Top 8 eLearning Trends For 2019

The year 2018 has been quite hectic for eLearning with newer trends taking traction. What will unfold in 2019? What are the key trends to watch out for in the coming year? I will share my thoughts on the same in this article.

eLearning Trends For 2019: Which Form The Top 8?

We are in the last couple of months of 2018, and as the year is winding down, it’s this time of the year when we look expectantly towards the new one and the trends that will affect the learning industry—specifically the eLearning landscape. Let’s look at the top eLearning trends for 2019 that will become stronger as we move forward:

1. Adaptive Learning Going To The Next Level

In my last year article on eLearning trends for 2018, I had predicted that adaptive learning will become stronger with greater adoption. It seems to head that way, as many new players are emerging. Adaptive learning, supported by confidence-based assessments and strong analytics and measurement of training effectiveness, is taking learning to the next level.

Very soon, in 2019, adaptive learning will make further strides in the eLearning marketspace. Organizations and learners will benefit as organizations ensure that there are better competition rates, and learners will enjoy the learning process as they get to see only that content that is personalized to them. Using effective assessments, learners can skip the content that they are completely confident about.

LMSs are slowly gearing up to compete with platforms that are offering adaptive learning. Hence it will be an important and interesting trend to watch out for in the coming year. My gut feeling is, adaptive learning is here to stay and the experimentation phase is over, and it will all about action in 2019.

2. Microlearning

Microlearning was a strong trend in 2018. I have seen that organizations are increasingly looking at microlearning as an important solution. It is a great method of implementing learning in small chunks that are objective driven and can be easily and quickly deployed within organizations.

Organizations that are looking to take advantage of microlearning will continue to benefit from this interesting and innovative mode of learning.

Learners benefit too as they get through the modules quickly and can repeat the learning many times as well. Retention is better, and they are less fussy about going through a boring hour-long module.

Microlearning can be implemented as videos, small games, quizzes, and infographics.

The great advantage of microlearning is that it can be implemented on any device. I feel microlearning will continue to be a strong trend in the year 2019 and beyond.

3. Artificial Intelligence And Learner Assistance

Artificial Intelligence assistance has picked up in the eLearning space. Organizations are now offering innovative solutions where bots are able to guide learners both on the learning path, as well as during the courses.

Artificial Intelligence will be used to predict learner behavior, as well as help personalize the learning. Based on the modules that were taken by learners and the difficulties or challenges faced, better personalization will be brought about. Voice-guided bots will also help learners to search for key content in modules. As I see it, organizations will be implementing newer methods of Artificial Intelligence support for their learners in both the learning process and during the moment of need. An example of this could be an intelligent chatbot that can act as support for technical queries.

Added to the mix is the use of robots for helping kids and people with special needs to learn new skills, and help them in the moment of need.

My take is that Artificial Intelligence will continue to be a very strong trend, and that it is something that will change the learning landscape in 2019 and beyond.

4. Gamification And Game-Based Learning

Gamification and game-based learning were strong trends in 2018. Organizations are increasingly looking at investing in game-based learning to empower and engage their learners better. It has been observed that gamification has improved retention rates and better application of the subject matter learned at work.

Organizations will look to implement more game-based solutions, as they see them as value adders for the organization-wide learning. Games that are well thought out, well designed and address the needs of learners engage them effectively. It has been proven through numerous implementations that games help in releasing happy hormones, such as dopamine and serotonin.

A learning organization is one that takes advantage of game-based learning.

In my opinion, game-based learning is here to stay, and will continue to be a strong trend in the year 2019 and beyond.


Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are both growing rapidly as important modes of implementing learning content. It has been observed that K-12 has adopted Augmented Reality in a rapid way to teach various subjects, such as Science and Math.

The great thing about Augmented Reality is that it can augment the existing content through interesting overlays of graphics and images that can pop out and thrill the learners. More than the thrill, it is the experience itself that helps learners connect to the content better.

Virtual Reality continues to grow as it is used in teaching various safety-related procedures. Organizations are now looking at Virtual Reality as an important solution, as eLearning companies use effective Instructional Design strategies to enhance the VR experience. Using a mixture of 360-degree photographs, interactions, and many more elements, VR is becoming a useful experience. Organizations are also investing in cognitive learning products that are augmented by VR especially for children and people with special needs.

Added to AR and VR is the exciting new modality called Mixed Reality or MR. Already big players are making investments in MR which combines AR and VR to a great effect.

Organizations will continue to take advantage of this interesting trend in the year 2019 and beyond.

6. Video-Based Learning

Videos are one of the hottest modes of training right now. The popularity of video-based sites like YouTube have forced organizations to adopt more videos into their training. Be it Instructor-Led Training that is interspersed with anecdotal or contextual videos, or eLearning where videos play an integral part in disseminating information, videos are here to stay.

The focus is on decreasing the load time and the size of videos using various tools. Video-based learning will continue to grow and will be an important trend to watch out for in the year 2019 and beyond.

