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Training Trends In 2021

Training Trends in 2021

As we reach the 1-year anniversary of living with the pandemic, we wanted to reflect on how it had changed our approach to working life, and specifically the role of L&D. It’s true that the last year has dramatically altered the way we work at least temporarily, but more likely that most businesses will adopt the flexible approach to home working, including remote access to company data sources, applications and access to staff training. If the last year has taught us anything, it’s been the “adapt to survive” mandate which has brought about the complete remodelling of our own training services to embrace the online model rather than a traditional face to face setting. Whilst this was somewhat a forced choice for many, we have found that the approach has enabled many business who judged on site training to be perhaps too much of a commitment, to dip their toes with a more focused approach. Our full suite of courses are bookable as virtual training sessions now, with even more options from our new “bite size” modules for those that don’t want a fully immersive course or have a very specific learning requirement. Check out the full list of our courses here. We came across an interesting article by Ashley Pandey writing for www.elearningindustry.com where she has summarised some key focus areas to emerge for L&D teams to consider for 2021:

  • Improve remote learning experiences by leveraging immersive virtual training techniques rather than just addressing the mandate of remote training.

  • Create room for continuous, remote learning rather than offering discreet training.

  • Leverage frameworks that promote formal, informal, social Learning, as well as performance improvement rather than limiting the training budgets to only formal training.

  • Provide nudges to create habits of learning rather than delivering training and ending it with the validation of user registrations.

  • Focus on the learner; align training to what remote learners seek:

  • They should have the flexibility to “pull” content rather than the mandated “push.”

  • The content should be appealing, support multiple devices (mobile-ready), and be relevant and preferably personalized.

  • The learning journeys must be highly specific to their needs and, in fact, align with their career pathways.

  • The content should not be limited to just formal training. Instead, learning aids/job aids must be available on-demand, preferably in the workflow so that learners have access precisely at the moment of their need.


  • Offer a holistic suite of trainings, needed for remote learners From training that supports mental health well-being to building resilience, the pandemic triggered a brand new list of training to manage remote employees. Supporting leadership skills over a distance and sustaining productivity levels were other areas that got added. Of course, the standard training continues but is aligned to business goals (even at a distance).

  • Provide multi-pronged training and learning aids (70-20-10 model) The training strategy must be multi-pronged and not limited to offering discreet formal training alone. There must be provision for social/collaborative and experiential learning.

  • Create the value chain between learning and performance gain The training assets must be aligned to help learners accomplish learning, practice, application, and result in a tangible performance improvement.

In terms of top trends for the rest of the year, here’s what Ashley has highlighted:

Top eLearning Trends In 2021 Given the large number of trends, these areas are grouped into 5 sections by emphasising their relevance in the altered workplace dynamics.

Section 1: In The Spotlight—“Must-Have” Trends To Offer Remote Learning

  • Mobile learning

  • Mobile apps for learning

  • Virtual training—conversion of ILT to blended or fully online learning

  • eLearning accessibility considerations

Section 2: Trends That Equip Remote Users To Learn Quickly, Apply The Learning Effectively, And Get Access To Relevant Content And Just-in-time Learning Aids—In The Flow Of Work

  1. Microlearning

  2. Personalised learning

  3. Performance Support Tools (PSTs)/job aids

Section 3: Trends That Foster Continuous Learning

  1. Informal learning

  2. Curation and User-Generated Content

  3. Social learning

  4. Self-directed learning

Section 4: Trends That Help You Deliver Engaging, High-Impact, And Immersive Virtual Learning Experiences For Remote Learners

  1. Gamification

  2. Scenario-based learning and interactive story-based learning

  3. Video-based learning (videos and interactive videos)

  4. AR/VR and MR or Immersive learning

  5. NextGen learning strategies

Section 5: Trends That Help You Ascertain The Impact Of Remote Training And Help You Maximize The ROI

  1. Learner analytics