Ben Cass is a Learning Management System Consultant who has agreed to provide valuable insights into many aspects of online learning technologies.
1. So Ben, can you tell me about the trends you noticed in 2016 in the workplace elearning environment?
Certainly Phil! The main trend for me is interactive content. This is definitely on the rise as I’ve seen an increase in enquiries from companies asking how to improve the quality of their content and also making that content more engaging for the learner.
As most organisations have developed an LMS platform, they understandably now want to build on this. It’s been around for a few years now but gamification has taken off in a big way. Clients are keen to incorporate the gaming elements in their LMSs, i.e. the use of points, badges, levels etc to incentivise learners to progress through their learning.
Other trends I’ve noticed are the use of mobile devices and apps and use of video.
2. Recently, what have clients been asking for?
Clients are keen to monitor the state of play with their training. This takes the form, for example, of dashboards for compliance training. Clients can log on and view which stage each member of staff is at with the ability for staff members to also dive in quickly to complete their online learning.
3. You briefly mentioned mobile learning. What impact has mobile learning had on the corporate sector?
There is a bit of a split at the moment between companies who are traditionally workbase only, i.e. who just work on PCs and laptops (i.e. large screen devices) and those who are embracing mobile learning.
We are seeing trends with the mobile first responsive design, the ability to view content on the go using responsive websites and interactive content. More about that later…
4. Have there been any apps in particular that people have been using or are they bespoke apps?
In the corporate world we have developed the Totara App which can be branded and customised with the client’s colour scheme and logo etc and it has the ability to pull all this data from their LMS.
5. Are there any sectors which you’ve noticed are using the mobile app more than other sectors?
A broad range to be honest. However, most enquiries seem to be coming from the healthcare sector. It’s probably the ability to train on the go and learn while they’ve got a bit of downtime which is attractive to doctors and nurses who are short of time. Five minutes elearning on the train or on the tube quickly adds up when they can dive into a little bit of content while they travel.
6. Have you noticed the role of video increasing?
Yes, definitely. It is certainly increasing as quite a lot of people are visual learners and video tends to be the key thing for them. Also, it’s not just video but interactive video which is on the rise. Using H5P gives the ability to test the learner’s understanding while they watch the video with, for example, a quick quiz for the learner to answer correctly before they can watch more video.
7. What is Webanywhere currently up to in the sector?
What aren’t we doing?! We are creating more content products such as Promatum – A simple, mobile-friendly content management system for online learning and knowledge sharing – which incorporates the elements of:
- gamification; and
- social learning.
While these have been buzzwords and trends in 2016, we have responded to the market and incorporated these elements into products for use in 2017 and beyond. While Totara is excellent for compliance training, clients have found Promatum ideal for softer skills training and authoring.
Don’t take out word for it! We will be showcasing a working demonstration of Promatum at Learning Technologies 2017. Just pop over to stand N6 for a coffee, a chat and a demo!