7. Social Learning

Social learning involves collaboration between individuals at the workplace through various modes, such as forums, informal chat sessions, sharing sessions, and learning circles. Social learning has picked up in the last few years thanks to the emphasis on building a learning organization. As more collaborative tools are developed, social learning will continue to grow and leave an impact in the year 2019 and beyond.

8. Content Curation

Content curation has found a lot of support from the learning community and professionals in 2018. What will the year 2019 hold for this wonderful method of curating information and providing the learners with just-in-time information? I feel LMSs will continue to grow and offer content curation as an important method of sharing information, and provide the right experience to the learners. I see that content curation will continue to be a strong trend in the year 2019 and beyond.


These are the trends I foresee as preferred modes of learning in the coming years.

I would love to hear from you with suggestions on what other trends can contribute to enhancing the eLearning space during 2019.

Further reading:

The post Top 8 eLearning Trends For 2019 appeared first on eLearning.

Free Webinar: Trends In Training And Learning Management

On November 21, I’m doing a virtual session covering the biggest trends in training and learning management! Just in time for the new year. The audience is always super involved, which keeps things entertaining.

Register here:

Here is the session description:

Join Adobe’s Senior Learning Evangelist Katrina Marie Baker for this lively conversation about the latest trends in training & development. Based on recent studies and research, the session will explore what people are doing in organizations around the world, and how organizations can achieve great results with modern learning programs.

Katrina Marie Baker will discuss the:

  • Impetus behind creating and developing virtual universities
  • Growing demand to encourage learner immersion and ongoing engagement
  • Rise of mobile learning
  • Role of skill-based learning in business training
  • Use of gamification for learner engagement and motivation
  • Ongoing expectations of learners for video
  • Proving the value of your learning program through more relevant reporting

The post Free Webinar: Trends In Training And Learning Management appeared first on eLearning.

Corporate Learning Trends 2019

Eine kurze Umfrage mit der Bitte um Beteiligung! Der Hintergrund: Am 11. – 13. September bin ich auf der Zukunft Personal Europe und moderiere dort – zusammen mit Gudrun Porath und Roman Rackwitz – die Future Stage „Digital Learning Experience“. Aber wir wollen dort auch aktiv mitmischen und brauchen dafür eine kurze Rückmeldung, was die Corporate Learning-Community heute und morgen bewegt. Die Ergebnisse gibt es später selbstverständlich auch an dieser Stelle.
Zukunft Personal Europe, 30. August 2018

Mid-year Review: Updated eLearning Trends for 2018

Trends are bound to upgrade as years go by. I created an eBook on eLearning Trends And Predictions in 2018 and am now pleased to share an updated perspective. I have validated their adoption through the data given from our customers and my research on what is happening in the wider global landscape.

Mid-year Review: Updated eLearning Trends for 2018

These trends and predictions help reproduce approaches that align better to the way employees learn, influence and improve employee performance, measure performance gain, and bring in better ROI.

I hope this infographic on the updated eLearning trends for 2018 will help you as you look at modifying or enhancing your learning strategies in the balance part of the year.

If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact me at

Need More?

Want more insights on how you can use these updated eLearning trends to create high-impact corporate trainings and improve your learning strategies?

Schedule a call with our Solutions Architecting Team.


The post Mid-year Review: Updated eLearning Trends for 2018 appeared first on eLearning.

Updated eLearning Trends In 2018—Featuring 4 Parameters To Help You Select The Right One!

In June 2018, I re-looked at the eLearning Trends for 2018 that I had created in January 2018. In this article, I share my insights on the trends, viewing them through a different lens that you too can use as you plan for the balance part of the year.

The post Updated eLearning Trends In 2018—Featuring 4 Parameters To Help You Select The Right One! appeared first on eLearning.

Top eLearning Trends For 2018

eLearning adoption is growing steadily across the globe in the last few years. With newer technologies and devices, the approach and mode of eLearning adoption are changing rapidly, too.

Having spent more than 14 years in the eLearning space and working closely with seasoned learning professionals at Tesseract Learning servicing global customers, I am sharing my thoughts on the trends for 2018.

1. VR And AR

Virtual and Augmented Reality are currently the hottest modes of implementing training. Virtual Reality has been there for quite some time now. However, with Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality added to the mix, we have exciting new possibilities in the immersive learning space. Traditionally VR and AR are used more for gaming and movie experiences.

Their application in learning is picking up now. VR will continue to be used for teaching skills for handling high-risk tasks and performing complex procedures. AR will be used to trigger just-in-time learning. A typical scenario of AR would be a learner wanting to learn more about a device or tool, technology, or a place. Using a QR code, the learner can scan the object and get more information about it.

With prices of wearable glasses and headsets reducing, VR and AR will become more affordable for organizations willing to experiment with them. We will see more traction as 2018 unfolds. Organizations will invest and explore more of these technologies in 2018 and beyond.

