Elearning has evolved quite a bit in the past 10 years. Everything from the way the courses are presented to the images used within them (remember ClipArt?). What constitutes quality elearning design and delivery is as cyclical as the fashion industry. For example, one year drop-shadows were all the rage and the next it is all about flat design.
Trends go beyond the visuals and can also determine how the content is delivered. Bullet points have dominated the elearning scene for a long time (and probably will not be going away anytime soon), but not there are new ways to present information, such as with images.
Below are five emerging elearning trends. If you have any legacy elearning courses, it might be worthwhile to update them with some of these contemporary trends. It is far less expensive to give old training a face-lift than it is to create an entire new course from scratch. It could even lead to higher sanctification ratings since the content won’t appear to be dated.
ELearning Trends We See Today
Courses Focus on the Learner – In the past you could plop your content into a course and publish it. Now there has to be more thought into the user experience, specifically who will be accessing the content and if multiple iterations of the same material need to exist based on the audience.
More Emphasis on Active Learning – In its raw early form, elearning looked a lot like Microsoft PowerPoint wrapped in a pretty package. Today, there is more weight placed on interactive exercises that help drive home key points and objectives. Learners now interact with the content rather than stare at a screen.
Concise Content – Today it is more common to quickly summarize the main points, and in rare cases, add some more context. People are busy and elearning can take a significant amount of time. You ultimately want to convey some key points to your learners, so make sure those are clearly articulated and not bogged down with extra confusing content.
Images Instead of Words – There has been a boom in using images to replace written content in elearning. Think about the number of infographics that are floating around the internet today. There is a reason why people enjoy reading these. They are entertaining and get the main points across without requiring much work to figure out.
Non-linear Course Delivery – When it makes sense, many elearning courses now allow the user to navigate to the content they wish to explore instead of being directed in a linear delivery of the content. This is ideal when the audience is diverse and has varying needs in regards to what they should learn.