7 eLearning Trends for 2017

Lisa Ramsey
Posted: December 21, 2016

So many exciting developments are happening in the world of eLearning and technology lately. It is an exciting and overwhelming task to narrow down the top eLearning trends for 2017 — but alas, there must be a list! Here are my favorites in no particular order. None of these are new ideas, but some of the twists and turns they will take in 2017 could be game changers.

Ready to see what 2017 has in store for instructional design and elearning? Click through to read our predictions of 7 top elearning trends for 2017!

Mobile Learning (mLearning)

The big advancement I think we will see this year in mLearning is a stronger focus on content and a larger variety of development and delivery options. The move from Flash to HTML5 will also continue to increase the availability and development of mLearning. This heightened focus on content and the need for intentional instruction will lead to a higher quality of instruction as well, which leads me to #2.


Microlearning is developed using small, very specific bursts of instruction that are immediately available to employees. Some research shows that Millennials (link https://www.ttcinnovations.com/themillennialproject) value training over many other workplace perks. As the number of Millennials in the workforce grows, so will the need for that training. Microlearning in the workplace will continue to grow and develop. Companies will benefit from increased support of employee training through microlearning.

Collaborative/Social Learning / Person-to-Person (P2P) Learning

Collaborative learning, social learning, and P2P learning all focus on a shared learning strategy in the workplace. The use of social media to provide a platform for sharing and building ideas, as well as planning events and projects, will continue to be an integral part of training and development in 2017.

Virtual Reality (VR) / Augmented Reality (AR)

VR and AR are blasting through 2016 and will continue to skyrocket in 2017. I am especially excited to see how AR transforms learning and training platforms as it combines with microlearning and mLearning.

Personalized Learning / Adaptive Learning

Competency-based learning is a fast-growing educational tool used in higher education, as well as workplace training. Allowing each learner to pursue an individualized learning plan in order to maximize development will allow them to learn onsite at the moment of need.

Big Data

Along with the growth of adaptive learning is the increased use of big data. Big data and analytics are being used to study learning behaviors and preferences. The data collected from these studies is used to develop more intuitive eLearning and evaluate a training program’s strengths and weaknesses. The evaluation will, in turn, help customize learning programs to better meet learner needs and company expectations. Big data will play an important role in the development of adaptive learning as well.


Lastly, I know gamification has been on the list for a while, but with the advancements in big data and adaptive learning, gamification should see a shift from teaching the concrete to the ideological — hopefully moving from fancy quizzes to a more layered development of workplace community.

What are your predictions for 2017? Do you have any additional suggestions to add to the list?

If you’re really excited to see what 2017 has in store, be sure to join us for our first webinar of 2017 – New Year, New Trends in Instructional Design on January 24th and January 25th!

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