1.  Learning and Performance (L&P) departments will become profit centers.

Learning and Performance managers plan to pump up corporate profits by creating, marketing and managing for-profit MOOCs.

Training managers in medium and large companies tell us transitioning from a cost center to a profit center is a main focus for their departments. Big data will play a big role in this trend, too, as companies will be forced to track eLearning ROI and effectiveness. Some ways L&P centers will achieve revenue-generating status are through other trends, such as SaaS (School as a Service) and authenticated MOOCs (as opposed to free, or open, MOOCs).

2.  SaaS (School as a Service).

This trend is already huge in the academic sector, but more corporations are starting to get into this arena. Just as companies have already become their own publishers and producers, they will now become their own schools and academies where they build, market and manage their own online degree and certification programs.

One of the biggest challenges corporate managers say they face is closing the skills gap. It’s not surprising, then, that the end-goal of SaaS initiatives is to attract, train and retain recruits in high-tech fields like programming, mobile application development, cyber security, financial services, oil and gas, and biotech. But the manufacturing industry is also entering the SaaS environment to recruit and train workers on new factory technologies like 3D printers and laser scanners.

A recent Accenture study shows 75% of manufacturers report a moderate to severe shortage of skilled workers. In manufacturing, the approach will be semi-synchronous, hands-on, and use mobile smart-watch learning (see trend # 7). It’s clear corporate America is embracing edtech in spades.

3.  MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) move mainstream and require authentication.

MOOCs continue to be a strong growth area for Learning & Performance departments in 2015.

MOOCs in corporate America will move from employee training to recruiting, vendor education and consumer education. And don’t expect these courses to be “open;” they will be fee-based and require learners to sign up with their real names, addresses and emails. Another projected area of growth is co-branded MOOCs between corporations and established academic universities.

4.  Gamification will be the new problem-solving tool – not just a tool to enhance learning.

Gamification expands beyond eLearning and training.

Gamification will no longer be limited to learning; it will be the killer app for new product development and complex problem solving.  Companies will get the entire organization involved in solving problems once reserved for engineers, scientists, chemists and programmers. Now casual gamers in corporate America may soon be able to devise new medical and pharmaceutical treatments, or find creative solutions to more common problems such as distribution hiccups, through gamifying the problem.

5.  MVC (Minimum Viable Course) Development will become the norm in tech and software industries to shorten product launch cycles.

Minimum Viable Courses will be an eLearning development trend in 2015.

Rather than wait with launching a product until the entire product training is completed, companies will develop short, just-what’s-needed-now modules, and then roll out the rest of the training in a MOOC as consumers and vendors complete the initial MVC modules. No more waiting for the entire course to be developed before the product “goes live.”

6. E-Learning moves from “seat time” to competency, and in doing so becomes more personalized.

Learning content, questions and feedback will be tailored to the learner’s proficiency level, interests, and personal motivators. By learning about learners, e-courses will help adults learn in the manner, pace and method which suits them best. Personalized feedback systems are mostly handled through Artificial Intelligence (AI) subsystems.

7.  You’ll be wearing your learning.

"Wearable eLearning" will be incorporated as a "while-you're-doing-it" app. Radical eLearning design changes will be required for the mini screen.

When watching eLearning trends, the one to watch is the watch. As in smart watch. Obviously the micro screen isn’t suited to all types of mobile learning, but it has direct applications for in-the-moment and on-the-job performance improvement to immediately alert workers when they are performing a task incorrectly (or unsafely) through motion-sensor technologies like accelerometers, gyroscopes, compasses, and pressure-sensors. These learning-on-your-watch programs will be much like an interactive virtual coaching session via a connected Bluetooth headset.

8. Freelance eLearning ID (instructional designer) rates will decline; salaries for full-time IDs – with specialized skills--will increase.

"Super IDs" who have gamification and programming skills will be in high-demand for full-time positions. Freelance IDs will be hired for short-term projects and staff augmentation.

This is the trend that surprised us most. We expected freelance rates to increase, given the rise of the gig economy and contingent workers. But there are a few things happening in the eLearning industry that entice companies to pay more for certain types of full-time IDs, and less for “general practice” freelance IDs who have just the basic skills (instructional design chops, proficiency in rapid development tools such as Storyline and Captivate, graphic design abilities and strong writing/storytelling skills).

Source: http://elearningindustry.com   eLearning Industry