Last week the Chancellor announced new investment in digital skills distance learning courses.
Ok, so where on earth has January disappeared to?! We have been so busy working on lots of exciting new projects here at First Media that this blog post is a little later than planned! Anyway, let's get started...
The pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation that has been on the horizon for some time now. With many learning providers and schools having to quickly adapt to remote learning, it certainly has put into perspective the importance of creating engaging and interactive eLearning experiences.
It isn’t just the education sector that has been affected, the introduction of furlough has also impacted eLearning nationwide. Many adults have finally had the time to upskill themselves and complete training courses they have been meaning to do for months. It is predicted that 62% of businesses affected by COVID will spend more on training during 2021. So with that in mind, it is essential that your learning platform is providing the best possible experience for your learners.
Let’s have a look into what we at First Media predict will be the eLearning trends for 2021.
1. Learners will expect higher quality eLearning content
2021 really is the year to step up the game with eLearning content. Now more than ever people expect instant, responsive learning experiences. If your eLearning courses don't work across a variety of devices, as we mentioned earlier, your learners will become bored very quickly. The most important measures of quality when it comes to eLearning are: relevance, usefulness, understandability, accuracy, and timeliness. An engaged learner will absorb more of the course information, so your pass rates will be much higher.
2. eLearning will become the new 'norm'
With the rapid improvements in digital technology and people accepting this new digital era that we are living in, eLearning is definitely here to stay. First of all, we have proven that it works! By taking learning online it means that people can study flexibly, at a pace that suits them. Rather than being forced to complete certain tasks in an allocated time frame.
Affordability is another advantage of eLearning induction & onboarding. Think about the usual expenses associated with hiring a room to induct employees, the travel expenses to get everyone there, and finally paying the instructor too.
3. Virtual training will continue to grow
This boom in virtual learning is just the beginning. A study carried out towards the end of 2020 found that 98% of businesses plan to incorporate online learning within their business. That is in comparison with a measly 77% back in 2017. The shift to remote working has been the main trigger for this, but companies are also beginning to realise the benefits of training their employees.
Training an existing workforce not only reduces the cost of hiring new staff with the desired skills, but also increases the productivity of current employees. A new qualification is often a stepping stone to an internal promotion, so this helps to give a morale boost.
4. Upskilling the virtual trainers
As we have seen, many teachers have struggled with adapting their classroom lessons to a virtual environment. Delivering training through a screen isn’t quite the same as having face-to-face interactions. It requires a different type of skill which often needs teaching in the first place. In essence, the ‘trainer needs to be trained’.
5. Engaging content creation will be key
We are always shouting about the importance of creating engaging content, for that fully immersive eLearning experience. This is only going to become more of a priority during 2021. During the past year, there was a requirement for eLearning systems and corporate learning programmes to be developed quickly. The focus was on getting the systems online, and things like content will have fallen to the backburner.
Now that organisations have been able to extract data from their learning systems and establish what is working well, the focus will switch to increasing engagement through innovative eLearning design.
6. eLearning across all devices
All eLearning platforms should be responsive and provide a great learning experience no matter what device is being used. ‘Mobile-ready’ was always the minimum standard for eLearning, but rather than designing for desktop and then adapting for mobile, things are switching. There is now a bigger transition to ‘mobile-first’ which is changing how we design eLearning content.
7. Data is key for decision making
Data has always been important, but there really seems to have been a shift towards incorporating this within business strategies recently. Better data leads to better decisions, and companies are taking the time to track different KPIs for their remote teams.
We predict there will be a shift towards more integrated analytics within bespoke eLearning courses. Rather than just having a timeline tracking completion, Learning Record Stores (LRS) will be a bigger feature. This means that employers will be able to track exactly what their staff did with their new knowledge and skills. Metrics which are important to help move an organisation forward in the right direction for growth.
8. An increased need for flexible training
Flexible working has been the trend for 2020, and we think flexible training will be the buzzword for 2021 (anyone else getting bored of it being ‘You are on mute’?!). Whilst some people initially struggled with the concept of remote working, as it was forced upon us we all had to adapt pretty quickly. 90% of employees have said they want to continue working from home at some capacity. The changing workplace means that corporate learning also needs to be flexible for employees.
9. Enhanced use of video training & VR
Virtual instructor-led training has become a new craze during 2020. This is where groups of employees undergo training together, led by an experienced instructor. It is a very economical method of learning.
For those who often learn on-the-job, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) tools provide a great alternative when remote learning is the only option. It allows employees to work through scenarios they may face within the workplace, from the comfort of their own home.
10. Performance support becomes virtual
Performance support is resources that help employees to improve their skills whilst they are on the job. For example, this could be in the form of a printed document or video to supplement the training delivered. Traditional training aids that were used to support performance will be scrapped throughout the coming year. Performance support is going to shift more towards collaborative working between departments, with integrated training systems in place.
How we can help
If you are looking to transform your eLearning content this year, why not get in touch with the team at First Media to see how we can help you stand out from the crowd. You can either email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call on 01507 607783.