2018 Learning & Development Trends

In this article we look at the key learning and development (L&D) trends for 2018, including Employee-generated Learning, imploding demand for learning management systems (LMS), indispensable mobile learning, bite-sized learning and the decline of MOOCs.

By Kasper Spiro on Apr 5th


These trends are based on quantitative research conducted with 600 HR and learning directors working in multinational companies, along with insights from past research.

Top six L&D trends for 2018

Real-time content creation

Until recently, instructional designers relied on labor-intensive tools when creating e-learning content. Content had to be created from scratch and the know-how needed to create it was solely in the hands of instructional designers. Costs were high and turnaround times were lengthy. The content was often outdated before it was even released. Today’s authoring tools offer reusable templates and course authoring with zero learning curve. As a result, subject matter experts (SMEs) are now creating learning content at a much faster pace and at a lower cost.

Employee-generated Learning on the rise as companies need to be more agile

Companies are abandoning large, formal courses in favor of on-demand, problem-solving learning nuggets. L&D leaders have realized the ineffectiveness of formal (top-down) approaches. By the time an instructional designer finishes creating a course, the business has moved on. Instructional designers, however, are still as vital as ever. They create a framework for SMEs within organizations and ensure knowledge is didactically-sound.

Imploding demand for LMS

Global demand for learning management systems dropped by 14.6% in 2016. This does not imply that e-learning itself is decreasing in popularity. The Brandon Hall Group found that the highest priority for L&D is to explore new learning technologies and non-traditional solutions.

Mobile learning becomes indispensable

Mobile learning has skyrocketed in many regions. Mobile learning is not a “nice-to-have” but a “must-have.” It has become indispensable, especially in markets like China. An immense 70% of the L&D revenue in China comes from mobile learning technologies and apps.

Bite-size is the right size

Mobile learning has given rise to the effective use of small learning “nuggets” as opposed to traditional, full-length courses. These small units of information cater to modern learners who are characterized as overwhelmed, distracted, and impatient. The solution is to create high-quality, valuable microlearning content.

MOOCs are on the way out

Massive open online courses (MOOCs) were once considered the game-changer in the e-learning world. However, recent research shows that MOOCs suffer from high dropout rates and a low learning impact.

You can download the full research report at this address.


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About the author

Kasper Spiro is the CEO of Easygenerator and a recognized thought leader in the world of e-learning. With over 30 years of experience, he is a frequently asked keynote speaker and well-renowned blogger within the e-learning community.

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