Over the last couple of months, we’ve read several articles that discuss 2016 elearning trends to look out for to make the most of online training. Many have largely covered the same topics as recent years (the demand for mobile learning is a given now right?), so here’s our take on what might be a little different in 2016 onwards.
Increasing L&D Recruitment
We note increased recruitment activity for tech savvy L&D professionals: It appears companies are increasingly recruiting Learning and Development professionals again, after several years of restrained budgets. Let us hope the budget stretches beyond recruiting people and the new recruits have a budget!
Why all this recruiting? Companies are increasingly concerned about skills shortages and skills retention is a growing issue in many organisations and the minimum wage is making many organisations in the UK’s service sector re-assess their training and development plans.
We hope that increasing L&D recruitment will result in increasing elearning expenditure. As new L&D professionals will have the task of training workforces, and elearning is a cost-effective solution to this challenge, we believe that increased recruitment of L&D professionals is a good thing for the elearning industry.
New models of Workplace Learning
This is also underpinned by the changes in apprenticeships and the new employer levy which will see new workplace learning models emerge with technology playing an increasingly important role.
We have been fans of VOOCs (Vocational Open Online Courses) for a while and these will play a growing role in supporting choice for careers. Informed choice will mitigate the dropout potential of learners. This vocational challenge was very recently highlighted by Sir Michael Wilshaw.
We predict that many large employers with foresight will use these changes in the learning landscape to transform learning and development to a revenue generation opportunity in their supply chains and extended value chains. We see technology as a key enabler in this skills market evolution and we predict the emergence of Competence Based Learning models leveraging technology to reflect the changing nature of learners and their lifestyles.
Smart assessment is part of this picture and new mobile work based assessment tools will add to the true mobility of learning in the workplace
MOOCs will mature and finally move out of the trough of disillusionment. We are seeing MOOCs being aligned tightly to careers and the workplace with job guarantees and associated micro- credentialing platforms. In addition to digital badges, micro-credentials will give recognition to a potpourri of courses. But it is remote invigilation (or proctoring) that will really unlock the full potential of MOOCs with verified paid for certification taken in secure digital environments.
The remote invigilation of exams will grow very rapidly. This will allow MOOCs and elearning to further grow as it enables them to be reliably certified without geographical restrictions, adding further value to the elearning proposition. Remote invigilation platforms will integrate with LMS, assessment platforms and other learning platforms. There are several solutions to look out for in this market.
Integration will accelerate as LMS begin to integrate with CRM, HRIS, remote invigilation and talent management platforms. We will see Tom Davenport’s vision of a world characterised by free flowing information across organisations and their multiple information systems. This information ecology will generate new possibilities for elearning, with the power of analytics coming through using the vast amounts of data being generated (by CRMs in particular). Caliper Analytics will become a hot term in 2016.
This vision or requirement is likely to be the driver for a growing number of xAPI deployments that will be a key component in making imaginative and interesting integrations take place between LMS, LRS and CRM in particular.
In some ways the LMS-LRS architecture will be less visible but much more important. Above all it will be integrated within the organisation as part of the extended enterprise.
The LMS will continue its evolution and broaden and deepen driven by integration, improved configurable user interfaces designed to engage and reward learners, as well as a long overdue simplification to reflect the way that searching for answers is now the way that many people learn.
It appears Learner reward is going to be one of the big 2016 elearning trends, with many LMS vendors offering this service.
Finally a move beyond device fetishes as the desktop, tablet and phone become interchangeable and learners can synchronise their learning anywhere and anytime. Mobile is becoming increasingly de rigueur to most content and LMS procurements, and this will continue to enhance demand for new bespoke e-learning content and next generation of LMS.
 VOOCs are by Virtual College
 See our forthcoming report on computer based assessment and remote proctoring
 IMS has developed Caliper Analytics