2. Intelligent Assistants/Chatbots

The popularity of Siri on iPhone indicates that people are now looking to explore intelligent voice assistants. It is too early to say how intelligent voice assistants or Machine Learning-enabled chatbots will be programmed, given that Artificial Intelligence itself is taking its baby steps in the world of computing. Having said that, I feel that organizations will look to develop prototype chatbots for specific topics, like information security or data protection, compliance and so on, and implement them as an intelligent search app. These smart apps will help learners to learn as they go and augment learning in the “moment of need”. My take is that it will become popular as and when we see the results of the first implementation. This will be another key trend to watch out for in 2018 and beyond.

3. Gamification And Game-Based Learning

Gamification will continue to be an important trend in 2018. It is well established now that game-based learning and gamification have a greater impact in imparting critical role-based information.

Organizations will continue to invest in serious games, as well as gamifying their custom courses, to retain learner interest and coax them to take learning seriously by having fun. As paradoxical as it may sound, gaming increases the “seriousness” in learners, as they fully “immerse” themselves in the process of gaming.

Traditional compliance courses, information security, procedural training, product training, sales training, and many more can be easily gamified and made interesting enough for the learners to “invest” their time and energy in an activity that they traditionally don’t enjoy. Gamification will enhance the training implementation further during 2018.

4. Adaptive Or Personalized Learning Customized To Specific Learning Needs

Adaptive or personalized learning is all about customizing existing modules available in libraries to specific groups. The biggest benefit for organizations is that they don’t provide all modules for all learners. Instead, they provide focused training and increase their ROI. Now, how can this be achieved? Pre-tests can be used to gauge the current understanding of the audience. Based on the performance of learners, the modules are provided to them. Areas where a learner has scored low are addressed/remediated.

Learners are provided with specific modules, series of questions, and materials to improve upon those areas. This is going to be an important trend in relooking at the custom space. Companies really don’t have to invest more. It will be a one-time effort where pre-tests, libraries of modules, and assessments are created. Individual learners get only what they require, which is like social media feeds. The existing LMSs can be used to implement these. Thus, adaptive learning will be an important trend to implement and further experiment with during 2018.

5. Microlearning

Microlearning has already become a strong trend, as organizations look to reap benefits of this new way of delivering targeted, objective-specific, no-nonsense learning bytes. Specific benefits include quick deployment, quick learning through regular refreshers, increased productivity, and easy tracking.

Microlearning has been understood as short videos or clips, but my experience shows that it can be a learning nugget, interactive video, short game, quiz, or even an interactive infographic.

Microlearning works well when organizations create modules that have specific learning objectives. It is not about chunking complex procedures or teaching problem-solving skills. Microlearning works best when it is just in time and addresses a specific question that the learner may have about their job.

Microlearning units can be taken on any device. However, with increased smartphone usage, the demand for microlearning will only increase. I feel microlearning will make its impact felt in 2018 and beyond.

6. Content Curation

Content curation is another trend that is finding traction. In the year 2018, more organizations will invest in content curation, as its potential in creating an alternative and reliable source of providing standard learning remains strong. There are open-source tools that can help in curating information and providing learners with just-in-time information. Content libraries can be augmented and curated to give the right experience to learners. Organizations will focus more on Custom eLearning and mobile learning solutions, and use content curation for standard regulatory content.

7. Interactive Video-Based Learning

The popularity of video-based tutorials on YouTube and other online video services continue to grow. Organizations are leveraging on the popularity of videos to impart learning by having their own videos shot, adding interactivities/questions to them, and then posting the videos on internal sites. Interactive videos can have branching scenarios, too. The upside of this method is that employees will be more engaged and invested in the learning process. With organization branding added to the mix, a strong repository or library is being created with strong content. In a nutshell, it’s a win-win situation for all. Interactive video will continue to be a strong trend during 2018, too.

8. Social Learning

When learning is distributed or when sharing happens amongst peers, education improves. Forums, chat boxes, note sharing help people share ideas in a collaborative environment. Organizations will be willing to experiment with social learning platforms that are strictly built for a collaborative workspace. Social learning is not the same as social media sharing, though people tend to consider them the same thing. Tools like Facebook or Twitter are not for professional environments. Professional environments require more robust tools that aid in learning and not for sharing personal information. With popular LMSs providing social learning features, it is becoming feasible for organizations to experiment with social learning. Social learning implementation will continue to grow during 2018.

9. Workforce Enablement

As organizations are looking to move beyond automation and improve the productivity of their employees, there will be a continued focus on workforce enablement. Research supports the fact that learners tend to retain only 10 percent of what they learned after 4 weeks of attending a training or eLearning program. It is thus important to constantly motivate employees through regular learning interventions, chat sessions, learning forums, and so on. Organizations will look beyond standard learning nuggets and look for more tools that can enhance learner productivity. Workforce enablement through targeted interventions will be a strong trend in 2018.


