Utilize These Trends For Your eLearning Content
With so many companies and individuals deciding to invest their resources into content development, it’s crucial to stay up to date with the most important eLearning content development trends. This will help ensure that your learners are engaged with your program and that you deliver valuable content. But first, for those of us who aren’t Instructional Designers, let’s determine what eLearning content development is.
What Is eLearning Content Development?
eLearning content development is a process of creating content in a digital form that lives in a digital space that your learners can access through digital means. eLearning courses often require high-quality content creation, video content development, and the creation of interactive content. Luckily, there are also easier ways to develop learning content for your program.
The most basic types of eLearning content can include PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, screen recordings, authored eLearning, and other training materials. If you aren’t interested in creating content yourself, you can also take advantage of open-source courses. With this in mind, let’s take a closer look at the most important trends to incorporate into your courses.
Important Trends To Incorporate
1. Increased Demand For eLearning
For both internal and external learning, the demand for online learning has increased. This trend already existed, but it sped forward with the pandemic. Now, businesses have more remote workers, so they need to train them via eLearning instead of in-person training.
Even if businesses have gone back to in-person work, many were virtual for long enough to recognize some of the benefits of eLearning for onboarding and training. For example, they noticed the improved efficiency of their team and the scalability of the training. Some companies utilize blended learning that incorporates both eLearning and in-person training sessions.
2. Adaptive Learning
Adaptive learning refers to letting learners set their own pace and time. This is becoming increasingly popular and is commonly recommended by top eLearning content development companies. It gives students more control, letting them adapt their learning to fit their busy life and learning style.
Gamification is nothing new in eLearning content development, and it continues strong in 2022. Gamification continues to be an excellent way to boost engagement. It can help learners compete with themselves or with others. This provides motivation and gives learners goals to reach.
Duolingo is one of the best-known examples of gamification in eLearning. After all, you earn points, go through levels, and earn learning streaks. There are also leaderboards. But it is far from the only use of gamification. Even something as simple as giving learners points for completing modules or letting them level up can boost engagement.
4. Immersive Learning
Immersive learning harnesses some of the newest technologies, such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Extended Reality. While there is a higher eLearning content development cost, it can also deliver a significantly better experience for students. It can lead to a more interactive feeling and provide some of the benefits of in-person learning even when remote. AR and VR can also help teach practical applications virtually.
5. Interactive Learning
Textbooks consistently have questions at the end of chapters, and for a good reason. This is a good way to test knowledge and help students interact with the lesson. The recent trend of interactive learning in eLearning is an extension of this. At the same time, it combines some of the interactivity you would get in a traditional classroom setting.
The way this trend is incorporated into eLearning varies. Some stick to traditional quizzes at the end of lessons. Others include exercises to complete. Yet others use a system like VideoAsk that lets you ask learners questions and have them record their answers.
Microlearning is one of the trends that is now recommended by all the top eLearning content development services. Microlearning turns larger lessons into bite-sized pieces and lets you focus on what is most important to your learners. One of the biggest advantages of microlearning is its ability to turn your lessons into easily digestible chunks. These smaller chunks also let learners choose how much to learn at once, letting them work at their own pace.
On top of that, microlearning adds searchability to your course. This is one of the reasons that eLearning content development companies are likely to recommend it for your eLearning content. If a learner wants to refresh their memory on a certain topic, they can just find the specific module for it. The module will only be a few minutes long, so they can retake or watch the entire thing. By contrast, without microlearning, they would have to search the entire hour-long (or longer) course to find what they need.
7. Mobile Learning
Mobile learning has been growing steadily recently, and it is a crucial part of eLearning in 2022 and beyond. Mobile learning is crucial for allowing learners to learn on the go, or in areas without easy internet access. This adds a significant amount of versatility, both for internal and external programs. In case of internal learning, it improves productivity by enabling workers to find answers to their questions remotely.
Additionally, not everyone regularly uses computers anymore. Many people prefer to access the internet via their smartphones and tablets. By offering mobile learning, you can appeal to everyone, not just those on computers. As such, there are more LMSs and other eLearning content development software to create mobile courses than ever before, and many of the existing platforms have expanded to include mobile apps.
