2020 might’ve forever changed the way the world learns. The shift from in-person learning to entirely virtual learning formats have led to very interesting leaps in learning technology and curricula design. The message to the world of learning and development is loud and clear, “Adapt. Continuously.” So, what do these leaps entail? And what will the landscape of learning look like in the years to come? Here are a few learning trends for 2021 from our experts in the fields of Instructional Design, Learning Platforms and Technology, and Experience and Graphic Design.
From Virtual Learning Environments to Ecosystems – Driving a Hybrid Learning Experience
Virtual Learning Environments, such as Zoom and Teams, are not just collaboration tools – they continue to evolve into thriving collaborative ecosystems. At the start of 2020, learning designers were focused on mimicking the classroom. By 2021, VLEs evolved into thriving ecosystems with built-in apps and external plug-in tools driving both collaborative and individual learning the way self-paced, virtual or classroom separately cannot achieve. In the post-COVID world, learning designers must leverage the new possibilities, looking beyond formats and logistics – towards the best hybrid solution that provides the maximum value for all stakeholders.
Distributed micro groups – I, We, Our
Micro, mini, and nano – while structured learning formats are becoming smaller and highly contextual or just-in-time in terms of relevance, a more informal ecosystem of learning is being driven by learners themselves. Away from the mandate-driven environment of learning management systems, they are able to create non-threatening custom learning spaces within messaging apps and official collaboration tools such as Teams, to co-create within a very specific context of a project or problem. Learning designers and administrators will continue to look at incorporating these distributed, unstructured learning capabilities.
On-Demand, Artificial Intelligence-Driven
Have I ever worked on a specific project? What conversations did I have and with whom? Who can help me with a <specific subject>? What is the right way to do this? These and many more. Artificial Intelligence powered bots and tools will mine organization-wide work data generated by users, queries, and conversations and become more and more accurate in answering mundane queries about processes and mandatory compliance, freeing training resources for critical interventions.
AI-driven Learning Experiences
Chatbot and extended-reality-based solutions are going bring a new wave of performance support tools. AI is going to make ole play and conversation-based simulations more automated, and exciting based on personalized gameplay.
The word of education and training was pushed to change to the anywhere/any time learning model due to Covid and it has become the new normal, supported by technology advances such as cloud-based content delivery, IoT, multi-channel experiences, and computer vision.
Targeted learning based on Internet of Behavior
IOB-generated data will be used for behavioral patterns analyses and user profiling. This profiling can be further processed to anticipate learner behaviors and target specific interventions for that learning content. The technology is still in the nascent stages but shows immense potential due to the increasing use of devices and type of data collected for analysis.
Instant learning via Voice-as-user Interface (VUI)
Alexa, Google Assistance, Siri and similar applications can be extended to support instant learning via voice-based interactions. Mock assessments, quizzes, quick access to SOPs and SMPs, ready reckoners, etc., can all be made available through VUIs. It will reduce the time to perform a task or understand a concept or gauge a learner’s knowledge on the subject.
Learning experience design will move to use technologies like IoT in order to create more fluid, adaptive, and multi-dimensional experiences. These will spread across touchpoints and won’t be limited to specific physical spaces.
Immersive Labs for Higher Education
Faculty will soon begin to interact with students in a virtual, spatial environment for virtual labwork.
XR Analytics for Learning
In order to make virtual learning more quantifiable, learner activity will need to be tracked, measured, and reported on using analytics that are specific to virtual learning environments.
Moving Text in Video
The graphic design trend associated with the rise of all things video: text-heavy formats will be a huge trend in 2021. Considering that it will be quite difficult to go “on site” to shoot, infusing video with text and even adding moving text to your message makes for a more dynamic and cost-effective experience.
Instead of seeing people talking into the camera, using a text-based approach will offer the audience interactivity and provide a more compelling experience.
Glassmorphism for UI design
A play on perspectives, Glassmorphism gives the illusion of a glass floating above a background. The background image or text is blurred a little and a frosted glass element is placed in the foreground. Glassmorphism can be used to highlight an element or text in order to generate some excitement from the user.
Slide Decks for Social Media
Essentially, it is a slide deck designed to be shared on social media channels. Slide decks help you convey a lot more information through a single post. The user starts with one image/graphic and then clicks through them to get the overall message. This makes the experience interactive. You might think of these slide decks as miniaturized infographics customized for social media.