5 New eLearning Trends in 2021 You Must Watch Out For

The corporate eLearning market could increase by $38.09 billion between 2020 and 2024. When it comes to new trends for eLearning in 2021, a lot of the trends you see are a direct result of the pandemic and everything that followed in 2020.

For instance, while the demand for technology-driven learning modules was high before 2020, the demand became a necessity for everyone due to the lockdown and remote learning.

These numbers and learnings of the past year have shown us the way forward and emerging trends. Let’s have a look at the top 5 trends for eLearning in 2021.

1. Increased Focus on Improving Virtual Delivery

In 2017, 77% of companies incorporated some form of virtual training. By 2020, that number jumped to 98%.

Employee training is a crucial aspect for every organization. Under normal circumstances, employee training would be in-person. However, employers have had to pivot their training strategy to make way for virtual learning. 

For example, 56% of companies are retooling their training program in 2021. Adapting to the ever-changing needs of your employees is crucial and the statistics show that companies across the globe are diverting their resources to improve their virtual training and learning programs. 

2. Increase in Flexibility

Based on remote workers statistics from 2018, more than half of the world’s employees already enjoy the benefits of the flexible workplace and it’s unlikely that this number will decrease anytime soon after COVID.

remote elearning covid trends 2021
Source: PWC

Surveys of workers have found that fully 90% of employees want to continue working from home in at least some capacity. Almost 50% of workers in these same surveys indicated that they want to continue to work remotely for most or all of their time.

While employees are adjusting to the ‘new normal’ employers have had to find a way to keep their policies flexible. For instance, many employees have had to find a balance between their responsibilities at work and home at the same time. Similarly, not everyone has the luxury of a quiet workspace in their home. All these factors can impact their productivity and engagement.

For this reason, empathy and flexibility take center-stage as new trends for eLearning in 2021. While these have been dictating the work culture trends for this year, the same flexibility extends to eLearning as well. Corporate training programs are now designed in a way that employees can complete them at their own pace.

3. The Rise in AR and VR

The end goal of any employee training program is to increase employee engagement. This is where AR and VR are changing the eLearning industry in 2021. AR and VR give employees an immersive experience, along with personalized visual data, videos, and access to a more interactive experience of eLearning.

Reports by Markets and Markets propose that augmented and virtual reality in the education market is expected to grow from USD 9.3 billion in 2018 to USD 19.6 billion by 2023. The increase in the demand for AR and VR stems from the ever-increasing need for personalizing eLearning. 

4. Focus on Mobile-First Training

Did you know that employees dedicate just 1% of their workweek to learning and training? Employees find it difficult to manage professional deadlines, responsibilities at home and try to squeeze in what little time they have for relaxation. In all this, learning takes a backseat. 

Similarly, 99% of mobile users believe that mobile learning enhances their experience. For this reason, eLearning in 2021 is no longer about being optimized for mobile but it has a ‘mobile-first’ approach. For example, the eLearning industry has shifted from developing courses for desktop and then optimizing it for mobile to creating content exclusively for mobile consumption.

In 2017 alone, 67% of US companies offered learning opportunities via smartphones, the number has only grown exponentially since 2017. As of 2020, the mobile eLearning market is valued at $37.6 billion. Also, the mobile eLearning sector will maintain a CAGR of 36.3% down to 2025.

5. Video is Still King

Video learning modules are one of the ‘spillover’ trends that you see year after year. It solves one of the biggest challenges faced by the eLearning industry: keeping people engaged. By 2022, 82% of all online traffic is predicted to be video, with videos crossing the internet at a rate of up to 1 million per second. 

There’s a good reason why videos do well online, they’re good at keeping the audience engaged and interested in the content as opposed to a long text or a simple photo. For instance, presentations containing visuals and video have proven to be 9% easier to recall in comparison to text-only content when assessed right away. Similarly, video-based learning can serve multiple purposes. Right from new product launch training to onboarding a new employee, videos are easily adaptable for any organizational needs.

The Bottom Line

Even though trends come and go, they leave a huge impact on the industry for years to come. The new trends for eLearning in 2021 that we’ve listed above are no exceptions. 

Employers who want to utilize these trends for their employee training programs need to begin by understanding the needs of their employees and the organization as a whole. With Siminars, you can upload or embed videos, upload PPTs, PDFs to a platform, and create a learning program that helps you adapt to the latest eLearning trends in 2021.