Year In Review: 5 Key Training Trends of 2014


Can you believe another year has come and almost gone? While we’re all in the midst of 2015 planning, it’s helpful to reflect on the past year when looking forward to the next one.

As we prepare to kiss 2014 goodbye, the Expand team has been discussing what trends we’ve seen take hold this year, and which ones we think will pick up speed next year. Our 2015 Trends to Watch will be coming your way later this month, but first, let’s talk about the year we’re about to wrap up.

Without further ado, here are our top five training trends of 2014.

Increasing use of mobile for eLearning and Performance Support.

Mobile adoption continues to rise across the globe, and adoption at organizations for professional applications is increasing as well. There is greater pressure on companies to offer mobile-supported content and applications. The up-and-coming Millennial generation demands it, and we’re smarter now about how to make that possible and work seamlessly.

We’ve learned that mobile-optimized in-field performance support helps employees—whether salespeople, customer service people, manufacturing technicians or utility operators—perform their job more efficiently with fewer mistakes, making the organization as a whole operate smoother and at a lower cost.

Increasing emphasis on analytics, not just content.

As training has moved to an electronic format and delivery method, we’ve been able to track and measure training efforts like never before. At first, interactive content was really exciting and so slick that it was nearly enough on its own. Once the novelty wore off, we realized that it was not only much easier to measure the actual effectiveness of a training in terms of in-the-field behavioral change, but it’s of utmost importance.

Not only can we track course completions, abandonment and effectiveness, we can also measure behavioral change and, ultimately, true ROI. In other words, we can finally answer the questions “Is training making an impact?” and “Is it worth the investment?” We can actually monitor metrics in these areas.

Movement away from traditional LMS and Flash toward custom LMS and HTML5/CSS development.

The rise of HTML5 and CSS in eLearning goes hand-in-hand with increasing mobile adoption for learning and performance support purposes. HTML5 and CSS development give you more options when it comes to interactive and animated content. Unlike Flash, HTML5 is compatible with mobile browsers and doesn’t require special player technology.

Fewer one-off trainings in favor of ongoing coaching and mentoring.

It’s well-documented, as our lives become busier and filled with more distractions and shorter attention spans, it’s really hard to remember something after only being told once. More complex topics are impossible to master after just one training session, regardless of whether it’s held in person or online. More and more, managers are turning to what we call learning campaigns, which include ongoing coaching and mentoring to revisit complex topics and offer reminder and/or refresher content to drive home finer points.

Performance Support is as Important as Training.

One could make the argument that in-field performance support is of even greater value to the employee than traditional training methods. Performance support makes useful content available to the employee at the exact time they need it, which is on-the-job. Mobile has made it even easier and streamlined. Not sure what comes next in a process? Pull out your iPad to jog your memory with a step-by-step checklist, and view supporting videos for more details.

If you're interested, check out ExpandShare's eLearning Services to see how your program can be an epic success.

Will Holland