I enjoyed writing this blog. I think I have just touched upon some important trends in the coming year. I would love to hear from you, with suggestions on what other trends can contribute to enhancing the learning space during 2018. If you have questions, please do reach out to me at

The post Top eLearning Trends For 2018 appeared first on eLearning.

10 Mobile Learning Trends For 2018

The demand for mobile learning from the learners is on a steady increase, and it is clearly transitioning from an “option” to a “must have”. In this article, I outline 10 mobile learning trends for 2018 that organizations should invest on.

The Top Mobile Learning Trends For 2018

mLearning or mobile learning is self-paced, learning on the go. Typically, designed for multi-device support, it offers the flexibility to the learners to take learning on the device of their choice. While mLearning or mobile learning as a concept has been there for the last 7-8 years or so, there has been a steep acceleration in its adoption in the last couple of years.

Known for higher engagement, mLearning is being used by nearly 47% of organizations worldwide. This clearly reflects the increased acceptability of mLearning, and also why it is being seen as the future of learning.

Why mLearning Is No More An Option But A Must Have?

We access our smartphones continuously throughout the day so learning on the smartphones is a logical extension.

Here are some compelling stats that reaffirm that mLearning is no more an option but a “must have”:

  1. Gartner predicts that 45% of businesses will have a BYOD policy by 2020. (Source: Gartner)
  2. 70% of learners felt more motivated when training on a mobile device, as opposed to a computer. (Source: LearnDash)
  3. Mobile eLearners typically study for 40 minutes longer than students using a desktop or tablet. (Source: MNAlearning)
  4. Smartphone learners complete course material 45% faster than those using a computer. (Source: Lynda)

What Are The Mobile Learning Trends You Should Watch Out For In 2018 And Integrate Into Your Learning Strategy?

I am providing my list of 10 mobile learning trends for 2018 here.

These mobile learning trends reflect the transformation we are seeing in the way the content is already being consumed by the learners or will be in the near future.

1. Wider Adoption Of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy

I see this as the first indicator that organizations worldwide are acknowledging the push from the learners to get the flexibility to learn on the device of their choice. This will continue to be the case and will trigger a wider adoption of mobile learning or mLearning.

2. Transformation Of Mobile-Friendly (Adaptive) Approach To Mobile First (Responsive)

With the maturing of mobile learning usage as the primary learning format, we are already seeing a clear distinction in the way mLearning training programs are being designed. The selection of adaptive designs vis-à-vis designs that are optimized for mobile devices is driven by the way the content will be consumed. This trend will continue to see wider adoption in 2018.

3. Increase In The Usage Of mLearning For Formal Learning

Fueled by microlearning and the concept of learning paths that now enable traditional eLearning courses to be mapped to multiple microlearning nuggets that can be taken on the go, this trend will continue to grow.

4. Further Acceleration In The Usage Of mLearning For Informal Learning

This trend will continue. The usage of mLearning to support traditional eLearning through the Performance Support Tools, or PSTs, has been there for several years. With multitude options to design them in high-impact formats that are optimized for mobile devices, this trend will continue and see higher adoption.

5. Personalization

This is a logical extension to the flexibility afforded by microlearning-based learning paths. You can leverage on the granularity of microlearning nuggets to create custom or personalized learning paths. Personalization can be offered based on the learner profile (job-role based), based on self-assessment of proficiency, or through a pre-test. Having a personalized learning path makes the learning more relevant for the learners. I see an increase in this microlearning trend in 2018.

6. Curation

Organizations worldwide acknowledge that there is an extensive amount of supporting content that is often available on their intranet but it is ignored. On top of this, there is an ever-increasing supporting collateral available on the internet. The answer is to leverage on all these through curation that uses specialized expertise to put together relevant learning assets and paths for the learners. The curated content can offer primary training or support primary training. This is one of the key mobile learning trends for 2018 that you should watch out for and plan for.

7. Inclusive Learning (Featuring Contributions From Learners)

Organizations are seeking innovative ways to engage the learners. Providing the learners with an option to contribute and enrich a given program is a significant measure in this direction. The contributions from learners can support the existing training programs at multiple levels, and the most significant value-add is that it aids social or collaborative learning. This mobile learning trend is certainly worth investing on in 2018.

8. Increase In The Use Of Video And Interactive Video-Based Training

While video-based training has been there for a while (even in traditional eLearning), its usage is increasing exponentially in mLearning. This is not all, the interactive video-based training offers much higher engagement and learning experience, and it will see an increase in both formal and informal training. This is one mobile learning trend you cannot miss. Do plan to use it in 2018.

9. Higher Adoption Of Formats Optimized For Mobile Devices

To create high impact learning experiences, formats like mobile apps for learning are a great fit as they are optimized for mobile devices. They offer additional flexibility to the learners as they can download the content and peruse it offline. Furthermore, the L&D teams can push updates and notifications with ease. This is another significant mobile learning trend worth investing on.

10. Wider Adoption Of Gamification

A lot has been said about the usage of gamification for serious learning. With its extension of consumption over mobile devices, you will see variants like bite-sized games, gamified quizzes, gamified learning paths, and so on. Using this approach will increase the engagement quotient of your online training, and it is a mobile learning trend worth investing on in 2018.

