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2017 Learning Technology Trends That Deliver Higher Engagement and Retention

By Jessica Foumal

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Learning technology has drastically changed over the past decade, and for an employee training program to be effective in 2017 and beyond, there are a few trends trainers should be taking advantage of to improve their programs.

These trends reflect the delivery methods preferred by modern learners and the ability of new technology to adapt to the training needs of today’s workplace. The science of learning shows that our brains take in and retain more information when we learn in short bursts, and today’s employee training technology is moving more and more toward supporting natural learning ability, rather than working against it.

Other trends are appearing as we recognize the need for training to be engaging if it is to be retained. Having employees tune out because they just need to check a box that training was completed will render any training program fruitless. Take a look at how today’s technology from employee training providers is ramping up engagement that results in learning transfer and better business results.

Here are the top 5 trends in learning technology in 2017:

1. Microlearning

Let’s be honest, in today’s world a 60-minute course is just not ideal. People lead busy lives and the average amount of time they can spend on a single training course is very limited.

Enter microlearning. The courses are now short “bite-sized” courses that generally last between 5 to 10 minutes. The content, however, has the same impact as the 60-minute courses. No more sitting at your desk for hours learning, now you can find what you need in under 10 minutes.

2. Mobile Learning

Traditionally, courses had to be taken on a computer (whether that is the designated training computer or your own) and it took time out of your day to go to that computer and watch the video. Now, there has been a rise in mobile learning. Cellphones, tablets, and laptops are a part of our everyday life, so we need learning content to adapt. Courses are developed to be more mobile friendly, which means the average person could watch a course whenever they wanted. See you later, training computer!

3. Gamification

Gamification is fast emerging. Who doesn’t enjoy a good video game? Now, take that video game and incorporate the knowledge and tools you gain from watching a standard elearning course.

Gamification will keep learners engaged throughout the entire video, as well as add incentives for the learner to do well and learn more. By the end of the lesson the learner will have the knowledge they need and will have the satisfaction of winning.

4. Reinforced Training

Reinforced training is a personal favorite. There are many studies out there that suggest that in as little as 24 hours, we forget nearly 80% of what we learned the day before.

So, how can we make sure that we retain that information down the road when we really need it? Use post-training reinforcement! After the training has been completed, send out questions, notifications, links, etc. referring to the material that was covered. This ensures the learner thinks back to that training, even if for just a moment, to remember.

5. Social Learning

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. these are social media outlets, heavy emphasis on the social. We are a social culture that loves to share things with others. Why should training be any different?

There has been an increase in the social part of learning, whether this means sharing a course with a coworker, or posting a brief description of what you learned from watching the course. This will promote a positive atmosphere where learning is continuously shared.