It is that time.
The time when I make three predictions for the coming calendar year with regards to the elearning industry. At the end of the year I will take a look back at these predictions to see if any of them came true.
Why go through the trouble of making predictions in the first place? To be honest I just enjoy doing it. This industry has been a part of my life since before I even had my first real job (I was an elearning intern at an automotive company in undergrad).
I have seen trends come and go while others stick around. It’s always interesting to see the new technology, tools, tips, and growing sectors in our field.
I also like revisiting these at the end of the year to see if I was right (or wrong) on any predictions.
So without further ado let’s get to the predictions of 2017.
Prediction #1: Increase Presence of WordPress LMS in Traditional Markets
Let me first address the elephant in the room: yes, LearnDash is a WordPress LMS.
But let me also make something clear. Since 2012 (when this blog first started) I have never included WordPress powered learning management systems in my yearly elearning predictions.
This year is different because last year positioned the WordPress powered LMS for larger adoption in the more traditional markets. It also doesn’t hurt that both SCORM and Tin Can API can be used if desired – options not available in the very early years.
I predict we see WordPress being used more commonly in educational institutions, Fortune 500 companies, and in place of common hosted solutions like Litmos, Udemy, Teachable, and others.
Kindly note that the growth of the WordPress LMS industry doesn’t mean that any of those other traditional options won’t continue their growth – they probably will (the pie is certainly large enough).
Prediction #2: Innovation Around Micro-Learning
With mobile learning driving the growth of the elearning industry we have seen an increase in conversations around micro-learning. In the coming year I expect we will see a lot of innovation in this sector.
It’s the perfect time for startups and venture capatilists to try to get in early on a good thing. What usually happens when this is the case is that we see the market flooded (like we did with gamification) and when the dust settles we are left with a handful of ‘winners’.
Beyond just tech tools though, I predict we see a lot more of the elearning industry thought leaders educating the masses on micro-learning, it’s benefits, and how to do it properly. This in turn will result in more case-studies around the concept.
In short, the micro-learning boom is about to happen.
Prediction #3: Increased Demand for ID Professionals
Last year I predicted that the salaries for instructional designers would go up (results still pending, but early indications showing that I was incorrect in that prediction).
This time around I want to focus on something a bit more broad and that is the overall demand for people in the instructional design profession.
Elearning and mobile learning are both playing an intregal part in most people’s daily lives. Businesses use it to train their staff and often to make money. The demand for people with the ability to plan, create, and manage learning programs seems poised to increase this year (especially if you also consider the rise in new methodologies like micro-learning).