The usage of mLearning will continue its accelerated growth path in 2018. I hope the mLearning trends featured in this article give you a better sense of the significance and the impact of each one of them. More specifically, I hope it gives you the required insights on why you should integrate them into your learning strategy.

If you have any queries or need further support, do contact me at


The post 10 Mobile Learning Trends For 2018 appeared first on eLearning.

Free eBook: eLearning Trends And Predictions For 2018

eLearning Trends And Predictions For 2018 To Use In The Near Future

Beginning of the year is full of promise, with excitement in the air, and we look forward to evaluating new possibilities.

As you start preparing or firming up your L&D plans for 2018, you would be on the lookout for new ideas that you can use to create high impact training programs that enhance employee performance. You would find my eBook on eLearning Trends and Predictions for 2018 as a useful guide in picking up ideas that you can use or plan to deploy in the near future.

I begin with a disclaimer though; as I don’t have a crystal ball. However, the pointers shared in the eBook reflect my own understanding, application, and potential of each of these pointers. As the Chief Learning Strategist at EI Design, I have had the privilege of working with L&D teams across the world. The last 4-5 years have rapid changes in the way learners want to learn and how businesses want to see and measure the impact on training spend.

We, at EI Design, have been partnering with our customers in this phase of “learning transformation“. The pointers shared by me in this eBook reflect insights from this close interaction and collaboration. As you browse through the eBook, you will see how many of the aspects are interconnected, and how one is fueling the growth of another aspect.

For instance,

  • mLearning or mobile learning is helping microlearning (or vice-versa).
  • Wider adoption of microlearning is enabling its usage not only for formal learning but also informal learning.
  • Usage of video-based learning (including interactive videos) and gamification has seen an increase in higher usage of microlearning.
  • mLearning is also pushing personalization.
  • Personalization, curation, and social learning are pushing the adoption of learning portals.

How Will The eBook eLearning Trends And Predictions For 2018 Help You?

At EI Design, we see organizations moving beyond investment on only formal training to an ecosystem-based approach that creates a superior learning culture. This approach promotes “learning as a continuum”.

So, my assessment is that this eBook will provide you with pointers that should help you create or enhance your Learning and Performance Ecosystem in 2018. My eBook provides a glimpse of what this would look like, and how exactly you would be able to use the insights in the eBook practically in your organization.

About eLearning Trends And Predictions For 2018

This eBook is structured into 3 sections:

Section 1: What Will Continue To Offer Value?

Section 1

Most entries in this section have been there for a while. However, they will see changes in 2018 while continuing to offer value. I have highlighted what I believe will change or if we will see a wider usage of each trend.

  1. mLearning
  2. Digitization of ILT (to blended or fully online)
  3. Microlearning
  4. Performance Support Tools
  5. Gamification
  6. Social learning
  7. Mobile apps or apps for learning
  8. Video-based learning (videos and interactive videos)
  9. Next gen-LMS/LCMS
  10. Rapid eLearning tools
  11. Informal learning

Section 2: Coming Of Age-Increase In Adoption

section 2

This section features a trend that was part of my 2017 trends and predictions, and I have seen a clear shift towards higher adoption during the last year, and this will continue to be the case.

  • Learning portals
  • Personalization
  • Curation

Section 3: Emerging Or Maturing-Watch Out For

Section 3

This section has a combination of trends that are emerging, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) in learning as well as some trends that were identified for the watch in the past 2-3 years but are clearly maturing now.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) in learning.
  • AR/VR for immersive learning.
  • Big Data-reporting, analytics, and its usage in the determination of ROI.
  • Learner analytics to enhance learning experiences.

The Impact

I hope the eBook eLearning Trends and Predictions for 2018 will help you with pointers you can use to enhance your learning strategy. If you have queries on how to create engaged learners through Learning and Performance Ecosystem or just implement one part of the many facets covered here, do contact me at


eLearning Trends And Predictions For 2018

What Are The eLearning Trends And Predictions For 2018?

We are going through a phase of significant and rapid “learning transformation“. This has led to an adoption of new, immersive approaches to creating impactful learning that can lead to the required performance gain. This is not all. We also see that L&D teams are on the look-out for measures to evaluate the effectiveness of learning.

As a Chief Learning Strategist, I have been part of many such opportunities across the world. The pointers shared by me here reflect my insights from this close interaction and collaboration.

For ease of applicability, I have banded various trends and predictions in 2018 into 3 tracks:

  1. What will continue to offer value
  2. Coming of age – An increase in adoption
  3. Emerging or maturing – Watch out for

Section 1 – What Will Continue To Offer Value

mLearning Or Mobile Learning

Usage of mLearning or Mobile learning adoption in corporate training saw a significant increase in 2017 and this trend will continue. With the maturing of authoring tools that are completely responsive, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) flexibility in training policy will see an even more effective use of mLearning or mobile learning in 2018.

