Looking Back at the Top Online Learning Trends of 2023
As the workforce continues to evolve, so do the interests of adult learners. Between an unsettled job market, emerging technologies, and the ever-present goal of learning new skills, 2023 was a year of transition for many people. Throughout it, learners turned to online opportunities to assist with their professional goals and interests.
Looking back on the online learning trends of this past year, some key themes emerged:
A greater reliance on video content
Online learning has traditionally included video content. In 2023, it played an even greater role. This is partly due to a younger workforce that’s more used to visual and auditory learning. It’s also due to video’s ability to be more personalized to users’ needs. Video also offers microlearning, where content is broken down into smaller, more specific topics. As Brandi Langford, director, human resources strategy at Food Lion, recently noted, "Our associates want more interactive learning opportunities, especially through video. I think that’s an easier, more intuitive way for a lot of people to learn.” Because this approach is an effective way to deliver bite-sized information, it can be great for users who want to learn skills in a relatively short amount of time.
Adaptive learning platforms
Adaptive learning platforms, powered by AI, gained momentum over the past year. These platforms can analyze individual learning patterns and preferences, then tailor coursework to match the unique needs of each student. They grew in popularity over 2023 thanks to their ability to offer personalized learning paths and real-time feedback for learners – options made widely available thanks to technological advances.
Social learning and communities
As online learning has grown in popularity, various groups are working to offset the sense of isolation that can sometimes accompany it. In 2023, more platforms integrated features that promote interaction, group projects, and discussions among learners. These efforts help provide a better sense of connection between students. They also help foster collaboration and shared knowledge – both of which can greatly support students’ education goals.
Soft skills training
Soft skills can be defined as any nontechnical skill that’s related to how an employee works and interacts with others. Over the past few years, HR professionals have recognized more and more the power that these skills can have. They’re also more in demand than ever before, as those with soft skills can be better contributors to their team and more adaptable to a changing work environment. Among these skills are critical thinking, communication, creativity, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, time management, and more. Online courses can teach these skills and build learners’ capacity to contribute and adapt.
For employers who offer access to educational benefits for their teams, data analytics has become more and more essential. From tracking enrollment numbers among their employees to how much tuition assistance is being used and which programs are popular, data is the key to understanding how effective a company’s benefits program is. Data analytics can also help organizations track and identify internal skill gaps.
Online learning has continued to grow over the past year. For learners, this means access to more kinds of content and a more personalized approach to their education. It also includes the ability to connect with other learners through online communities. For employers, data has become more important, reflecting the popularity and usefulness of online learning itself.
To learn more about online learning options for your team, contact a Workforce Edge specialist today.
As adult college students continue to balance work and school, online learning opportunities have become more abundant, especially with advances in AI technology. Here’s a look back at top online learning trends of 2023.