Surely it’s not December already?!  How did that happen?    Don’t worry, there’ll be no mention of the C-word in this post…

2015 has been a fascinating year for me from a personal perspective, in terms of the range of projects I’ve worked on and the different technologies, platforms and learning methods I’ve encountered along the way.  I’d like to think that I’ve learned more than ever and I’m really excited to see what 2016 brings.

In recent years I’ve see a lot of “end of year” and “things to come” lists and found a lot of them very insightful and useful in shaping my own ideas for the year ahead.  So I’m going to have a crack at it myself and share some thoughts on what emerging trends and technologies will be prevalent within L&D over the next year. 

Goodbye browser.  Hello mobile

With Microsoft dropping support for Windows XP and and Adobe making the move torename Flash to Animate, a change is-a-coming when it comes to e-learning development and browser compatibility.

To anyone within the industry this is hardly surprisingly, however in 2016 I would expect to see more of a focus on mobile than ever.  More often than not, clients now ask to make mobile the focus of the development, with older browsers an afterthought.  Whilst some IT departments might be clinging on to outdated systems for dear life, the mobile revolution is here.  

 

Less LMS, More Learning Platform

The traditional Learning Management System as we knew it is dead.  The systems now available on the market are more social, mobile and encompassing than ever before.  The legacy systems of old are being replaced by more modern, current platforms.

Acting as more of a ‘hub’, these modern systems allow learning objects to be brought into one place rather than being frustratingly spread across multiple systems. Digital learning has become a personal, tailored, individual experience.  A step in the right direction if you ask me!

Gamification!

I feel like gamification has probably been in these lists for years now but I now truly feel that people are beginning to fully embrace the concept.  As with the post I put up last month, we are huge advocates of gamification here at Junction-18 and it’s truly refreshing to see so many organisations taking their learning in this direction.

By adopting even small elements into e-learning, modules can be transformed from dull, click-to-next page turners into engaging and interactive learning that gets both user and stakeholder buy in.   Don't underestimate the value, power and impact of making your learning fun! 

 

Video Learning

I couldn’t even tell you the amount of things I’ve learned from YouTube this year.  Workout routines, cooking recipes, DIY techniques, how to change a fan belt – all of these things learned from simple video tutorials.  I’ve been particularly excited by the addition of 360-degree video (try the video above!), which opens up a world of possibility from a digital learning perspective.

 There has also been the rise of user generated content, where learners can record their own tips, advice and experiences to share instantaneously with their colleagues.  A relatively inexpensive and fast option, video learning within the corporate environment seems like a no brainer to me. 

Deep Learning

This one is a relatively new concept for me and something I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research on in the past few months.  In a nutshell it’s effectively the role that artificial intelligence and algorithms can have within digital learning.  The same sort of of algorithms that recommend you purchases on Facebook as a result of your Google Searches (although arguably less creepy/annoying!) 

The idea is that soon digital learning content will become recommended and ‘pushed out’ to you based on your experience, interests and previous results.  A really exciting concept and one I will be exploring further in 2016.

Disruptive Learning

New learning technologies continue to disrupt traditional learning the same way Uber, Netflix and Airbnb have done in their respective industries.  The any-time, any-place nature of digital learning is completely transforming how we learn, right from the early days of education to board-level/senior management. 

In my humble opinion, this is only going to get more and more prevalent.  As new products, ideas and platforms hit the market, the traditional methods of learning will become less frequently used.  I don’t think this is anything to be afraid of.  Rather, we should embrace these new methods and look at ways in which they can allow for more open, honest and effect dialogue in the face-to-face environment.

If you made it this far, thanks so much for reading.  I’d love to know what your predictions are for digital learning in 2016.  Please feel free to comment below or drop me a message.

I’ll also be at the Learning Technologies exhibition at the London Olympia on the 3rd and 4th February 2016 with Junction-18 on stand L8.  If you’re heading along please come and say hello!

Posted by: Nick Ramsay