What I see changing in 2018, would be its wider application across all corporate training needs as well as its increased use to support informal learning and digitization of Instructor Led Training (ILT).

I also envision increased usage of formats that learners use in their daily life (notably, Apps and videos) to offer both formal and informal learning and more significantly reinforcements (through assessments supported by practice exercises leading to skill acquisition and mastery).

Digitization Of ILT (To Blended Or Fully Online)

In my assessment, the digitization of ILT (particularly to blended rather than fully online) will see further acceleration.

For instance,

  • I see training programs like induction and onboarding adopting a blended approach.
  • Others like application simulation training programs will opt for the fully online model (supported by practice sessions on the actual tool).
  • Similarly, I see soft skills training moving to largely online (for knowledge acquisition), but being supported by coaching and mentoring on one hand (to retain the human touch) and leverage on platforms for social learning and curation.
  • I see training programs for professional skills opting for predominantly online delivery supported by Performance Support Tools over learning paths.

I envision a higher usage of microlearning for pre-workshop and post-workshop collateral to support predominantly ILT programs.


The usage of microlearning began as nuggets to support traditional eLearning courses a few years ago. 2017 saw an acceleration in its adoption across most corporate training programs.

In 2018, I continue to see this momentum grow with more training programs using the power of microlearning for primary (formal training) and as just-in-time performance support (learning aids or job aids).

I also see an increase in the richness of the formats to offer microlearning. More significantly, I see leveraging on “learning paths” to not only offer a clear learning journey to the learners but also continuing the connection through the year (through a variety of nuggets).

Performance Support Tools (PSTs)

Offering Performance Support Tools on smartphones, so that these learning aids are within the learner’s work-flow and available to them exactly at the moment of their learning need, will see an acceleration in 2018.

Leveraging on the popularity of microlearning, in 2018 too, PSTs will be used extensively to support primary formal training enabling organizations to see the application of the learning.

They will continue to support ILT training as well.


Till 5 years ago, gamification in corporate training was viewed with skepticism. From this perception to today’s reality, gamification (full or partial) has increasingly become a part of the organization’s learning strategy.

I see an increase in gamification for serious learning to continue and extend to the programs that have traditionally not used it or used it rather sparingly (for instance compliance and application simulation-based training).

Social Learning

Although learning from others and with others is intrinsic to human beings, we have seen a recognition for using social learning as an important part of corporate training only in last few years.

With options for platforms or portals, I see an increase in usage of social learning to foster a spirit of collaborative learning in organizations.

Mobile Apps Or Apps For Learning

The total number of app downloads across the world in 2017 was a staggering 197 billion. Given the fact, that we use apps several times during our day, its usage for learning is a logical extension.

I see an increase in the usage of mobile apps for learning, and this will become a significant part of corporate training in 2018. They, too, will leverage on microlearning (including learning paths) as well as on gamification. The flexibility of personalization and connect with learners through notifications (on updates) continues to establish their value.

Video-Based Learning (Videos And Interactive Videos)

I don’t even need to highlight the role of videos in learning. If you were to poll the learners, this would definitely be in their top 3 formats for learning. The only challenge with classic video-based learning is the passivity and most of us forget what we learned after 60 seconds.

In 2018, I see more investment in videos that offer interactivities (similar to traditional eLearning), interim knowledge checks, branching based on the choices learners make as well as the end of program assessments.

Furthermore, you will see an integration of videos from YouTube to create a specific learning path (similar to topics in other online courses) and track learners’ progress and performance.


In 2017 eLearning Trends and Predictions, I had highlighted how LMS/LCMS platforms need to align to the way the learners want to learn. I see the trend continuing in 2018, and a shift from corporate LMS platforms that “push” training programs to personalized learning paths that learners can “pull”. Flexibility to learn offline and sync back with the LMS once you are online are no more desirable but essential features.

Rapid And Completely Responsive eLearning Tools

The next year will see further enhancements in ease of development (rapid and fully responsive designs) to keep pace with microlearning needs as well as flexibility to incorporate trending learning strategies and high impact formats.

Informal Learning

Organizations are realizing that the budget spent on only formal and structured training (that is only one of the many ways we learn) is not enough. Providing learners with more channels to learn from, having access to precise information they need when they have a challenge and foster collaborative learning are some key aspects that will see increased focus in 2018.

The usage of Performance Support Tools (PSTs) needs to be an integral part of the training to provide just-in-time learning aids to the learners and I see this trend certainly picking up momentum in 2018.

Grab your copy of free eBook eLearning Trends and Predictions for 2018 from here.

Section 2 – Coming Of Age – An Increase In Adoption

Learning Portals

Learning portals were initially conceptualized for certain key programs that needed a different degree of engagement from the learners (in contrast to traditional LMS platforms). Today, they can be designed as stand-alone platforms or co-exist with the LMS.

