Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Prime eLearning Tendencies In 2021: Affect Of Distant Working

eLearning Trends in 2021: The Impact of Remote Working

A collection of thoughts from an interview with the world’s best learner.

1. The demand for eLearning comes from the employees

eLearning was much more widely accepted by our employees in 2021. Compliance with regulations and the support of teams during COVID caused the demand for eLearning to skyrocket and internal stakeholders to begin to expect and demand it. This has ultimately had a positive impact on the industry, and learning and development managers enjoy the focus on learning and development. eLearning is accepted as part of working life. “We want to make sure we are delivering high quality experiences and increasing employee skills,” says one of our key customers. Learning and development teams work hard to prioritize where their efforts can have a unique impact and what they can outsource to freelancers.

2. E-learning and understanding the employee mentality

This year, the focus was on cognitive overload and the increased emotions of employees. Overwork is a growing challenge for learners as the amount of information we consume has increased over the past twenty years. Because of the increase in information from multiple devices and the Internet, people have difficulty retaining information. The pandemic made this worse as we spent more time working at home, consumed more media, and had less time for our awareness to switch off and rest. As Daniel Levitin, neuroscientist and author of Organized Mind, and Toronto-based learning counselor Lauren Waldman suggested, our brains get full early on, and this affects our ability to retain information and learn. E-learning designers and instruction designers try to simplify communication and interact emotionally so that the brain is more likely to remember the important things. At the heart of the work of every great eLearning designer is how we can put this learner in the ideal future state.

3. We expect eLearning to be like other media that we consume

As a variety of new design, animation, and video tools become available in the market, eLearning will also improve. While the stories we tell in eLearning remain important, people’s expectations of the quality and visual experience of the learning we consume are increasing. Learning with mobile devices is in demand like never before as people who work from home share devices. They are looking for tasks that they can do in a more fun environment, in part because of the devices on which they consume the eLearning. Video and animation skills are in great demand, either from an eLearning designer or from someone with a media and design background.

4. Learning in the workflow

Learning in the workflow has been on the eLearning agenda for some time, but it is gaining priority as our hybrid work patterns become more familiar. We can’t ask the person next to us so we need to be able to reach out quickly and find what we need when we need it. Many eLearning teams have made great efforts to link the existing content and make it discoverable for the right employees at the right time. This is a combination of bespoke eLearning and free material available online. The need to present eLearning quickly and easily demands more from our learning management systems and our overall performance ecosystem. Learning teams see that the delivery infrastructure is just as important as the eLearning modules themselves.

5. eLearning as storytelling and part of culture

As large parts of the workforce adapt to hybrid working, the way we tell stories in e-learning becomes more and more important. Storytelling not only enables us to better understand eLearning, but also to memorize and absorb knowledge. The story arc with a protagonist overcoming challenges makes us remember that learning is not always easy, but it can be achieved. Storytelling in our eLearning also has an important potential role in keeping our culture connected. Without the direct connection to the cultural architecture of our organizations, which is so often reinforced by physical symbols at work, eLearning has the ability to keep those stories and cultures alive.

6. Duration of study, micro and long?

The discussion about the need for microlearning or longer-term eLearning has been heated in recent years. Now that we are more isolated, eLearning designers and instruction designers are breaking up that debate. Many share the view that learning should take as long as it takes for the person to learn to do the task they need to do. We take great care in segregating our learning resources so that the information can be absorbed as quickly and easily as possible, but many agree that a set length or approach doesn’t always do the job well.

7. Integration of peer-to-peer learning into the eLearning environment

Peer-to-peer learning is an essential part of on-the-job learning. As we work more autonomously, this source of eLearning needs to be more consciously integrated into our onboarding processes and, in general, eLearning needs to be replaced in an eLearning environment.

There are a wide range of tools available to make it easier for people to share learning, including screen sharing tools like Loom. However, there may be times when this type of eLearning needs to be structured into a more classroom-based experience. Content sharing also requires more focused curation so that learning shared by internal SMEs is more widely shared. eLearning is an opportunity to do this by providing structure around these learning experiences and dragging the learning out using the expert-led learning as video content within the modules.

8. Democratization of eLearning practices

The eLearning development has long been dominated by detailed software programs and expensive license fees. Just as Canva has turned Adobe’s business model in the field of graphic design on its head, new players are disrupting the established e-learning software players, above all “How Too” from Australia. How Too offers beautifully designed courses and accessible learning that can be taken up and built by a wider range of less specialized eLearning team members. By improving the eLearning design and development, this team will be able to enable more eLearning for teams.

9. Scaling learning experiences, AI and chatbots

Similarly, chatbots affect eLearning in a variety of ways. Embedding eLearning after a learning intervention is a major challenge for companies, even if we have more traditional ways of working. AI-powered chatbots are designed to help companies provide large-scale pre- and post-learning support. Australia’s Coach M is a leader in this area and is developing new ways to track and ensure learning transfer. This type of approach helps organizations see real changes in skills and organizational outcomes.

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