From the horse's mouth

Tips for Trainers

The future of e-Learning

The future of e-Learning

Developments in technology are dramatically changing the way training is delivered and e-Learning is by far the biggest change agent.

Gone are the days when it was left to the skill of the training manager to produce an online course. Research into how we learn combined with technology advances and engagement tools are radically transforming the learning world.

The landscape in the 2020s

  • Businesses need quantifiable results. Training must provide a clear-cut return-on-investment.

  • Training has not become more effective. Existing classroom training has simply been re-packaged on e-Learning platforms.

  • Training still uses a confetti approach, throwing training over participants in one session and hoping some of it sticks.

  • Employees still see training as something to be endured.

So, what can change this approach over the next decade?

Retention methods

People retain very little of what they learn at any learning event. This may be as little as ten percent. Astute trainers have realised that short, sharp training bursts work better. That may mean taking a blended learning approach or embedding learning into every working day.

Memory experts acknowledge that short-term memory copes with around four concepts. Using short bursts of learning—anything from 60 seconds to 60 minutes helps to increase retention.

Mobile learning

It makes sense to deliver learning to on a platform that is integral to the learner’s personal and professional lifestyle.

That said, staring at a Smartphone screen for long periods is not conducive to good learning but there are many ways that mobile learning is extremely effective:

  • Preparation prior to a learning event, perhaps via an assessment.

  • ‘Just-in-time’ learning to deal with a specific situation like the introduction of a new process or procedure.

  • Reinforcement after a learning event which could be by providing key summaries.

Social Media

People often learn as much from one another as they do from a training session and these days, social networks are a way of life to many people.

Incorporating Social Media into a core training strategy has may benefits, including:

  • Using Facebook to build learning communities

  • Using Twitter for introductions, pre-training preparation and instruction, conversations, debates, reflecting, brainstorming, and polls

  • Using YouTube for training videos

  • Creating blogs for additional learning information

  • Creating wikis for learning resources


Gamification is proving to be one of the most important measures to get people eager to learn and continue to learn.

In addition to being fun, gamification offers other key benefits:

  • It can engage learners of all ages.

  • The fun aspect creates less resistance to learning.

  • It can be used to teach a variety of subjects.

  • It’s suited to different aspects of learning, including knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs.

  • It encourages experimentation, which often leads to innovative thinking.

  • It’s less stressful than traditional learning with lectures and formal tests.

  • It can be used to encourage a competitive spirit and teamwork.

A gamification strategy might include video games, games of chance, role play and adventure, simulations, building and construction, or puzzles.


Learning is an individual experience, but training has traditionally been conducted in groups. It is now possible to implement a more personalised approach to training, based on everyone’s unique competencies and learning preferences.

Personalisation considers:

  • The learner's preferred method of learning

  • Their current knowledge and what specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes are required. What learning can be skipped, and what needs to be repeated?

  • Generational, cultural or language considerations that need to be addressed.

The topics in this article are not considerations of the distant future. The solutions listed here already exist. If you help or advice to incorporate these methods into your learning strategy contact SkillsWheel for an informal discussion.

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