LinkedIn’s Report on workplace learning just got unveiled towards the fag end of February 2018. As always the central theme of the report was how should the talent development professionals relook at their involvement in the providing a value-add to the business functions.

Like LinkedIn,  several other experts in the learning and development industry have already come up with their reports featuring the upcoming trends in L&D for the year of 2018.

Here in this blog, I have put together the common trends mentioned across these reports and how they are shaping the future of learning. The reports which I have referred to are:


Association for Talent Development

The five most hottest trends in workplace learning are:

1.Personalised learning

Personalisation first appeared in the field of education in the year 1905 by Helen Parkhurst.

What is personalized learning?

Personalized learning refers to instruction in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimized for the needs of each learner. Learning objectives, instructional approaches, and instructional content (and its sequencing) may all vary based on learner needs.

How is personalized learning becoming the trend?

Personalised learning, may not be fully dependent on the technology, but the technology has played its part to make personalized learning evolve as a trend.

For example, we are seeing smarter LMS and deep learning analytics tools which are able to generate the complete learning pattern of a learner to understand the knowledge gap and thus allowing the L&D  team to customize the learning experience for the learner.

With Tin Can API (xAPI) already launched as the next elearning standard, the personalized learning is sure to see the benefits as it can track the learners’ progress in greater detail which are even outside the LMS.

With the future’s looking bright, I feel that personalized learning will gain more momentum and will find more applications in the learning and development domain.

2.Mobile learning.

Let us first see what is mobile learning.

Mobile learning is the education or training conducted by means of portable computing devices such as smartphones or tablets.

How is mobile learning becoming the trend?

With the number of mobile phone users in the world expected to pass the five billion mark by 2019, it is evident that organization should adopt m learning strategy. The inclusion of mobile learning features and mobile learning apps enabled through  LMS and mobile content supporting rapid authoring tools are further enabling the acceptance and growth of mobile learning.

Udemy reports that learning on mobile phones grew by 50% in 2016-2017, significantly higher than last year’s growth of only 7% in 2015-2016. With the learners now owning more than one smartphone or other multimedia devices, organizations can take the benefit of BYOD(Bring Your Own Device) and ensure that the learners are able to learn at their convenience.

The present-day app market sees the release of a variety of learning apps on a daily basis. Several LMS providers have launched their mobile app versions allowing the learners to download the content for offline learning.

In my opinion, the market has started to embrace mlearning and hence mobile phones, or other multimedia devices like ipads, tablets, etc. will strongly continue to grow as the mode of delivering the learning content.

3.Immersive learning experiences like VR and AR.

VR and AR(Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality) are creating a buzz in the learning and development industry.

What are AR and VR?

Augmented reality is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time.Augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it while VR creates a totally artificial environment for the learners and stimulates a learning environment.

How is AR and VR becoming the learning trend?

The present-day L&D seminars, discussions, and the industry experts never skip introducing the technology of AR and VR as the technology for future. Many big companies like Facebook, Google, HTC have come up with VR headsets to allow the users to experience the Virtual Reality even through their smartphones.

While we are talking about these concepts, big corporate giants like Walmart, Amgen Biotech etc. have already enabled VR to their learning curriculum. Walmart enjoyed the benefit of 70% of employees who did better on their learning evaluation exams versus the group that did not use VR. The overall training satisfaction score reported by these employees was also 30% higher than those who did the standard training.

Companies are using VR techniques mostly to train the workforce in complex and dangerous situations where the chances of making a mistake are high and can become costly for an organization.

In my opinion, AR and VR  are definitely the trend not only for  2018 but for the next few years as more innovations in this field are likely to result in higher adoption rate.


Gamification is a buzzword from the year 2012, as it has seen a continuous growth in demand from the learning industry.

While I was exploring the trends from the different reports, I was certain that gamification will find the place on the list of trends.

What is gamification?

In simple terms, gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-game contexts.

How is gamification becoming the trend?

The initial hype around gamification has already passed and now gamification is looking to continue its growth as a trend and then finally reach the stage of maturity.
Gartner’s Hype Cycle for the Digital Workplace, 2017 says that businesses are becoming more interested in implementing gamification as an overall innovation management strategy to improve customer relationship management, as well as employee engagement.

This seems to be true as there are many gamification apps available on the mobile and web platform to engage the customers and build the brand loyalty.

For example, there is a Nike app, which rewards users with “cheers” every time they share stats related to running, calories burnt, etc.

Duolingo is another app which helps the learners to learn different languages. The app uses gamification strategy where the users are awarded badges and points.

Social media websites like Facebook are also engaging their customers with gamification through the use of social badges etc. As the trend of gamification is making its headway into the world of learning, we can also expect to see other trends like VR and AR taking the benefit of gamification.

In my opinion, gamification as a learning strategy is starting to find success and is likely to be adapted by more and more organizations.  With larger workforce being millennials in the near future, gamification can ensure that the learners are not disengaged.

5 Artificial Intelligence.

With the help of Artificial Intelligence(AI) and machine learning concepts, the L&D team can now better understand the learner behaviors and predict the learning needs by recommending and positioning content based on past behavior.

What is AI?

Google defines AI as “the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

How is AI going to be the trend in L&D?

Recently I had registered and enrolled in for some elearning courses and now every week my mailbox shows course recommendations for me. The choices shown are based upon my interest and my browsing activity which the AI and machine learning together have made it possible.

A simple search on your mobile app store can give you various results like Microsoft Cortana, Apple Siri, Samsung Bixby (all examples of virtual assistants), which are simple but powerful mobile apps integrated with artificial intelligence to help the user.

In my opinion, the learning community can be the biggest beneficiary of AI as it can surely bring more customized and personal learning experiences and finally create more effective training programs.

While this is not an exhaustive list, as I have handpicked only the five common L&D trends from the different reports which are likely to create a disruption in the learning domain. At XLPro our endeavor is always to stay on the top of these trends and create a wow learning experience. Do you believe in the same?  We would love to hear your comments.