January 5th, 2014 Course Creation

trendssmalljpgJust like any industry, the elearning world goes through a variety of trends over a year. Some of these trends stick or evolve, while others are phased out altogether.

For example, I can recall when it was really popular to include sound effects for every aspect of an elearning module – in some cases, for every single letter!

However, as over-animation became too distracting, elearning course creators learned how to tone it back to reasonable usage so that they did not distract from the learning.

In looking at today’s trends, there are a variety to pick from depending on what aspect you are analyzing. Below are six elearning trends that seem to be “all the rage” in the past year (as originally detailed by SHIFT ELearning). Time will tell which of these will be around by January 2015.

1. Responsive Design

Responsive design gained in popularity around the same time that tablets and smartphones really started to become widely distributed. Elearning is no longer just for desktops – it must work well across a variety of devices. As such, the elearning should be responsive to the screen.

2. HTML5

It has been reported that 63% of 4,043 developers are already using HTML5, and 31% plan to start soon. The use of HTML5 is growing and it will continue to grow in the near future.

3. Bring-Your-Own-Device (BOYD)

It is estimated that roughly 75% of corporations believe that Bring Your Own Device programs can help their employees be more productive – which in turn helps the bottom line of the company.

4. Content Curation

Content curation is a way of sharing valuable information on a specific topic to an interested target audience, in the end helping them to focus on what is critical on any particular topic.

5. Gamification

Gamification is in many elearning programs today, often taking the form of points and badges for individual accomplishments. It’s probably reasonable to expect gamification techniques to become more elaborate as time goes on.


EPUB3 has been found to lower the cost of production and delivery of books to several mobile devices and software that many readers are already using.

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About Justin Ferriman

Justin started LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by Fortune 500 companies, major universities, training organizations, and entrepreneurs worldwide. He is currently founder & CEO of GapScout. Justin's Homepage | GapScout | Twitter

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3 responses

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Thank you Justin.

Interesting observation, and a nice reference to over-animating. In sweetrush.com we keep close tabs on industry trends, on what is in and on what is out, and for the corporate education, I would say that your #2, #3 and especially #5 definitely strike very close to home.

Justin, nice post. It strikes me that at least half of your trends are part of a bigger trend: mobile learning is really taking off, supported by smarter, more effective infrastructure.

Hi Kenneth, thanks for the comment. Indeed mlearning is taking off – it’s not quite at the same level of recognition as traditional elearning, but I think it will in time.

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