eLearning Predictions for 2017 & Beyond

Looking at the past, understanding the present and predicting the future – here goes as we use our knowledge of the online training marketing to give you our elearning predictions for 2017 and beyond….

eLearning Predictions

LMS Market Growth & Next Generation Platforms Arrive

The LMS market will continue to thrive as it continues to evolve

Despite potential economic shocks, we believe the strong trends in LMS procurement will continue forward into 2017.

This prediction is made in the context of high levels of dissatisfaction with many existing LMS that are increasingly unfit for purpose, and the accelerating desire of many organisations to digitise their businesses.

Next generation LMS, which offer enhanced, engaging learning experiences, will meet the requirements of the digitally distracted and the modern learner. These next-gen LMS will truly provide a suitable learning platform that delivers the required culture of engagement as organisations continue down the path towards digitisation.

The Next Generation LMS

Integration will continue as the LMS integrates with CRM and other components of the modern digital business such as the Digital Experience Platform (DXP).

Indeed a case could be made to rebrand the LMS the LXP, the Learning Experience Platform, with a ‘nod’ to the growing importance of xAPI.


Learning Data becomes Increasingly Important

Learning Analytics

Learning Analytics, the analysis of learning performance data, will grow in importance as we slowly move in to a post-SCORM world. Learning Analytics occurs at the intersection of human learning and technology, and currently provides vast amounts of data about their interaction. Analytics will evolve beyond just providing information in ever growing detail but will come to provide the basis for predicting learning requirements at the point of need. In the workflow (Jay Cross created the term workflow learning) analytics will offer real-time feedback as well.

A new generation of performance support Apps will emerge to provide easy access to enhance learning performance and feedback. These little Apps will become real enablers for Learner Analytics as they will provide more, and more specific, learning data.

The Learning Record Store

The Learning Record Store, which acts as a storage area for the Learning Statements produced by the Experience API (xAPI) will make strong advances in the market as a result of the growing usage of xAPI. We do not see the LRS as replacing the LMS – nor does ADL (downloadable Word doc by Peter Berking Word on Choosing an LRS), but again enhancing the importance of the LMS.


The Nature of Content is Changing Rapidly

The post-SCORM world is still slowly dawning, but the rays of sunlight are increasingly there. 2017 should see more learning materials produced or ‘utilised’ using the xAPI, with “learning statements” at granular points during the learning course rather than assessments as separate interactions.

By utilised content we mean that materials freely available (often called open content) such as YouTube and free online resources will be leveraged as part of learning courses. Next generation LMS make this easy to do.

Courses can be quickly put together by training managers or health and safety managers mixing off the shelf e-learning modules with policy documents and simple videos for example. Simple programmes such as these are really having great effect in many organisations.

In addition, video is accelerating to a position of dominance as the learning genre of choice for many learning interventions. Video is being made interactive to ensure engagement and the trend towards shorter video is clear.


Artificial Intelligence in Learning

Much has been written on Artificial Intelligence and its application to learning (along with machine learning) and there is no doubt that a lot of interest has been generated by this. Quite how this emerges is still unclear, but leading organisations that already fully utilise learning technologies will be providing the leadership, we wait for the case studies with interest, as no doubt will the wider learning world.


New Realities

Augmented reality is arriving rapidly and 2017 will see more examples of this work. While the marketing industry is driving this development, we anticipate a rapid spill over into the e-learning market.

Virtual reality likewise will mature driven by the entertainment industry, but we anticipate increasing spill over into learning and development in a series of environments such as high stakes compliance.


Games Based Learning & Gamification

However, of all the innovations such as these in recent years our view is that Immersive Learning Games will now mature rapidly. The evidence of learning efficacy of immersive learning games is now complete, robust and published, see Helen Routledge’s book on Why Games are Good for Business.

Gamification and other rewards based mechanisms such as badges will continue to grow in utilisation, and rewards platforms will seek to continue to integrate into LMS and HRIS. Rewards offered will broaden beyond recognition and will increasingly monetize their offers made.


Training Management Software

Large talent management platforms appear to be in retreat and look increasingly obsolete due to their overt complexity. Instead, we anticipate a new and exciting segment maturing rapidly:

Training management systems will become more and more important in 2017, as these platforms will make sense of all training activities and apply sophisticated algorithms to understand performance per pound, dollar, euro etc…spent and much more from costs of organisation, delivery and achievement. Training management software deals with the budgeting, logistics, scheduling and much more real time analysis of what is happening across the organisation. Many organisations use Direct Product Profitability (DPP) for total transparency in all aspects of the retail value chain, TMS looks to do this beyond simply learner performance but across the learning value chain.

Smart LMS vendors serving large organisations should consider integrations.


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