If 2015 taught us anything about the future of technology and the online learning industry, it is that e-learning is here to stay. By 2022, the eLearning industry is poised to reach $243.9 billion by 2022. According to the Global eLearning Market Outlook report by Stratistics MRC, key factors of growth include: flexibility in learning, low cost, easy accessibility, increased effectiveness of animated learning, escalation of number of internet users and growing access of broadband pooled with mobile phones and online capabilities.

When we take a look at eLearning for 2016, a few particular trends stand out. We took a look at reports, insights and new technologies across the industry to bring you a list of trends to look out for in the coming months.


  1. An eLearning Ecosystem


“It is increasingly important for learning technologies to be able to integrate simply with other systems and feature as much “plug and play” as possible”, noted Alessio Artuffo, COO of Docebo NA Inc. For years, the software industry has seen growth and success by the use of APIs and collaboration between developers, plugins and software development kits. In order to continue to grow and be fluid with the market, e-learning technologies will need to develop this sense of agility. By integrating ERPs, CRMs, HRIS, SIS and Video-conferencing, the online education market can create an ecosystem that is constantly connected. In addition, remaining flexible with software uses and team collaboration will be key—for example, turning learning technologies like online orientation software in to multi-purpose tools that can orient both internal and external audiences.


  1. Cloud-based Solutions

Cloud-based solutions have been on the rise for a few years, but we see cloud technologies growing immensely in 2016. IDC predicts enterprises will shift 11 percent of their IT budgets away from traditional in-house delivery of services toward cloud delivery by 2016.

It’s clear that many education and corporate managers are seeing the advantages of using a cloud-based system over a locally installed system. Cloud software offers a variety of crucial benefits including improved accessibility, faster deployment, lower start-up costs, scalability and cost predictability. In addition, recent enhancements in data security have made cloud software much more attractive to educators.


  1. Gamification & Simulation

Gamification isn’t a new trend, but we see it really taking off in 2016. Gamification provides active learning experiences to students such as computer programming and media creation, design and collaboration with experts. Research has shown that incorporating game dynamics into non-gaming contexts can improve engagement and some experts even claim it can boost learner’s motivation to a 90% recall rate. Across the globe, educators have begun to focus on “deeper learning” by integrating project-based teaching methods that can greatly benefit from gamification and simulation strategies that online learning allows for.


  1. Personalized Learning

As e-learning continues to evolve, personalized learning experiences will become increasingly important. Digital accessibility allows students to learn content in a way that suit their individual learning styles, increasing retention and comprehension. In addition, personalized education extends to reach a whole new audience that otherwise wouldn’t be able to learn in a traditional classroom setting due to busy schedules. Mobile delivery and Podcasts are driving the need for easier accessibility.

Further personalization can be achieved by establishing relationships between instructors and students, instead of static one-way content delivery. Teachers will no longer be thought of as “distributors of information”, but instead as mentors that guide students through the online learning process. With the digital world, the relationship is no longer confined to “school hours”.


  1. Blending Teaching Approaches

Increases in government funding, school acceptance and student engagement and performance is quickly making blended learning a top trend in the education industry.

Blended learning, also known as “hybrid courses”, refers to instruction that combines traditional face-to-face teaching learning with web-based online learning. The US Department of Education’s 2016 National Technology plan recommends developing a “teaching force skilled in online and blended instruction”. In a study from Blackboard, 59% of teachers reported that students are more motivated to learn in a blended learning environment. And students agree. 70% of students say they learn best in a blended environment, a number that has continued to rise as technology becomes increasingly incorporated into everyday activities.


Interested in learning more about the latest trends in eLearning for 2016? Sign up for the eLearning 2016 Conference in Arizona next month and visit one of our partners, SmarterServices.

Based in San Luis Obispo, CA, Comevo is a leading online orientation and training service provider. Founded in 2007, our company has helped customers in industries such as higher education, manufacturing, food service and tourism take their orientation and training online. Our company’s software and customer support services include both standard and multimedia editions with the flexibility to serve almost any industry.