It’s coming! With the year drawing to an end, now is the perfect time to prepare for the digital learning trends that will appear in the new year.

So, what will be driving eLearning in 2018? Here is a comprehensive list of the top ten eLearning trends to watch out for.

1.      Mobile learning

These days, everyone’s on their phones. So why should your eLearning be restricted to a computer screen? Incorporating learning for mobile phones is a trend that is predicted to continue for 2018.

Expect mobile responsiveness to be a main focal point of eLearning and for eLearning platforms that don’t respond to mobile screens to be phased out.  

2.      VR/AR

If you’ve kept up with recent technology trends then you’ve probably heard a lot about VR and AR. If you haven’t, you can learn about them here.

VR and AR are quickly gaining popularity among technology trends and it’s only a matter of time until they become commonplace in eLearning. For example, Learn Brite is already incorporating VR into training using animated characters and settings to replicate training scenarios.

3.      Artificial intelligence

We've heard all about AI this year! Artificial intelligence has been entering technology sector hard and fast, with uses ranging from text to speech translations to smart cars. Be ready for artificial intelligence to enter the eLearning community in 2018 as well. 

This feature will allow programs to understand and form links between complex information, which will lead to many uses across eLearning. The most likely use for this trend will be in eLearning chatbots and for personalised learning. 

4.      Personalised learning

We all know that one learning style doesn't work for everyone. eLearning will personalise how learning is assigned and performed in the upcoming year to cater to these learning differences.

In 2018, eLearning is predicted to have more developments to compare learners with their peers and to recognise different learning styles. This will be done by using data to assign personalised data for learners based upon their needs.

5.      Game-based training and gamification

Games, games, games. We all know the use of games aren’t anything new for learning, but expect their use and complexity to increase in the new year. Next year's game-based learning may incorporate new features, like the use of VR, AR or AI.

Games have been proven to be a great way to keep your learners engaged throughout the material, so the use of gaming will continue to be a forefront of eLearning.

6.      Video learning

The use of video content will continue to increase. Videos are hugely versatile; they can be used to replace slideshows, present information or provide a one-way conversation.  

In fact, video usage is expected to increase by almost 32% by 2018. Keep up with these trends by incorporating more videos into your learning.  

7.      Webinars

Webinars have been around for a while, but expect there to be new and more frequent uses of these in the new year. Webinars will likely continue to be used both for marketing learning material and to create an engaging online learning. Through webinars the viewer can ask questions, engage socially with others and solve complex problems with a team.

Rather than the past lengthy webinars, expect webinars for the new year to be shorter and to span across several days. This will ensure that learners are more engaged than ever and less time is required throughout each day. 

8.      Microlearning

Microlearning, the ability to provide bite-sized learning, is a huge digital learning trend that will continue into 2018.  This learning type involves a brief, intensive piece of training material, such as a 1–5 minute video, that is designed to teach the learner about a single, focused topic.

Microlearning materials are time-effective, cheap to create and keep the learner engaged, so it’s understandable that this trend will increase in 2018.

9.      Informal learning

Keep it casual with informal learning. When you think about eLearning, the first thought is typically courses, assessments and certifications. However, the use of this formal learning is expected to blend increasingly with informal learning in the new year.

Expect the use of these informal learning processes to increase to allow learners to learn on their own time with materials that don't assess their learning.  The use of this informal learning will likely be in learning situations, such as ones where behaviours and actions can be shown to employees, so they can replicate them in their own roles. 

10.    Podcasts

Oh, podcasts! They’ve been around for a while but are becoming increasingly popular with each passing year. Expect this popularity to continue into the eLearning community in the next year.

So how will they be used? Expect podcasts to be incorporated into existing learning materials or to be presented as entire materials where users can listen to them anytime, anywhere.

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