They are learner-centric and provide a higher degree of control to the learners. The reason for their popularity is a niche and a definitive need they are often designed for. They typically feature a learning path (featuring resources in different formats) and some collaboration features (extending to curation). Most of them offer a highly personalized path to the learners. More significantly, they capture learner analytics at levels that a traditional LMS cannot or does not capture.

In 2018, I see an increased adoption of learning portals as many of the legacy LMS platforms do not provide this capability. It would be interesting to see with similar features being available in next-gen LMSs, how learning portals do evolve in 2019.


“One size does not fit all” and learning is no exception. Personalized learning will see an increase in 2018.

Using assessments (pre-test) or surveys (to determine learner’s interest and their assessment of proficiency) will help organizations create personalized learning paths for the learners. Interim check-points (with formative feedback) can be used to redirect learners to other aspects of the training that may not have been the recommended path but which would be useful. Looking at the way learners engage with various assets can lead to other, new recommendations to be made.

I believe this is one trend that is worth a closer look in 2018.


Thanks to the internet, today we have tremendous knowledge at our fingertips. However, sifting through various options to determine relevancy is often a time-consuming process. This is precisely where content curation fits in. The curator (an expert) sifts through the data and creates a learning path that meets defined objectives.

Learners are provided with learning paths, and they have the flexibility to re-configure them if required. They can also share and recommend assets from the portal. The process can be made more inclusive by having learners contribute and enrich the repository.

I believe that 2018 will certainly see an increase in content curation solutions.

Section 3 – Emerging Or Maturing – Watch Out For

Artificial Intelligence (AI) In Learning

Do I see a world where AI can replace the tasks L&D teams do in terms of defining what courses learners should take and what additional resources they have access to? Not quite!

However, using cues from learning analytics (notably, xAPI) AI can add tremendous value in recommending assets that can help the learners reach the desired goal (skill enhancement or behavioral change).

As we begin understanding learner motivation, behavior and the dynamics in the current learning path (how they navigate, what they browse, where they spend time, and so on), we can potentially use AI to direct them to areas they may not have explored.

It would be interesting to see which of the current LMS providers turns out to be the first mover in offering this capability in 2018.

AR/VR For Immersive Learning

Without any doubt, AR/VR provides one of the most immersive learning experiences. Although this has seen a considerable traction in 2017 and shows promise in 2018, it does come with a hefty price tag (and longer lead time to develop).

With early adoption in training intended for hazardous workspaces (Health and Safety training) or complex simulations, we are already seeing the beginning of usage of mobile apps that embed AR features.

Now, it is anticipated that this will eventually substitute scenarios including branching scenarios as well as video-based learning for behavioral change. This will open doors to its application in soft skills and to a wider application for corporate training.

Big Data-Reporting And Analytics And Its Usage In The Determination Of ROI

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 large volume, complexity and the fact that it is dynamic, there is no tool that can manage and analyze it.

Big Data reporting and analytics encompass the approaches through which this data can be presented in formats that are relevant for analysis, decision making, and action. 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. It can then help in the determination of ROI on training spend.

I see an increase in Big Data reporting and analytics in 2018 leading to the further optimization of the training delivery.

This analysis can be used to understand the learner’s behavior, and the way they want to learn, the learning paths that are chosen by the learners and update the existing training delivery. These cues can be further used to create personalized and more effective learning paths that enable learners to learn, practice, obtain feedback and remediation, and so on.

Learner Analytics To Enhance Learning Experiences

Although learner analytics is an integral part of the overall Big Data that is being collated through multiple, I am highlighting this as a separate aspect. In 2017, we have seen an increased focus on understanding the learners’ behavior and what can be done to improve the motivation, engagement, and application of on-the-job learning.

Usage of Tin Can API can give a very detailed view of how learners are interacting with the eLearning courses and validate it against the assumptions and revise the learning designs/learning paths, if necessary. I see this trend seeing further traction in 2018 resulting in learning designs that appeal to learners and create the required value that businesses seek.

Over the next 2-3 years, I see an extensive use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) in using this analytics and creating recommended and highly personalized cues for the learners.

I hope you find these pointers as part of my eLearning Trends and Predictions for 2018 useful and I also wish you are now able to use them in your organization. If you have any queries, do contact me at

eLearning Trends And Predictions For 2017

As you plan further investment on training in 2017 and are on the look out for ways to enhance employee performance, read on and check out my list of eLearning trends and predictions for 2017 for cues on what may work for you!

2017: eLearning Trends And Predictions

Organizations around the world are looking for some foresight, and it’s prediction time. I’ve got a few, but here’s a little disclaimer – I have no crystal ball, no tarot cards.

  • My list of eLearning trends and predictions is based on my observations of how ideas evolved into trends in the last few years and ideas that are simmering today with all the ingredients to make them the hottest thing in town in the days to come.
  • I also believe that looking at eLearning trends and predictions becomes more meaningful when it provides you with inputs you can use. This was exactly my objective and this article on eLearning trends and predictions for 2017 will provide several pointers that you can use to uplift your current learning strategy (better learner engagement and other measures to create the impact businesses need to see).

