The Top 5 eLearning Trends for 2020

Technology is moving at lightning speed with no sign of slowing down, but not everything can be automated. People remain essential to the success of a company, and when given the right knowledge at the right time, they’re your biggest asset.

These days, employees are switching roles roughly 15 times in their career, and the average shelf-life of skills is less than 5 years. Gone are the days of siloed role-based skills. People are fluidly and frequently making lateral moves into new roles or advancing into management and leadership roles.

Meanwhile, rapid technological changes are altering not only what we do but how we do it. To stay relevant, companies need to cater to the needs of learners, adopting more practical, responsive strategies while staying abreast of the latest trends.

Here are 5 eLearning Trends that you can expect to see in 2020 – and beyond:

1. Culture and Values Alignment

With people shifting roles and responsibilities every few years, L&D teams must also keep up with the needs of employees. Overlaying a company’s values and culture on top of job-specific learning helps employees further integrate the learning; they know what’s expected of them, what matters most to the organization and how things are done, no matter what their role.

2. Enhanced Mobile Learning

Worldwide, 67% of eLearners use mobile devices to consume their content, while only 37% of traffic came from desktop. Creating user experiences that not only translate from desktop and tablets to smartphones seamlessly but that are optimized for on-the-go learning is absolutely critical in today’s learning ecosystem.

3. Gamification and Game-Based Learning

Game-based Learning uses games to deliver defined outcomes during the learning process, while gamification turns the entire learning process into a gaming experience.

A recent study found that one in four learners thought the inclusion of game-based elements was an essential part of the eLearning experience. Another 52% thought game-based techniques, such as leaderboards, levels and scoring, encouraged engagement and made learning more rewarding and interesting.

Companies like Salesforce and McDonalds have used game-based learning and gamification to great effect, with engagement spiking dramatically following its introduction. With this kind of success, the trend will only continue to grow.

4. Virtual and Augmented Reality

What may seem like science fiction to some is fast becoming an expectation of others. With more and more Gen Zers entering the workforce, things are going to change – and fast. A recent study spanning 19 countries found that 49% of Gen Z employees in Singapore believe that VR will revolutionize work in the coming decade, with 45% of Gen Zers in the United States, and 56% of Gen Zers in India agreeing with the sentiment.

VR and AR, which combine the physical world with virtual environments, provide endless opportunities for eLearning anywhere, anytime. Simulated environments for hands-on practice don’t just increase knowledge and understanding, it also reduced workplace injuries.

5. Microlearning

In a world of memes, video snippets and Twitter, learners’ attention spans – and patience – are dwindling. Enter microlearning: the chunking down of courses in tiny, bite-sized modules that allows the content to be accessed quickly and easily. Highly-consumable and effective content includes short video snippets, visual cues and illustrations, all which further retention and engagement, even on the fly.


Xpan develops digital learning solutions for companies globally. From design to deployment, our team is making heroes of Learning and Development Officers and contributing to the worldwide number of individuals improving their workplace experience (and lives) with better learning.

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