7 Trends in Learning Tech For 2021

Earlier this year, Brainier was asked to speak to a group of learning and development professionals on the subject of current issues and the future of learning technology. We sought the advice of our customer support team and our learning solution consultants to amass a list of the top 7 trends in learning technology.

See the presentation here.
  1. Reaching the Right Audience

Modern L&D programs have moved beyond a one-size-fits-all training model where everyone receives the same learning content. Creating and assigning relevant content for groups and subgroups of learners is a powerful tool for organizations with specific needs and specialties. Groups can be created based on geographic location, job role, experience level, specific interests, or performance goals. Beyond that, learning opportunities exist for people outside the organization, such as ongoing training for customers, vendors, contractors, and more. Offering existing training content to potential customers with an eCommerce model can be a revenue stream that can improve ROI.

2. Data Automation

The reach of the “digital transformation” continues to change the day-to-day reality for HR admins. Integrating the LMS with a single-source-of-truth HCM system to efficiently and accurately exchange data streamlines the process. What was once a very data-entry oriented work experience is now opened up to solving larger issues. This type of integration can help ease the onboarding or upskilling process, where a predetermined curriculum of content can be automatically assigned to new or selected learners. This reduction in tedium can allow a learning leader to focus on strategy.

3. Creating Custom Learning Content

Learning engagement has been thrust into the spotlight in recent years. While there are many reasons to use off-the-shelf content, custom learning content is often much more engaging. Creating custom learning content has never been easier and cheaper with most of the necessary tools already in the hands of learning leaders. Modern learning content is showing up in modern places like mobile devices. Creating custom content that plays to the strengths of that delivery model is key. Creating microlearning lessons that pinpoint on specific topics and are searchable can help the learner connect with the relevant content at the moment of need

4. Measuring Effectiveness of Learning

Performance-based learning is on the rise as learning leaders are continually looking for ways to measure the effects of their learning programs. Beyond simple course completions or post-course assessments, some L&D programs are looking to validate behavioral change. This could be an observed or demonstrated assessment to verify the transfer of knowledge has taken place. This Kirkpatrick Level 3 evaluation has ties to higher employee engagement, better retention, and increased performance.

5. Increased focus on engagement

Every employer hopes that all of their employees are engaged; however, surveys continually show that is not the reality. Providing an environment for employees to grow and learn is a strong start. Creating nudges throughout the LMS can help. Adding gamification elements to learning objects can help to boost completions and interactions. Items like leaderboards can instill friendly competition amongst teams or groups. Titles and badges can recognize and reward positive behaviors in employees. Within the LMS, a social learning layer can help increase engagement in learning content by allowing learners to like, share, comment, discuss, and recommend content they find valuable.

6. Software support that actually helps

Most LMS administrators are forced to take on a certain amount of self-reliance when facing issues with the platform. With the software industry average response time stretching into the next business day for a first response, the options are limited in resolving issues in a timely manner. Support departments that can offer customers same-day support by a person familiar with their account are often viewed as a partner in the customer’s success rather than simply a software vendor.

7. All Learning is personal

Building engaging, personalized learning experiences for all employees is soon to be table stakes for successful L&D programs. Learning leaders can help create a highly personalized experience by curating relevant content that learners can discover and be guided to meet and exceed learning objectives. Creating groups of learners that have similar goals or journeys can help foster conversation and innovation.

These are the most common issues in L&D tech that we are hearing from our business development team, customer support department, and development team. Though this list is always in flux, the path to successful and sustainable learning programs tends to follow the same route. We’re excited to see what challenges and discoveries that Brainier customers bring to us each day that help to shape the product.