e-learning trends you should know about

April 03, 2024 •

6 min reading

6 emerging e-learning trends you should be watching out for in 2024

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With job skills constantly shifting in line with technological and industry-specific developments, businesses and their employees are having to work harder than ever to keep up. The World Economic Forum predicts a 44% disruption of skills over the next five years, and organizations are increasingly turning to e-learning trends to reskill and upskill their teams.

The e-learning market is experiencing rapid growth

By the end of 2024, the e-learning market is forecast to be worth $325 billion, representing 900% growth since the year 2000. And it’s hardly surprising. Corporate e-learning is 40-60% less time-consuming than learning in a traditional classroom setting, consumes 90% less energy, and produces 85% less CO2 emissions per student. Those are all important considerations for environmentally conscious brands that are striving for efficiency.

As well as rising demand, the growth of the e-learning sector is being fueled by a raft of innovations and rapid changes in how training material is created, implemented, and consumed. With that in mind, we’re going to explore some of the key e-learning trends you can expect to see more of in 2024.


1. More personalized learning

A major benefit of e-learning is that it allows attendees to learn in their own time, but until now, they were largely taught in the same way. In 2024, we expect to see more personalization in e-learning programs, with employees able to tailor their educational experiences to suit their specific learning styles, preferences, and goals.

E-learning providers will use big data and data analytics to create customized learning paths, course recommendations, and assessment types so learners can progress in their own way and at their chosen pace. Adaptive technology will allow educators and assessors to track learning progress and provide timely interventions and support to increase learning engagement and outcomes.

Machine learning algorithms will also pick up on individual learner needs to provide personalized educational content recommendations and delivery methods. That will ensure the content is relevant, appropriate, and well suited to an individual’s learning style.


2. Gamification

Gamification is the process of introducing elements of game playing into other areas, such as e-learning, to motivate users and encourage engagement. Gamification uses elements like competition with others, leaderboards, and point scoring to make the learning process fun and increase the sense of achievement. Studies show that gamification elements in e-learning can boost the production of serotonin and dopamine, which makes people associate positive feelings with the learning process.

E-learning providers can use metrics such as completion times, participation rates, and assessment scores to drive engagement. They can then refine these elements based on user and data-driven feedback. One of the best examples of gamification in e-learning is the popular language tool Duolingo, which allows users to earn achievement badges, build streaks, and reach higher leagues on the scoreboard.

In 2024, we also expect to see more gamification elements that simulate real-life scenarios. That will enable learners to apply their new knowledge in interactive simulations and virtual environments, making it particularly well-suited to skills-based training.

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3. Microlearning

Microlearning is the delivery of short bursts of information that learners can consume quickly and easily. These bite-sized lessons are well suited to busy professionals with limited time. They can also be delivered via handheld devices (known as mobile learning) and consumed on the go.

Microlearning helps to accommodate the shortening attention spans of younger learners, with many Gen Z and Millennials preferring microlearning to longer programs. It can also help to improve knowledge transfer and retention.

Microlearning providers must think carefully about the design and delivery of their content. Interactive modules that require active engagement can be effective, as can short videos, infographics, podcasts, quizzes, and anything else that allows the user to consume targeted information quickly.

Microcredentials (short courses that lead to certifications) are also becoming increasingly popular. They provide certifications for new skills and competencies that can be gained quickly. They help to validate essential job skills and are even recognized as a credible alternative to degree programs by some universities.


4. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence in e-learning is nothing new and is already transforming the industry for the better. In a 2022 survey, 75% of people said they believed AI adoption was helping to improve learner outcomes, while 71% of institutions agree that AI makes them more efficient.

In 2024, we expect to see a continuous stream of innovations that will continue to shift the landscape. That includes:

  • AI-powered assessment questions that will allow organizations to streamline the creation of assessments.
  • In-learning knowledge checks that engage learners during the course and identify weaknesses in their progress.
  • Predictive analysis improves learning outcomes using historical data to identify where skills gaps will occur so organizations can concentrate training in that area.

AI can also take care of much of the admin work for instructors. It can handle manual processes such as attendance checks and managing permissions and help with high-level tasks such as grading assignments, planning classes, writing learning objectives, and providing feedback. That frees up instructors to spend more time crafting curriculum and working one-on-one with learners.


5. Mobile learning

The convenience of smartphones and tablets combined with our ‘always on’ mentality makes a shift to smaller screens for e-learning inevitable. Mobile learning allows learners to access educational programs anytime and from anywhere, injecting flexibility into the process and helping it fit conveniently around people’s other commitments.

The rise in mobile learning also makes microlearning more accessible, enabling people to tune into content quickly, even if they only have a five-minute window. Mobile learning also taps into the shift to smaller screens generally, with 68% of people saying they prefer to consume digital content on smartphones and tablets. Studies have also found that those learning via mobiles complete their courses more quickly.


6. Assessment changes

Traditionally, e-learning courses end with multiple-choice quizzes to assess the learner’s progress. While quizzes can provide a useful snapshot, they are limited in assessing the depth of understanding and identifying knowledge gaps. In 2024, we will see a greater variety of assessment types that apply to all kinds of professional training.

Performance-based assessments are already becoming more common. They ask learners to prove their skills by solving ‘real-world’ problems in practice with the help of augmented and virtual reality. This type of assessment evaluates a learner’s practical understanding but also shines a light on their soft skills, such as resourcefulness, problem-solving, and critical thinking.

Adaptive assessments will also become a more widespread feature, with artificial intelligence helping instructors personalize assessment types and helping learners identify areas that need improvement. AI algorithms can also assess a learner’s performance in real time and provide instant feedback so learners can better understand their progress.

A more enriching education experience for all

2024 promises to be an exciting year in the e-learning space, with the once-static world of education now evolving at pace. The integration of data analytics, AI, and gamification elements combined with the convenience and flexibility of micro- and mobile learning promises to make the learning experience more accessible, engaging, and enriching than ever before.


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