3 ELearning Predictions for 2016

instructional-designerEvery year I like to venture into predictions of the elearning industry given the recent trends and technology that hit the scene.

I always find it interesting to look back a year later to see how these predictions came out.

By way of example you can see my review of my 2015 elearning industry predictions here where I figure I was correct on about 1.5 out of 3 🙂 .

But this is a new year and as such new predictions have to be made!

I will try my best to avoid making each one an “easy” prediction (for example, it’s a pretty safe bet that mobile learning will continue to rise so there isn’t any sense in making that obvious call).

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Prediction #1: Gamification Changes Articulate, Captivate, and/or iSpring

For those of you who may not know Articulate Storyline, Adobe Captive, and iSpring are software tools for rapidly creating elearning courses.

The first two mentioned have been the leaders of the pack for years.

Every year these players add new features and functionality.

Recently it has been centered around mobile learning but for 2016 I predict that they start taking gamification much more seriously – to the point where it becomes a major part of their advertising efforts.

Gamification has been growing in influence in the elearning industry for some time now, and when I look at these platforms their options in this area are lack-luster.

It could be a setting to allow for native badges to be awarded (and perhaps displayed on their associated learning management system offerings), leaderboards, and all the other gamification components.

I should note that gamification is certainly on the radar of these companies (as indicated by threads like this). It just seems to be an afterthought at this point.

While this is only a prediction I really hope to see it come true. These industry players need to catch up!

Prediction #2: Global Learning Management Industry Revenues Increase

This may seem like a lazy prediction, but hear me out.

Ever since Tin Can API hit the scene people have been talking about the “death of the LMS” – that learning management had ran its course.

However, I contend that 2016 will see growth in this sector.

Online courses and elearning in general are common place now. There are thousands of online academies, course marketplaces, and educational opportunities available from a computer screen.

As people take these courses it isn’t uncommon for them to think, “Hey, I could create an online course offering as well”.

So what do they do? They search for a system to deliver the courses.

They are searching for an LMS, whether they know it at first or not.

Tin Can API is still seen as a “nice to have” rather than a “must have” for many. It’s also not overly intuitive so most people just ignore it altogether (it still is most applicable for enterprise solutions).

Prediction #3: Instructional Designers Paid More Globally

As elearning is becoming a standard across nearly every industry, the instructional designer is going to be in high demand.

I predict that those who identify themselves as Instructional Designers (including managers) will see an uptick in their average pay across the six major continents.

I’ll even take it one step further and say that the biggest positive change will happen in Asia.

I think we’ll see more people getting into this profession as well, which has the potential to negatively impact salary levels in the future but this may not occur for some time.

In other words: we are entering the instructional designer golden years.

3 Predictions, But So Much More Is Happening

These three predictions only scratch the surface of all that is happening in the elearning industry.

While I hope to be proved right on these I also look forward to being surprised in other areas.

What do you think is in store for 2016?

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the most trusted WordPress LMS for major universities, continuing education providers, and entrepreneurs world-wide. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

2 Comments
  1. Oleg Buylov

    Hey Justin!
    I am interested in this question. Why did none of MOOC, such as Coursera, Udemy, edX and others do not use authoring tools – Storyline/Captivate etc? As one of MOOC does not use the standard xAPI/SCORM. No repositories of elearning courses in the xAPI format. All use only video. What can you say to that?
    Sorry, I’m use a translator.

  2. Tracey

    Hi Justin

    I teach business owners and entrepreneurs how to write online courses and also freelance as a course writer. More and more everyday people are creating courses so I’d love to see a product that can be used by small business that has some of the authoring capabilities of Articulate or Storyline. A plugin would be awesome don’t you think?

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