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With the year of training underway, we thought it a good time to look ahead to the key trends we see taking place over the next 18 months.

1. Learning Portals.

Focused responsive portals that offer a range of assets for formal learning. Performance Support Tools, collaborative and social learning will see an increase. They will extensively use mLearning or mobile learning and learning paths that can be personalized. Microlearning, gamification, and leaderboards will be an integral part of these solutions. Specific analytics to assess learner engagement and performance will further increase its impact.

2. LMS (Learning Management System), LCMS (Learning Content Management System) Refresh.

Across the country, companies large and small are updating or installing Learning Management Systems. The focus appears to be on making better use of content or digitising content for the very first time.  Watch out for the end of the year when this year’s learning outcomes are measured. We will be very interested to see what companies have learned.

3. Analytics

Hand in hand with an LMS are analytics, which are becoming increasingly important but for two very different reasons – and they are as important as each other.  The first is to be able to prove and consequently drive business outcomes as a result of eLearning.  The second is to be able to revise a learning programme cost effectively and in a timely manner, to decrease learning times and increase engagement and retention.  2017 will see increased usage of some of the various analytic frameworks that are out there.

As an aside, we have a white paper coming out shortly on analytics, we hope you enjoy it.  

4. Usage Of Virtual Reality (VR) And Augmented Reality (AR) For Learning.

Recent news has shown augmented reality beginning to play a much larger role in medical training.  We believe that Health and Safety and practical training in dangerous or hazardous fields will be next off the rank.

This is truly a trend to watch out for as it steps up a number of prevailing trends. On the one hand, gamification will also see usage of “wearable tech” like a VR headset to make the learning experiences even more immersive. On the other hand AR will see significant improvements in blended and on the job learning.

Over the next 2-3 years, (perhaps using gamification) this technology will dramatically change learning approaches which is why we at Smartwork Creative have invested in it.

5. Mobile Learning

With the exception of retailers that we’ve talked to, who for obvious reasons, are resistant to having mobile devices on the shop floor, the use of mobile platforms is likely to grow. Mobile learning gives the ability to integrate learning on the job. The shift is on control to learners as more and more learning is becoming “pull” based rather than “push” based and mobile learning is the best way to make that happen.

We see mobile learning becoming an important piece in the blended   learning puzzle, perhaps being helped along by AR.

6. Learner Analytics.

As we have pointed out early, analytics are becoming increasingly important but for two very different reasons – equally as important.  The first is to be able to prove business outcomes as a result of eLearning programmes.  The second is to be able to revise a learning programme cost effectively and in a timely manner such that engagement is improved.

This year is likely to witness increased usage of frameworks that enable you to measure the effectiveness of your courses and also bring in predictive learnability for new development.

7. Personalised Learning, Adaptive Learning and AI.

Trends towards personalisation will hit the learning space. “One size has never fitted all”. We see that this will become a significant aspect of formal learning. Adapting analytics at the individual level, this will provide learners with a personalized learning path based on their interaction with learning components.As a consequence we expect to see Artificial Intelligence playing a greater role in learning in the future.