLMS system which distributes the learning processes across the firm and makes it more effective.
The implementation should allow for each team in the organization to own and operate their own MicroLMS. These teams could be based on actual team structures or pseudo structures like leadership groups, induction groups, etc. Each MicroLMS has a business owner who can configure the LMS features and settings to the specific requirements of their team. This keeps the administration and user experience light and on a all-that-is-required and only-what-is-required basis.
Each MicroLMS ideally should have an inbuilt authoring tool which allows for easy content creation by business owners using presentations that they already would likely have. Put another way, you should not require to go hunting for Captivate and Articulate experts to create SCORM packages.
The apex learning team should get a centralized control panel which allows them to view and analyze aggregated data and focus on analytics and efficiency rather than learning logistics. Of course, the central team needs to have God powers on all constituent MicroLMS, but then the expectation is these should not need to get used.
The basic thought process behind this is that in large organizations, learning needs to be owned by business owners like any other business process. In our implementations across a fair number of Fortune 500 companies, we have found the business owners prefer it this way anyways.
That’s the alternative which we propound, and my advice would be that irrespective of whether it is our product or not, consider using a MicroLMS approach for such a large audience size.