And now, it’s time to look at the eLearning trends and get going with the predictions for 2017. I have banded this into 3 parts:

  • What will continue to offer value (what has worked and delivered value in the recent past).
  • Where we will see increased focus.
  • What to watch out for in 2017.

What Will Continue To Offer Value

1. mLearning Or Mobile Learning.

Over the last 5 years, adoption of mLearning or mobile learning has been on an upswing. Flexibility to offer the courses that are multi-device (they run seamlessly on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones) is the single biggest gain. The next year will see maturing of delivery that is completely responsive that is, the online course will adapt to the device it is being viewed on. There will be a wider adoption of mLearning across all training needs.

EI Design microlearning example 1

2. Microlearning And Learning Paths.

The shift from courses that need 60 minutes or more to bite sized learning that can be easily taken on the go will gain further momentum. Using multiple microlearning nuggets to create a learning path would be another related approach.


3. Mobile Apps For Learning.

To offer learning solutions that appeal to learners and engage them, usage of mobile apps for learning will increase. They offer additional flexibility to take the online course when learners do not have access to internet and can be used for both formal and informal learning.

Mobile Apps for learning

4. Gamification.

Predicted as the “next big thing” when it first appeared in Google Trends in Sep’10, gamification for corporate learning has finally arrived. It will continue to be a strong strategy to create high impact, immersive learning. It will also leverage on mLearning, microlearning and social learning to multiply its impact.

EI Design gamification in training

5. Videos And Interactive Videos.

Learning through videos will continue to hold its appeal. As an extension, the capability of interactive videos to flip the passivity of videos to rich, interactive experiences will see an increase and will be used for both formal training as well as performance support.

Videos and Interactive videos

6. Collaborative And Social Learning.

Today, social learning is more than a buzz and is increasingly used by forward thinking organizations to foster collaborative learning and more significantly its application on the job. While there will be a continued need for formal training that meets specific learning outcomes, there would be an increase in platforms for informal or social learning where learners can network, share, collaborate, and exchange ideas on problem-solving.


7. Performance Support Tools (PSTs).

Performance Support Tools or PSTs are learning aids meant to help employees with on-the-job support at the precise moment of their need. With wider adoption of mLearning or mobile learning and varied, innovative formats of microlearning, there would be a steep increase in the use of PSTs.

Performance Support Tools (PSTs)

Where We Will See Increased Focus

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 leader boards 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.

These are already evolving from corporate avatar to dynamic, learner centric platforms from cloud. The shift is on control to learners as more and more learning is becoming “pull” based rather than “push” based. With features ranging from support of mLearning or mobile Learning to personalized learning paths, flexibility of social learning and enhanced learner analytics, they will be a vital tool to engage learners and assess their performance. They will increasingly feature curation with contributions from learners to keep the resources contextual and relevant to the community.

3. Measuring Learning Effectiveness Or Learnability Of Online Courses.

Learning effectiveness or learn-ability has a direct impact on learner reaction, learning, and application on the job. 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 learn-ability for new development.

4. Learner Analytics.

The coming days will see an increased focus on understanding learner behavior and its analysis to assess what can impact it and align the learning experience to the performance gains that the business seeks.

Watch Out For

1. Personalized And Adaptive Learning.

The trend will be on personalization of learning rather than “one size fits all”. This will become a significant aspect of formal learning. It will provide learners with a personalized learning path based on their interaction with learning components.

2. Content Curation For Learning.

Essentially, this is the process of sorting of data on the internet and presenting it as meaningful, easy to process assets for learning. It can be used to support formal training or part of formal learning. While recommended learning paths can be established, the control will still be with the learners to customize and reconfigure the way they want to learn. The initiative will support the “creation” of content and can be used to have wider contribution from users.

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

While the jury is still out on the viability of this one and if this will be a force to reckon with in creation of immersive learning, I do believe that this something to watch out for. With early adoption in Health and Safety and practical training in dangerous or hazardous fields, this would also find a place for training on behavioral change. Gamification too will leverage on this for diverse training needs. Today it comes with a prohibitive cost tag but over the next 2-3 years, this will change the learning scope dramatically.

4. Wearable Technology For Corporate Learning.

This is truly a trend to watch out for as it enables several prevailing trends to move on to another dimension. On one hand, gamification will also see usage of “wearable tech” like a VR headset to make the learning experiences even more immersive. I believe that we will also see usage of smart watches to provide just-in-time learning (micro nuggets for performance support that are easily available to learners precisely at the moment of need).

Final Word

In this article, I have shared my list of eLearning trends and predictions for 2017. I am sure you will find their application to be useful in mitigating some of your current challenges as well as scaling for the future (in sync with changing expectations).

As a follow-through, I am releasing an eBook shortly that will provide examples on how several of these trends can be practically applied in your organization. Meanwhile, do contact me at if you need any specific assistance.