eLearning Trends to Watch Out For in 2018

2018

I recently participated in two significant eLearning conferences – Learning 2017 and DevLearn. The key purpose of my participation in these conferences was of course to bring Harbinger’s offerings to the forefront. But apart from that, I wanted to network with like minded professionals and also get some insights into the current and forthcoming eLearning trends. Based on my interactions and experiences, I decided to pen down some interesting trends and technologies that were discussed the most. It will be interesting to look out for them in the year 2018.

1. Course Modernization of Legacy Courses

The Flash sunset has been announced for 2020, and with that, it has become crucial for catalog companies to convert legacy Flash courses to HTML5. This entails a huge volume of work to be handled rapidly while following latest design styles, maintaining quality and learner demands. It is critical for every CLO and content director to strategize the successful enablement of this transition while satisfying the customer too.

Talking about Harbinger’s readiness in this regard, we are fully prepared to work with catalog companies to meet their needs of course modernization – HTML5 support on mobile, micro-learning, latest design styles, accessibility support – and all this, regardless of the availability of legacy content source files.

2. User Experience Design as a Part of the Standard Process

Learners expect the same experience while taking up an eLearning courses as they have with their intuitive day to day applications – engaging, gamified and search friendly. eLearning courses are now expected to be designed considering these parameters, to make the overall experience smoother and relevant. The development teams need to focus not just on the project stake holders; but also on learners.

Harbinger’s ideology and approach has always been learner centric. Our user experience design aims to make the learner’s experience engaging, smoother, and impactful.

3. Long Term Vision while Designing Current Courses

CLOs and content directors are looking for solutions which can not only address their current needs but future requirements as well. Activities like addition of analytics to understand user preferences and usage pattern; are becoming significant. Solutions addressing easy course maintenance, flexible upgrade to new technology are being considered and embraced by one and all.

eLearning partners who can provide such end-to-end solutions and also understand backend technology to generate analytics and relevant reports; are the ones you should look out for.

4. Augmented reality (AR)

With iPhone supporting augmented reality, organizations are moving towards embedding AR based eLearning programs in their curriculum for on-boarding modules, value based training, mechanical training, safety training etc. It would be interesting to see how eLearning companies use this technology, which is now available for masses.

Harbinger has also forayed into the implementation of this technology and our highly innovative learning experiences based on Augmented Reality can give a new dimension to your learning and training.

5. Artificial intelligence (AI)

Using Artificial intelligence for improving the eLearning experience would be something interesting to watch out in 2018. This could involve the usage of chatbots where the system learns and responds based on user actions.

Harbinger has also been working on a solution to make the eLearning development process better and faster using AI. We got a chance to showcase this solution at DemoFest 2017, which garnered lot of interest from various product managers and L&D heads. If not mainstream, I am sure we would see lot of progress on companies trying to play their hands with this technology.

Those were my top 5 picks for 2018. What are yours?

What keeps CLOs awake at night?

Every new financial year brings on audits for the last year. Measuring the ROI for eLearning / training programs implemented throughout the year is a daunting task for CLOs.

There iLearning Effectivenesss enough literature available to read about how companies conduct ROI and audits. Recently, an interesting discussion with a friend gave me an insightful thought. What better way to share it, so writing about it, and solicit your experiences too. Here it goes.

“How did eLearning come into picture?” One of my friends wanted to know during an interesting discussion. Like any other elearning professional, my answer to him was “due to technology growth where things could be accessed independently online”. To this, his reply was spot on; I realized it on hind sight. “NO! eLearning came into the picture because of compliance training.” Measuring compliance of processes, legal aspects was a very compelling need of many businesses. So it turned out that eLearning assisted to measure if a certain course was taken by everyone and if they completed it successfully or not. And SCORM tracking complimented these eLearning needs well where it gave CLOs exactly the required information.

With time, the compliance angle of training has reduced in many businesses. CLOs increasingly have to answer questions on effectiveness and ROI. These questions have to be answered tactfully as there is no standard like SCORM where one can find easy answers to these questions. Additionally, measuring effectiveness gets further complex when different businesses want to measure divergent parameters based on the results they are trying to achieve.

For example, in a sales training program, the number of sales closed with a handy just-in-time learning guide is more important vis-a-vis whether the sales person has gone through the product training program. Similarly, for an enterprise software, how much time does a person take to successfully fill a long form using just-in-time video help is more important compared to a software training program. In these situations the metrics to track the success of training programs should be the number of orders closed or time taken to fill the form successfully.

Such metrics should be thought of at the design stage. It always helps to have a healthy brainstorming discussion with the internal stakeholders and the team working on developing the program. Only post this discussion should the program be designed using the right learning technologies like LMS, xAPI, plug-ins like Google analytics, tools which can provide flexibility of tracking custom variables and so on.

What metrics do you use to measure learning effectiveness of your training programs? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.