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Top eLearning Trends for 2016

by | Dec 31, 2015 | Tips & Tricks

DigitalChalk: Top eLearning Trends for 2016Experts predict that the market of eLearning in the US can reach $27.1 billion by 2016. With eLearing expanding so rapidly, no one considers it surprising when new trends of this niche appear, and when teachers, tutors, and educators are eager to know what the latest eLearning trends are.

Every year brings new trends, and it’s quite difficult for a teacher to choose the best one to apply in a classroom. The top 10 elearning trends of 2015 provided a big room to work, and some of them would stay in trend in 2016, too. To understand who is who and find out what to look for in 2016, check the below list of top eLearning trends all educators will use next year.

What Stays in Trend

There are five trends from 2015 will stay with us in 2016, too. They are the following:

1) Gamification

LearnDash claims that over 75% of people are “gamers”. Experts agree with them and confirm that applying game dynamics to learning can bring fantastic results, which makes gamification a key trend for both 2015 and 2016. Bringing games to an eLearning environment, a teacher cultivates students engagement through learning materials. Game-like exercises increase productivity, gets learners interested in a subject, motivates them to get new knowledge, help them remember content, and empowers them to assume an active role in the education process.

2) Personalization

In 2016, personalized learning will go to a new level. It will make teachers focus on developing personalized approaches to every student by allowing them to decide a learning path and adjusting the pace of instruction. Personalization in eLearning allows instructors to put learners in control, automated eLearning tools create a personalized learning experience, and allows students to achieve better results and enjoy their learning experience… Plus, a personalized approach to every student will allow them to shorten the time spent on learning and remembering new materials.

3) Cloud Learning

As per 2013, the usage of cloud techs grows despite many people doubting whether it’s a good idea to keep data and information on public servers. Being a major technology trend in 2015, cloud learning is predicted to become a key technology to assist students in their learning process.

4) Augmented Learning

It was highly developed in 2015, and it will very likely become a common element of eLearning in 2016. Augmented learning means placing students into a modeled environment to provide a workspace, which becomes possible with virtual reality devices like Apple Watch or Google Glass, for example. The access to augmented environments helps to engage learners into the educational process and gives an opportunity to visit more classes, get new knowledge, and develop new skills.

5) mLearning

The rise of mobile techs all over the world gives one more trend to apply in eLearning, which is called mLearning. First of all, it will allow better use of the above-mentioned augmented reality, and second, it will give students access to their classes and learning materials at all places and times. Achieved through QR codes or GPS, mLearning provides benefits from contextual learning, too.

New eLearning Trends 2016

The three following trends have not been mentioned in 2015, so they are very likely to become unique for 2016 and change teachers’ approach to learning methodologies, instruction, knowledge management, and tech tools to invigorate every lesson.

1) Automation

2016 seems to be the year when automation will become a crucial aspect of the learning process. New courses or learning materials will likely appear with the help of automated solutions, saving time and money of many experts. There are many tools that are able to scan content and recognize the important aspects, so they can be used for generating exercises, tests, quizzes, and other elements of coursework. Knowledge and skills of every single learner will be assessed automatically by algorithmic solutions offered by automated tools, as well.

2) Big Data

More and more data appear every year, and the elearning niche is not an exception. Instructors and learning centers need more and more tools to analyze big data and deliver meaningful conclusions to use this data in course optimization. Big data is a new elearning trend of 2016, as its analytics help to provide a better understanding of the learning process, offers personalization, and improves the process. With so many benefits provided, big data analytics is going to become an essential trend for elearning in 2016.

3) Social Learning

Social media is much more than the simple sharing of news and photos. Facebook or Twitter accounts are effective learning tools to use for online courses, connecting with fellow learners, asking for professional writing help, finding information, doing research, etc. eLearning makes Facebook a platform to discuss learning topics, help each other find a solution to a problem, etc; Twitter helps to stay in touch with experts, search for academic reports, discuss and curate content on the elearning topic, and much more.

It seems 2016 will make eLearning an integral part of a holistic learning approach. Modern technologies and numerous automated tools let teachers engage students in the learning process, motivates them to study, and make the learning process more personalized and, thus, interesting for their mentees.

Written by: Mike Hanski
Mike Hanski creates content strategies and writes for businesses in various industries. You can find more of his work over at and contact him on Twitter.

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