Personalization is growing in importance in eLearning, helping courses better appeal to learners. This comes naturally when you incorporate some of the other trends mentioned here. By using microlearning, learners can personalize their experience by skipping the modules that aren’t relevant to them. Or you can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to adjust the learners’ journey to their needs or preferences.
9. Social Learning
While some people learn better alone, many do best when learning in group settings or interacting with others. This is where social learning comes in. Some popular examples of social learning include file-sharing, forums, or chatrooms. Going back to Duolingo, language learners can write text in their target language and have a native speaker provide feedback.
An extension of this is the rise of collaboration tools within eLearning, especially for internal eLearning. For example, colleagues could share instructional content with ease instead of explaining a task or process to someone.
10. Video-Based Learning
When you look at the eLearning content development process, it commonly includes videos. In the past, many eLearning courses were more text-based, but this has been shifting. The pandemic sped up the transition, as video-based learning was a natural extension of remote or virtual learning. Today, most learners prefer watching videos instead of other content forms. You can use video-based learning for lectures, tutorials, demos, and more.
Many learners prefer watching videos while learning, as this helps the course feel more interactive. You feel more engaged if you are watching a video with a person teaching you instead of just reading text. Of course, there is still a need for eLearning courses to appeal to all learning styles. The rise of video learning also means there is a rise in eLearning content development tools to facilitate this. For example, Loom makes it easy to create videos with screen capture software.
Not all of the trends in eLearning have to do with how people learn. Some focus on the eLearning content development process itself, such as the use of analytics. With advances in technology, eLearning platforms are increasingly offering course creators insights into courses. When you outsource eLearning content development, you can specifically choose an LMS that provides data on your learners. Depending on the system, you can see lesson completion, engagement, and retention rates. All these analytics provide you with crucial information to help you improve your course. Savvy course creators view analytics as one of the eLearning content development tools. Analytics help identify areas for improvement or confirm that the team is meeting its eLearning goals.
- Surveys and learner feedback
Complementing the analytics from the learning data is an increased focus on gathering feedback from learners. There is an increased focus on getting that feedback even during the early stages of custom eLearning content development. Course creators are asking for feedback at every stage of the process. Of course, this has been happening to some extent for years, but it is still a continuing trend worth mentioning.
12. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence is another increasingly popular tool used behind the scenes by eLearning content development companies. AI is used to identify students who are struggling with certain concepts and offering them help. Or it could be used to identify those students who need one-on-one attention from a Subject Matter Expert.
AI can also help with personalization, both for internal and external eLearning courses. You could create several pathways in a course and use AI to determine which one would best suit your learners’ needs. This could be based on proficiency, strengths, weaknesses, and even interests.
Yet another use of AI is in the inclusion of chatbots in eLearning courses and on platforms. This is a great way to provide some individualized attention and answer basic questions. Or you can incorporate AI to make your course more searchable. This can especially help your students find specific lessons quickly.
13. Authoring Tools
Another behind-the-scenes trend is the use of authoring tools such as Adobe Captivate and Articulate 360. These cloud-based authoring tools make it much easier to create training courses. They can also help reduce the eLearning content development cost. After all, you don’t have to create systems from scratch. You also don’t need any coding or tech knowledge. With an authoring tool, you can focus on the content instead of the technology behind it. Many of these tools also include template libraries that make it even easier to learn how to develop eLearning content.
14. Brandable And Customizable Platforms
In the past, the options for LMSs and eLearning platforms were somewhat limited, and you couldn’t really add much personalization. Now, however, this is changing. There are a growing number of platforms that offer customization or branding. Some keep it simple like letting you choose colors, while others also let you add logos and more.
15. Higher-Quality Experiences
Learners are increasingly demanding higher-quality experiences. They want content that seems professional, leading many course creators to outsource eLearning content development. At the same time, modern technology makes creating a high-quality experience for learners less costly. For example, many smartphones now have amazing video, so you just need a supplemental sound system.
Trends like microlearning and gamification are here to stay in 2022. The same is true of personalization, social learning, and mobile learning. There are more LMSs available than ever before, giving you your choice of eLearning content development software. Organizations are increasingly using technology, from AI to authoring tools, to create the best possible eLearning courses for their learners. Use these trends to enhance your eLearning program.