Exploring the Tech-Forward eLearning Trends of 2023
As technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented pace, the field of eLearning has witnessed a series of remarkable innovations and trends. While past innovations like computer-based training, microlearning, and interactive learning have shaped the current landscape, companies must act to embrace the new wave of advancements that will shape the future of learning for years to come. The markets for Virtual and Augmented Reality (AR & VR), gamification, and adaptive learning alone are projected to surpass more than $55 billion in total market value by 2025. As these technologies gain popularity, their impact on improving learning outcomes will become increasingly apparent. It is vital for businesses to recognize and adapt to these trends in order to innovate and ensure success in this dynamic environment.
In this article, we explore three cutting-edge advancements that offer immense potential in elevating learning outcomes.
Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR & AR)
Both virtual and augmented reality technologies have the potential to revolutionize learning by enhancing engagement, interactivity, and customization to individual needs. Gartner’s report underscores the growing adoption and integration of these technologies, forecasting that by 2025, VR alone will deliver 10% of all learning. Virtual Reality immerses learners in simulated settings for skill practice, exploration of complex scenarios, and experiencing intricate real-life locations. Meanwhile, Augmented Reality enriches learning by superimposing digital elements onto the real world, supplementing physical environments with context, information, and interactive features. This overlay enhances graphics, sounds, and sensory experiences, reshaping the learning landscape.
Current research regarding the effectiveness of these technologies on learning highlight vast improvements on four main elements of learning:
- Engagement and Retention: AR and VR technologies captivate learners through immersive experiences, increasing engagement and improving information retention. A study conducted by PwC found that trainees in a VR learning environment were four times more focused than those in a traditional classroom setting, resulting in better knowledge retention and understanding.
- Skill Development: Especially in complex and high-risk scenarios, VR enables safe and realistic practice, leading to better skill acquisition and practice. The same study conducted by PwC showed that VR learners showed a 275% increase in confidence levels and a 3.75 times improvement in skill retention compared to traditional training methods.
- Personalized and Collaborative Learning: AR and VR offer personalized learning paths and collaborative experiences that accommodate for diverse learning styles and help to facilitate cohesion across physical distances. A study published in the “Journal of Educational Technology” reported that learners using AR and VR underwent a 35% increase in personalization of learning experiences and a 20% improvement in collaborative learning interactions compared to those using conventional methods.
- Experiential Learning and Transferable Skills: Learners gain experiential knowledge by interacting with 3D objects, which enhances spatial understanding and cultivates skills that can be directly applied to real-world contexts. Research conducted at Stanford University’s Human Interaction Lab demonstrated that those who learn via AR and VR exhibited a 14% increase in the application of learned skills to real-world scenarios.
In recent years, gamification has surged in popularity as nearly 70% of the world’s largest 2000 companies by market cap are utilizing gamification in some manner. Increasingly, thriving businesses are integrating gaming components into employee training and work environments to enhance productivity and engagement in the workplace. By integrating game elements such as points, badges, challenges, and narratives into educational contexts, learners benefit from greater engagement, motivation, and overall learning outcomes. Through levels, interactivity, and personalization, gamification creates dynamic and immersive learning experiences that encourage problem solving, critical thinking, and social interaction, making it effective in both formal education and training programs.
Research and data provided by employees globally highlight key trends and benefits of gamification in learning. Here’s why you should consider implementing it into your training strategy:
- Boost Learning and Progress: Gamification accelerates learning by making learning more enjoyable, setting clear goals, and offering immediate feedback. It engages learners and creates an environment where they are motivated to actively participate and continually advance. Studies by the eLearning Industry and TalentLMS found that incorporating gamification into training leads to 50% increase in content retention and 83% of learners felt more motivated to complete tasks when gamification elements were involved.
- Inspire Workplace Engagement: Gamification in learning cultivates higher workplace engagement by infusing interactive challenges, rewards, and competition into the training experience. The Journal of Education for Business found that gamified training methods led to a 40% increase in employee engagement compared to traditional training methods.
- Strengthen Social Connections and Company Culture: Gamification in training promotes collaborative challenges, friendly competition, and shared experiences among employees. It helps to foster peer learning, recognition, and alignment with core values, resulting in a more engaged and connected workforce. A report by the Enterprise Gamification Consultancy found that gamification can enhance the emotional commitment of employees by up to 42%, creating a stronger sense of belonging and shared values with the company.
Adaptive learning is poised to transform education through personalized experiences that adapt content, pacing, and feedback to individual progress and abilities. It goes beyond one-size fits all learning, aligning with learners’ knowledge and preferences, enhancing comprehension, motivation, and engagement. This dynamic approach to learning acknowledges that each learner’s journey is unique, catering to their strengths, weaknesses, and learning styles. Ambient Insight recently reported that the global market for adaptive learning technology is expected to eclipse $2.7 billion by 2025, highlighting the substantial growth and investment leading companies are putting into this technology-driven approach. As companies seek to optimize training outcomes and accommodate diverse learning styles, adaptive learning is becoming a pivotal tool to achieve these goals in the digital learning and custom training landscape.
Many companies struggle to decipher if a technology-driven approach like adaptive learning is for them. Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits it can provide to your company and employees alike:
- Personalized Learning: Adaptive learning tailors content to individual abilities and progress, with a 14% increase in knowledge retention and a 9% improvement in skill development compared to traditional methods, according to the University of Colorado Denver.
- Boost Engagement: Implementing adaptive learning technology can result in a 36% increase in social interactions among learners, fostering collaboration and active participation per TalentLMS.
- Greater Performance: Organizations using adaptive learning report a 61% faculty consensus that it positively impacts learning outcomes, illustrating its potential to elevate learning effectiveness (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).
In the rapidly evolving landscape of eLearning in 2023, transformative trends and innovations are reshaping the future of learning. As the markets for Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR & AR), gamification, and adaptive learning surge to new heights, these advancements hold immense potential. Explored in this article are just three, of many, pioneering advancements: VR & AR engagement enhancement, gamifications interactive learning, and the personalized custom-nature of learning through technology-driven adaptive learning. This dynamic trio signals a shift towards tailored, engaging, and effective learning experiences, propelling training and education into a new era of technological evolution.
- Novo Nordisk Training Game: Check out our use of gamification to help Novo Nordisk provide technical training to their sales team
- Adaptive Learning & eBook: Explore our approach to adaptive learning and how we leverage it to design and deliver highly effective custom training solutions