How to Navigate Online Learning in 2021

January 10th, 2021 No Comments Features

As we approach one year since the pandemic hit most of the world, it’s worth taking a look at how online learning will continue to expand and develop in 2021. One thing that’s clear is that it will continue to be an important option even if schools and companies return to their physical locations, and may permanently shape the way traditional education is delivered. In this post, we cover some of the trends you can expect to see over the course of the year.

Video-based content

Whether it’s production of videos on educational content or streaming live classroom lessons, video-based content will become an even bigger part of online learning over 2021. In the remote workplace, synchronous virtual instructor-led training lets employees work together in real time to solve problems, collaborate on tasks, and increase productivity for the company.

Content curation

With 2020 waking us up to the speed at which training programs and curricula must adapt to shifting circumstances, content curation tools will become even more essential in 2021. Two curation tools currently leading the way are PinPoint Workforce, a library of pre-built microlearning and performance support content that can be quickly implemented company-wide, and Lessonly, which features pre-built trainings tailored to your needs (i.e., sales, customer service, remote work).

Flexible training options

According to Workplace Insight, 90 per cent of employees “want to continue working from home in at least some capacity.” Nearly 50 per cent of workers in these same surveys “indicated that they want to continue to work remotely for most or all of their time.” Online learning will become an essential part of providing flexible work, education support, and training options.

Immersive environment

With the rise of 5G in education, mobile learning will become even more immersive and closer to the “real thing” as students learn in a 3D environment. Access to 5G will also provide students with more support in the learning process, video uploading and downloading at faster speeds, and help bring advanced learning systems to students in rural areas.

“In many ways, universities stand at a fork in the road,” writes Philippa Hardman of University World News. “On one hand, they can begin, as the pandemic fades, to return to ‘normal’– delivering the traditional learning and community experiences to the groups they have long served. On the other, the opportunity in the alternative route is a deliberate fusion of physical and digital learning with purposefully chosen education technologies designed to enhance the quality of learning (not just to store documents). This requires both careful technology choices and a proactive approach to learning design.”

One positive outcome of the pandemic is that companies and universities have seen that operations can run smoothly from a distance. Now that it’s become the norm, there’s no going back. Whether working in interior design, building a career as a photographer, or studying business administration, students and professionals can look forward to greater flexibility in 2021 and beyond.


Saga Briggs is an author at InformED. You can follow her on Twitter@sagamilena or read more of her writing here.

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