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Top eLearning Trends for 2018

Do you remember Miss Othmar, the teacher on the Peanuts?  “Wha wha wha, wha wha…”  We had no idea what she was saying.   We still don’t.  Are your learners hearing Miss Othmar during your instruction, instead of your message?  Top trending eLearning approaches in 2018 strive to engage learners more than ever before.


Established Trends Gaining Momentum

Gamification, microlearning, and social learning are effective, well-established trends that will continue to dominate the eLearning landscape.


Social Learning

Do you remember much about your Psychology 101 class?  Me either.  Social learning theory has been around since the mid-20th century[1].  Its effectiveness is proven by its endurability.  This learning method involves people sharing knowledge with others, as well as gaining insight from the people with whom they share.  Shared learning motivates corporate employees and improves the training experience.



Studies have shown that “chunking” information helps information stick[2].   Which numbers would you memorize more easily?

  • Social security numbers – 999367402 vs. 999-36-7402
  • Telephone numbers – 1116437862 vs. 111-643-7862
  • Credit card numbers – 0000391429385703 vs. 0000-3914-2938-5703

OK, that last one is a stretch, I know.  Another point for microlearning:  smaller chunks are more easily assimilated.

Microlearning is not limited to numbers, of course.  It has many applications; most importantly, it can teach nebulous ideas and overwhelming processes in a way that encourages the learner with small successes.



Up to 79% of corporate learners and students said they would be more engaged if learning was like a game[3].  In 2018, more businesses are expected to gamify their course content.  Why?  Because it works[4].

  • Instant gratification by earning rewards creates a positive feedback loop.
  • Enhance team culture with competing groups.
  • Capitalize on social learning when the game requires interaction to complete a goal.
  • Naturally links with the benefits of microlearning.
  • Dovetails nicely with mobile learning (more on that in a bit).
  • Easy-to-track, objective metrics.

Correlating gamification KPIs with management goals provides a ready-made way to calculate ROI, giving you more training dollars.

Gamification incorporates many different types of eLearning for effective training delivery.  It is a great fit for many different areas of business – from human resources to operations.


Emerging Trends for 2018

As companies become more familiar with the benefits of eLearning strategies and programs, they will continue to adopt more flexible training solutions.  Some of these emerging trends for 2018 include:


Mobile Learning

The mobile learning market is expected to grow to $38 billion by 2020[5].  The primary benefit of mobile learning is training that can happen anytime and anywhere.  It is efficient and flexible; with the ever-growing popularity of smartphones, mobile learning will continue to gain momentum.  One study reports that 67% of people used their mobile devices for learning in 2017.


Interactive Video

Video is an old hat and doesn’t always engage learners the way we hope (cue darkened room after lunch, perfect for napping).  In 2018, the eLearning industry is doing something different.  Interactive content is being incorporated into videos, including questions, and even flexible, branching scenarios leading to different results.


Potential Game Changers in eLearning

Get ready for eLearning that looks like The Matrix, the movie starring Keanu Reeve.  These recent technologies are not limited to our industry but have many other applications as well.


Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality is a very effective tool for teaching high-risk or complex procedures, while augmented reality is used to train people on different tools and technologies.  This market is expected to grow 46% in the US by 2020.


Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence incorporates a user interface, unique to each trainee, for feedback with conversation and individualized engagement.  Its intuitive reaction to each learner’s performance is driven by real-time data interpretation, providing an enhanced learning experience.



Increased engagement is quickly moving forward with 2018 eLearning trends.  Even old delivery methods, like video, are getting a facelift to help trainees become invested in the outcome.  Gamification, in particular, has the power of leveraging psychology with instant feedback and attainable goals.  It is easily integrated with other tools in your training arsenal, including social learning, microlearning, and mobile learning.  Its outcomes are effortlessly measured, providing an accurately calculated ROI for senior management.  Join over 50% of businesses by incorporating gamification into your training toolbox.


[1] Bandura – Social Learning Theory

[2] How Chunking Helps Processing

[3] Gamification Survey Results

[4] How to Drive Employee Engagement with Workplace Gamification

[5] eLearning Market Trends and Forecast 2017-2021

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