As is often the case, the new year is both a time for reflection on the past and a chance to cast your mind forward to see what the coming months have to offer. And, as the past two years of surviving through the Covid-19 pandemic have taught us, the future remains murky and uncertain.
That being said, I’d still like to dip my oar into the murky waters of the coming months and look at what I believe are some of the key prospects ahead for the e-learning world. Key amongst ongoing past and emerging trends in this sector are the effects of the pandemic and how that continues to shape our working patterns, which in turn, will have lasting impacts on e-learning platforms.
With that in mind, please find below what I think are 5 of the top e-learning LMS trends for 2022:
1. Cloud-based LMS solutions
The growing demand for the cloud will continue to boost the growth in cloud-based learning management systems in 2022, primarily because of the increasing adoption among both large enterprises and SMEs.
These organisations are adopting (and switching) to cloud-based LMSs, allowing them to better focus on their core competencies, while simultaneously having to worry less about their assets becoming obsolete as the technology rapidly evolves.
Moreover, by adopting a cloud-based deployment model, these organisations also benefit from the cost efficiencies associated with this transition.
If you have a dispersed workforce, a cloud e-learning platform gives your employees the ability to easier access online training materials remotely and get the support they need instantaneously.
In addition, a SaaS LMS solution means that you can localise your e-learning courses for employees who may speak different languages or have different cultural backgrounds.
2. Increase in mobile learning
The ongoing Covid-19 crisis will continue to fuel the need for mobile e-learning solutions. The mobile learning market will gain momentum in 2022, particularly because tablets and smartphones are easily accessible devices for learners training remotely – especially if they’re now based out of the office.
Today’s LMS must deliver courses and modules on mobile devices and be able to provide feedback and support through them. Mobile learning is perfect for today’s learners. Bandwidth affordability, affordable data plans, and increased awareness of mobile e-learning’s potential will continue to boost this functionality.
Furthermore, the introduction of 5G will also help to propel the mobile learning market, further enabling your learners to seamlessly stream educational videos, helping your teams provide feedback and input in real-time, and generally improve the mobile learning process.
Learning with mobile apps is rapidly becoming the platform of choice. Currently, around 67% of companies use mobile learning for their employee training programmes.
And it’s already proved to be incredibly effective:
In short, mobile learning offers the ultimate solution to improve the overall learning experience for your employees.
3. Use of LMS for onboarding
Finding ways to improve and shorten onboarding time whilst reducing administrative workload will become imperative in 2022. And, as employees are both working remotely and switching roles in numbers never before seen, it is critical that businesses do not cut any corners whilst looking for these efficiencies.
Your e-learning platform provides the perfect opportunity to accelerate onboarding.
2022 will see employers leaning heavily on their LMS for onboarding, continuing a trend that began last year when the pandemic was at its height one that saw companies abandon formal face to face course-based learning in favour of e-learning. And, when done correctly, this will have the effect of really streamlining employee onboarding, giving businesses and organisations rapid and genuine benefits.
Moreover, because content can be personalised depending on the company’s objectives and the learners’ specific needs, this will also have the added benefits of not simply personalising the process, but also of providing a better focussing of learning tools and content to promote a faster and more immersive onboarding experience for new employees.
4. Use of LMS for employee retention
Replacing talent is hard, not to mention the time and money it takes to find the right candidate, train her and finally wait (and hope!) that she settles into the workplace.
2022 will undoubtedly see the continuation of the ‘Great Resignation’ whereby employees aren’t going to stop shifting jobs any time soon. A more remote workforce means more opportunities for your employees. And those who aren’t happy in their current role will choose to pursue their options from a wider array of other opportunities. As a result, 2022 will see companies focus increasingly on holding on to existing employees.
Which is why companies will be looking even closer at their Learning and Development requirements - in particular looking to see if their employees are truly engaged with the learning experience they are giving them. Training and development will emerge as a key incentive for keeping your employees happy. They want to know that your business is willing to invest in them and that they have opportunities for career advancement and personal growth.
And at the core of this will be the e-learning platform.
That will mean that your LMS platform needs to be helping employees upskill or reskill for their existing job, as well as for the jobs they want in the future. Content may range from technical skills to leadership development to diversity and inclusion training.
Today’s employees want to see that your company values their potential and has a plan in place for them to advance. This can be a powerful motivator for a person to commit to a company’s success and remain loyal even if competing offers would arise. And the LMS will increasingly play a crucial role in this process.
5. More than an LMS – the move towards LXP solutions for a more holistic approach to online learning
As LMS technology evolves and organisational training needs expand, there will be a steady erosion of the LMS and LXP as independent solutions. 2022 will see the increasing importance of a ‘merging’ between LMS and LXP environments.
The challenges facing businesses today will result in the need for customised learning paths, integrated solutions, and a single technology platform that can handle all their learning needs. Ultimately, all learning technology platforms are seeking to solve the same challenges, so the notion of the LMS and LXP as discrete segments will begin to disappear.
On-demand and self-paced training will also be on the rise as companies cater to the different roles. More employers will allow their employees to fit training into their schedules rather than taking them away from busy workdays.
As mentioned above, they will be turning to mobile training that allows remote employees to log in through the convenience of their own smart devices. Increasingly, busy employees will be opting for self-paced learning that they can engage in during quieter times at work or even after work.
This isn’t the end of the LMS, it’s simply an enhancement to the overall e-learning solution that businesses can invest in.
In a post-pandemic world, keeping remote employees engaged, productive and well trained is crucial, and training and professional development are key to the employee experience, with the LMS and LXP helping to offer the most complete solution.
The extension of the LMS platform to ‘include’ or be augmented by an LXP is the logical next step in learning technology that will help organisations move toward an integrated, interactive, personalised and immersed learning experience for your employees.
2021 was a difficult year and as we move into 2022, many of the dramatic changes in today’s workplace that have been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic are being reflected in the learning needs of our employees and manifested in a better understanding of what a learning management system can do to facilitate these changes. And while many companies recognise that training is a core part of a positive and productive workplace, it’s only really starting to be understood that it’s a key element of building and growing your company going forward.
Technical advancements in e-learning platforms are enabling the creation of new and exciting environments for learning and even deeper training engagement. And it’s becoming even clearer that engaged employees have the power to do amazing things at your organisation. It’s time to look at your LMS and make sure it’s fighting fit for 2022.
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