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April 5, 2017

Top 5 eLearning Trends Everyone Should Know

As eLearning matures and evolves through 2017, the adoption of SaaS is playing a significant role in reshaping the industry. From technology sets to delivery systems through to content management, SaaS is set to be a driving force in the eLearning sector growth for at least the next three years.

eLearning in a corporate environment must be scalable, offer a resilient structure, comply with an often complex regulatory environment and be financially viable when pushed across geographies.

eLearning’s Strategic Anchors

eLearning’s professional development has been based on three core factors:

  • Content
  • Content distribution
  • eLearning platforms

In 2017 these factors will continue to underpin eLearning platforms, particularly as they impact the costs associated with learning and solution development.

eLearning Growth Drivers In 2017

We have identified five major trends that are expected to dominate the eLearning landscape in 2017. eLearning’s growth over the past 15 years has been based on three core factors:

  1. Speed of implementation.
  2. Capital expenditure savings.
  3. Operational expense savings.

Our major trends for 2017 each have the potential to impact one or all of these platforms. If your eLearning solution isn’t capable of incorporating them into their solution set, you may need to rethink your strategy for the coming year.

Top 5 eLearning Trends

These are the top five eLearning trends for 2017:

  • Mobile Learning: This has been around for a while now but has the potential to make 2017 the year of mLearning. According to Statista, by 2017, over one-third of the world’s population is projected to own a Smartphone, an estimated total of almost 2.6 billion Smartphone users in the world. Executives love the idea of their staff being able to access training on any device, from any place 24/7. mLearning will have a major impact on content and instructional design once multi-device requirements become mandatory.
  • Cloud-Based Systems: With cloud computing becoming the default standard across the corporate and SME sectors, it is expected that more eLearning solutions and authoring platforms will switch to a cloud-based platform. While it has been steadily growing in popularity, expect to see cloud-based systems surge in 2017 due to advances in data security and the opportunity to reduce online training costs while making major strides in opening up access to employees. Cloud-based eLearning solutions also offer the opportunity to scale online learning programs and refresh content easily and seamlessly to include new product information.
  • Gamification: Another carry over from 2016, gamification’s impact on eLearning solutions is just beginning to surge. With the new generation of millennial learners coming onboard corporates, this will be the way forward for eLearning solution as millennials’ reshape eLearning to reflect their learning preferences. The demand for future talent is growing and game-based learning systems seem to offer an attractive way to tap into this complex pool of talent.
  • Big Data: According to an article by Learnovators, big data is defined as, “the data produced by learners interacting with the learning content. This data is collected through Learning Management Systems…and other media.” According to an article published on Exult, more than 69 percent of firms now perceive big data as important or crucial to their continued business success and this is expected to flow over into eLearning. Big Data based eLearning is expected to hit $48 billion in revenue by 2019. Big data offers developers the ability to improve the eLearning courses, custom tailor every eLearning activity, and gain valuable insights into learning behaviors and preferences. By leveraging the analytical tools built into eLearning solutions, companies have the ability to fine-tune their eLearning strategy and align learning outcomes with their corporate direction. Big data’s abundant data flows give users a broad panel of analytics to delve into every aspect of their eLearning experience. If your eLearning solution doesn’t offer the powerful course design, audience research and reporting features offered by Big Data you have a problem.
  • Competency-Based Learning: This eLearning solution model is a win-win for employers and employees alike. Employers win as their training is directly linked to the needs of the organization. New hires can get up to speed quickly and effectively, while the system delivers a steady stream of trained labor to take the organization forward. Employees win because they can identify the skills needed for their next promotion and can fast-track their careers – a key motivation for millennials. Competency based training provides a roadmap for an employee’s professional progression.

Are you already incorporating these trends into your thinking for 2017? If not you may want to revisit your strategy and look at how you can incorporate them into your eLearning platform.

Video Content

Complement your refreshed 2017 strategy by incorporating video into your eLearning content streams. Video-based training continues to rise in popularity. Not surprising given most adults in the U.S. spent more than five hours a day watching videos. If you are migrating to the cloud, make sure your bandwidth can handle video content.

Automated Authoring

As eLearning digital content volumes continue to grow, the pressure to manage content development costs is increasing. There are varied vendors that offer competitive authoring tools that support low-cost, multi-device content development. A trend to watch as eLearning video content expands.

Responsive Learning Management Systems

When you are evaluating the ideal responsive learning management system for your organization opt for one that has a built-in previewer and customization tool. These features allow you to display your eLearning course on different mobile devices, then manually adjust selected components to enhance the eLearning course experience.


In looking at trends in the eLearning landscape, we often focus on technology and its potential to transform the corporate eLearning ecosystem. However in 2017, as with any other year, we should not forget the most powerful impact point for eLearning remains the attitudes of its users — the learners, content creators and moderators and management who inhabit the eLearning solutions ecosystem and drive the sector forward.


Robin is a Technical Support Executive. He is an expert in various LMS and employee training software. Currently, he is a resident learning management expert at ProProfs. In his free time, Robin enjoys cycling and sky diving.