The learning curve blog

Helpful advice for online course creators, businesses, and entrepreneurs

6 Digital Learning Trends You Need to Know About

by | Jun 9, 2016 | Tips & Tricks

Staying up-to-date with the latest digital learning trends can help you and your organization take advantage of opportunities to create more effective learning.

Let’s explore six digital learning trends that we’ve been watching in 2016.

1. Mobile learning: learners want mobile

Mobile devices are now in the hands of 90% of the US population. As elearning authors keep pace with this digital revolution, the expansion of mobile learning will continue while content authoring adapts to take on board new mobile and wearable devices.

Mobile learning is popular with learners because it’s convenient and flexible. Sometimes learners don’t have access to desktops; so mobile is the only real alternative. For example, Utility Warehouse, a UK utilities company, needed to use mobile learning because their 46,000 distributors needed access to learning while on-the-go and onsite with clients.


Related: How Utility Warehouse delivered responsive learning to 46,000 learners

2. Gamification: Make Learning Fun


By making learners game players, gamification taps into techniques that make learning fun, rewarding, and possibly addictive!

Gamification can be as simple as using challenges to get learners thinking. Or it can be a little more complex with the use of leaderboards to track and benchmark learners against each other.

Related: 5 ways to use gamification in online training

3. Data analytics: more accessible than ever

Detailed data can tell organizations a lot about their learners and courses. Branching scenarios can reveal learner preferences, which can help you decide on other learning that should be offered. Data gathered over time from large cohorts can help organizations understand the learning process. It can also uncover learning patterns that have an impact on overall return on investment. More sophisticated data capture and visualization tools will see data mining and analysis become more accessible as we head toward the second half of 2016.

4. Augmented reality: new technologies are making this easier

Augmented reality—merging the real environment with virtual information in real-time—is becoming easier to achieve. Simple online tools can help digital learning teams create highly engaging and interactive experiences for their users easily and at very little cost.

Once the stuff of science fiction, augmented reality is now a new technology that is pushing its way into learning. If you’re not experimenting with it in 2016, you may be ignoring the future of learning.

5. Social media: organizations are using platforms like Yammer and LinkedIn for learning


Professional social media platforms—like LinkedIn and Yammer—are being used alongside authoring tools and learning management systems. Digital learning professionals are beginning to see the benefit of using social media platforms to encourage peer collaboration and support learning initiatives.

6. Personalization: one-size does not fit all

Personalization means providing learning that is relevant to individual learners, rather than providing a one-size-fits-all learning experience. To keep learning personal, trainers should use data analytics to assess why, when, and how learners prefer to access resources.

By understanding each learner individually, you can tailor learning experiences to meet learners’ needs.

Related: How to design personalized learning experiences

Final thoughts

It’s an exciting time to be in digital learning. The tools you need to take advantage of the trends in this list are now affordable and easily accessible. It will be interesting to see which of these trends become common practice in 2017 and beyond.

Have you spotted an upcoming digital learning trend to watch as we move toward the end of 2016 and into 2017? Tell us in the comments below so we can add it to our watch list.

Stay on top of the latest digital trends, ideas, and technologies by subscribing to Elucidat’s weekly newsletter.

Written by: Steve Penfold

Steve Penfold is Customer Success Director at Elucidat, the simple and intuitive authoring tool. He helps large companies use Elucidat to deliver more effective elearning 50% faster.

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