Top eLearning trends to watch in 2018

Kerrie-Anne Chinn, Content & Editorial Manager

If you regularly create online course content or learning materials for your employees, you’ll want to stay up-to-date with the top eLearning trends for the year ahead.

Each new year brings further advancements in learning technology and devices, and we can expect to see some truly exciting developments taking place in the eLearning industry throughout 2018.

Tech trends such as gamification and virtual reality will continue to grow stronger in the learning space, with video-based learning and content curation holding their popularity as key players.

Here, we look at five of the most important eLearning trends to watch in 2018.


As we said last year, when it comes to eLearning, one of the biggest technology trends of the moment is gamification. And we can expect to see more gaming design and psychology being applied to learning content in 2018.

Gamification has proved to be highly effective when applied to learning environments, with many online courses now containing elements of game play. If you want to encourage learners to hit goals faster, or interact with online materials, get on board with gamification!

In eLearning courses, game-based learning can encourage staff or students to practice situations and challenges in an online environment, helping them develop their skills before putting them to use in a professional setting.

Take a look at some of the exciting ways in which gamification is being used in the workplace.

Suresh Kumar, CEO of Tesseract Learning, predicts that this year “organizations will continue to invest in serious games, as well as gamifying their custom courses, to retain learner interest and coax them to take learning seriously by having fun.

As paradoxical as it may sound, gaming increases the “seriousness” in learners, as they fully “immerse” themselves in the process of gaming,” he says.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

In 2017, we saw VR and AR making waves in the learning industry, with the potential to bring serious changes to the workplace as we know it.

This year, with the price of VR headsets likely to continue to drop, the exciting world of virtual reality will be made much more affordable and accessible for both individuals and organisations.

Both VR and AR have the potential to create better training and development, easier onboarding processes, and greater collaboration for teams and remote workers. We are already seeing this technology being used very successfully for teaching employee skills, helping staff to learn how to perform high-risk tasks or complex procedures.

From corporate offices to construction job sites, this tech trend has the potential to be used to create controlled scenarios to assist with employee learning and development. Workers can receive effective real-time training in areas of safety procedures, efficiency and disaster management – in generated situations.

We can expect to see more innovative applications of virtual and augmented reality throughout the year. Watch this space.

Video-Based Learning

We saw video take on a key role in eLearning throughout 2017, and the popularity of video-based learning will only continue to rise in the year ahead.

In fact, it’s predicted that by next year, video will be responsible for 80 percent of internet traffic around the world. We can expect users to share almost one million minutes of video content every second by 2019.

Elicidat’s Steve Penfold suggests we can “expect to see more video sharing activity among employees, and live video streaming via video platforms.”

These days, you can easily incorporate videos or YouTube tutorials into your online courses, to help employees become more engaged and invested in learning. Give it a shot and see what results you get from your staff or students.

Content Curation

Can you count the number of times you heard the expression “content is king” in 2017?

Well, the buzz around content is here to stay in 2018, with content curation retaining a central role in eLearning.

If you’re smart, you’ll already be using content curation as part of your company’s learning and development strategy, to help create a more effective learning culture across your organisation.

Remember, content curation is used to support corporate training – rather than replace it.

Using a single online tool, portal or platform, you’ll be able to find, filter and share the most relevant content to your learners. There’s no need for employees to trawl through separate intranets, web portals and discussion boards – everything they need to know will be all in one place. With this, you’ll be offering staff a more engaging and responsive platform, which will help improve collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovation across teams.

Kumar believes that this year, more companies will make the investment into content curation, with organisations focusing “more on custom eLearning and mobile learning solutions, and using content curation for standard regulatory content.”

Chatbots and Intelligent Assistants

Last, but not least, keep your eye on chatbots and intelligent assistants (IAs) in the year ahead.

Kumar forecasts that this will be another key trend to watch out for in the year ahead, with organisations looking “to develop prototype chatbots for specific topics, like information security or data protection, compliance and so on, and implement them as an intelligent search app. These smart apps will help learners to learn as they go and augment learning in the “moment of need,” he says.

Dan Miller, founder and lead analyst at Opus Research, agrees, saying “2018 will be the year chatbot conversations get real.”

You’re probably already familiar with using Siri on your iPhone. There’s no doubt that the potential for chatbots and IAs in the eLearning sphere will be an interesting space to watch in 2018. And we’ll be sure to keep you updated!

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