The shifted business environment brought about by COVID-19 caused companies to rethink corporate learning methods. Companies still needed to provide corporate training and facilitate onboarding for their employees even though their workforce was scattered, so the learning management system (LMS) industry pivoted in order to reshape the learning landscape for a remote environment.
While we’ve all heard how children can learn via LMS software in virtual school settings, the tools can also impact a company’s bottom line. Companies that deliver corporate training have a 24 percent higher profit margin than those that don’t.
COVID-19 has almost doubled the percentage of virtual instructor-led training, and companies affected by the 2020 changes are spending more on training in 2021. With these statistics, the future of LMS looks different than it did a couple years ago. Here’s what we predict the industry will do to keep up.
If you’re looking for a learning management solution to create profitability in your business and added value for employees, use our Product Selection Tool. After answering a few questions, you’ll get an unbiased list of software tailored to your company’s needs.
Corporate eLearning trends
The future of LMS largely hangs on what’s trending in the elearning industry, which is moving towards a more inclusive and collaborative approach. Corporate elearning trends include:
- Microlearning: Microlearning uses small learning units and short-term learning activities to allow users to learn quickly while preventing cognitive overload. These units are done on the employee’s time and are effective in knowledge retention. They’re also more mobile-friendly.
- Virtual and augmented reality: Virtual reality (VR) is extending past the borders of pilot training and other simulations and is making its way to everyday tools, such as LMS solutions. Virtual, augmented, and mixed reality tools allow employees to work through complex job scenarios in a seemingly real environment.
- Gamification: While this one may be less of a “new” trend than the others, gamified learning is an ever-important strategy for engagement and retention. Gamification within an LMS helps motivate employees with interactive online training courses.
- Analytics: Big data analytics is becoming increasingly helpful as collecting data about learners and how they learn helps not only the company as a whole, but also the learner himself in understanding his strengths and areas for improvement.
Predictions for LMS
From 2021 to 2024, the learning management system market is expected to expand to $25.4 billion at a CAGR of 23.8 percent. This, in part, is because of the increased use of BYOD policies and eLearning methods. Companies have been able to adopt BYOD partially because of the increased compatibility of LMS solutions with mobile devices. With this growth, here are the capabilities we predict we’ll see from the LMS market in the near future.
As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to evolve, it will continue to be one of the top trends for years to come in the technology space—and it’s no exception for the LMS industry. With an AI-driven LMS, your training programs can be more effective and relevant to the learner. And did we mention automation? AI can execute tasks otherwise requiring human intervention, such as automatically translating course content into multiple languages.
Some exciting capabilities an AI-powered LMS has include:
- Smart course personalization
- Online exam proctoring (Especially important with a remote workforce. Companies can perform employee certifications remotely and trust the results.)
- Granular success evaluation
- Relevant course suggestions and other personalized methods of learning
- Course content localization for global audiences
LMS systems were originally created for the desktop. As time progressed, the standard became that the system was to be mobile-ready, meaning training was built for the desktop but could be adapted to a mobile device. Now, instead of adapting to mobile, many programs are built for the mobile experience. A mobile-optimized LMS gives users more flexibility in when and where they decide to complete their training or onboarding. Mobile-forward LMS features include:
- Social media integration: With social media integrations, employees can share training badges and certifications they’ve achieved, serving as a motivator to complete courses or onboarding processes.
- Shorter modules: Due to the nature of mobile work, training modules are shorter. The screen is typically small and backlit, so employees’ attention spans will probably not last as long as on a desktop. Immersive simulations that are two to five minutes long (with sound effects, vibration, and bright graphics) can be just as effective as a thirty-minute simulation if done effectively.
- Mobile-friendly videos: Videos are one of the most effective training tools. Features such as subtitles and total control over playback speed and audio allow users to make the most of watching training videos via their mobile devices.
Big data usage
LMS reporting is becoming more powerful, robust, and far-reaching in data collection, analysis, and reporting capabilities, and it will only increase. Companies know that more insight leads to better decision making. With better data tracking, LMS systems will be able to better track the user experience, leading to insight on the effectiveness of every module, monitoring how well a curriculum applies to specific skills, and tracking the learning experience as a whole.
LMS Data that is relevant and helpful to the learner:
- Progress: Learners find it helpful and encouraging knowing how far along they are in a course or module.
- Success: Learners want to know how well they’re doing in a course or module.
LMS Data that is relevant to the company:
- Participation: Are the learners engaging with the content as much as you had anticipated?
- Success: Are your learners doing as well in the assessments as you had anticipated? LMS Learning assessment capabilities will summarize and present the data in an easy-to-understand format.
- Exposure/success ratio: How much time does a given topic needs in order for your learner to understand it?
- Surveys: Surveys are a great way for gathering feedback from learners to know how the LMS or course can be improved—straight from the source.
With online collaboration becoming easier all the time, companies are shifting to a more open learning environment that incorporates user-generated content into their training. Employees may be more open to engaging with and learning from digital content that is produced by their peers.
Integrating elements of user-generated content into an LMS system allows training curriculum to keep pace with rapidly changing environments. With the employees able to lend a hand in creating content, it’s relevant and up to date, including timely issues and problems employees are currently facing.
User-generated content is best used in an LMS because it needs a centralized repository. Employees all go to the same place and share content, questions, and resources. Two places companies can use user-generated content within an LMS is forums and videos and images. In the future, the LMS industry will create more conducive spaces for this type of content.
Choosing the best learning management software
With the future of LMS looking bright, let us help you find the right solution for your needs. Use our Product Selection Tool. After answering a few questions, you’ll get an unbiased list of software tailored to your company’s needs.