As we come to the end of the year, we look forward to what 2016 holds. The past year was productive and innovative, to be sure, but e-learning continues to grow as a viable solution for corporate learning, and neurolearning is progressing as a science and study.
A few areas are especially promising for 2016, particularly when attitudes come into play. As forward-thinking and influential companies implement the best learning techniques, a wave of early adopters will take e-learning to the next level. Here are some of the trends that are worth a second look in the coming months.
1. Outsourcing On the Rise
According to Docebo’s “E-Learning Market Trends & Forecast 2014-2016 Report,” the big story might not be what happens in the office, but what happens when businesses outsource e-learning to another company or service. Some 42 percent of e-learning spending goes to outsourcing, leaving just 58 percent of e-learning dollars in-house.
Going forward that likely speaks to HR’s workload more than training skill level. Businesses are acknowledging that in order to train employees properly — and to retain the best talent — a couple of PowerPoint presentations aren’t going to cut it. Instead, e-learning professionals who understand neuroscience, engagement and media can cause a 180-degree shift in the way businesses train and how employees learn. The idea of DIY e-learning is admirable, but can be detrimental in practice. As more companies recognize the value of high-quality and engaging e-learning, expect to see more money spent on outsourcing services to those who can make the biggest difference.
2. Always-on E-learning Might Soon Be a Staple
Analyzing the amount of time employees spend on e-learning is a fairly linear process, but it doesn’t take all e-learning into consideration. Today, learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom — it can happen 24/7 with e-learning applications that are always on. Employees can log into their reference library before checking in on a sales call, or watch a how-to video while relaxing at home.
Continuous e-learning expands the parameters that once limited training to an at-work activity. This means that mobilized e-learning will require mobile applications and modules. Companies that refuse to make e-learning accessible for employees miss out on a window of opportunity that virtually never closes, so we’ll see a hard shift toward always-on training.
3. Attitudes Are Changing
The Docebo report indicated changing attitudes toward continuing education and learning, particularly for employers. A massive 96 percent agreed that ongoing education had a positive effect on job performance, and 78 percent factored learning into growth and promotional equations. And, as far as salary potential goes, 87 percent considered ongoing education as a factor for compensation.
Mature businesses are leading the charge for e-learning as less of a one-time affair and more of continuous job perk. It’s true large companies spend less on e-learning per employee, but they’re better at extending e-learning so it has the widest reach possible. It makes sense, considering 70 percent of companies agreed that budget and time constraints were major training concerns. Taking a page from these larger organizations and increasing e-learning reach gives businesses the most bang for their training buck.
As we put 2015 on the books, consider the issues and ideas that are set to be trending topics in 2016. It will put you ahead of the curve when planning your learning strategies for the New Year.