7 Learning and Development Trends for 2024

Written by
Kevin Alster
Published on
June 18, 2024
Table of contents

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"The technology you use impresses no one. The experience you create with it is everything." Wise words from Home Depot's user experience manager, Sean Gerety.

In a time when we have a ton of technology at our fingertips, what truly impacts success isn't the sophistication of the tools but how you use them to create unique learning experiences.

Check out these learning and development trends and start building more transformative learning experiences.

1. Use AI to keep up with increased video demand

In 2023, video is more important than ever. And AI tools for video creation help you keep up with an ever-increasing demand for content. AI tools can reduce the average training video production time by 62% (aka 8 days of work a month). Here's how:

  • Use AI video creation tools like Synthesia — great for creating AI actors using photorealistic technology — or ChatGPT to assist with script writing, storyboarding, voice-over, and template generation.
  • Automate tasks in video production, such as editing, color grading, and adding visual effects or closed captions.
  • Personalize content for individual viewers, including their name or speaking their language.

How to use this trend

Step 1: Assess your training needs and requirements. Find the areas where AI-powered video learning can bring the most value, like onboarding, compliance, new skills development, product or service training, and leadership training.

Step 2: Find the best AI-powered tools to serve your needs. Look for options that offer automated content creation. Ideally, you should have access to AI presenters, AI voices in multiple languages, templates and media assets to pick from, and other video features important in training, like screen recording.

Step 3: Start experimenting and ask stakeholders and learners for feedback on those prototypes directly. With AI, you'll be able to implement the changes quickly.

Inspiration 💡

Teleperformance, a leading global provider with 380K employees in 170 markets, uses Synthesia to create training in 40+ languages. AI video creation saves Teleperformance 5 days of work and $5000 per video.

2. Add gamification to training programs

Gamified learning is becoming a trend thanks to the widespread adoption of technology and digital learning platforms. More than 70% of businesses in the Global 2000 list of companies have already adopted gamification, and 50% of startups use gamification in training. 

Add gamified elements such as badges, points, ratings, competitions, and specific prizes, and improve your training performance by up to 90%. In a time where companies fight for talent retention, taking up on this particular trend yields double wins in terms of:

  • Information retention: Training that feels more like a game than a chore improves retention and favors employee learning. 
  • Talent retention: Training opportunities are one of the company benefits employees actively seek. You reduce turnover rates and costs by fulfilling their needs and increasing their satisfaction.

How to use this trend

Break learning objectives into small, achievable training tasks or levels. Like in a video game, each level should have a clear goal or a challenge the participants must overcome. Completing the level will give a sense of progression and accomplishment.

Inspiration 💡

McDonald's used gamification for their cash register training as early as 2016.

Formlabs, a leading 3D printer developer and manufacturer, uses certificates and gamification to make their educational program more engaging.

The Deloitte Leadership Academy (online training for 50K employees) uses leaderboards and badges, leading to a 47% increase in weekly returning users and a 75% faster completion rate.

3. Create immersive learning experiences with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)

VR and AR can create simulations of real-life scenarios, offering a safe and controlled environment for trial and error. This immersive learning environment can:

  • Reduce training time by 40%
  • Increase content retention by 75%-90%
  • Improve employee engagement rates by up to 95%.

A comparison of VR, AR, and MR.

Andy Mathis, Oculus' head of business partnerships, explains why VR is one of the powerful learning and development trends — with its help, "costly, difficult, or otherwise-impossible scenarios and simulations become not only possible but immediately within reach."

How to use this trend

Ask your learning and development teams to explore the tools and apps that facilitate VR and AR experiences. Some of these are:

  • Game engines such as Unity or Unreal Engine, where you can create VR and AR immersive experiences.
  • Development platforms such as Vuforia, Wikitude, Google ARCore, or Apple ARKit, where you can create AR experiences for specific devices.
  • VR platforms such as STRIVR, Minecraft Education Edition, or CenarioVR, where you can create VR experiences for self-paced learning.

Kick-start a learning program using AR/VR in one of these high-impact areas:

  • Safety and compliance training and skill development opportunities
  • Onboarding and orientation for new hires
  • Product demos for customers or stakeholders
  • Virtual meetings and collabs

Inspiration 💡

Boeing trains its mechanics with VR to find the best way to build a plane model. They use VR to show the mechanics how the new model would look. In return, the mechanics give feedback to the engineers on potential installation issues.

Walmart trains employees using VR. They partnered with Oculus early on and created VR training for anyone from managers to the employees on the floor who directly interact with customers.

4. Design for accessibility

Accessibility compliance requirements are on the rise. Between 2013 and 2020, there was a 320% rise in ADA-related lawsuits, and in 2020 alone, there were 2,500 lawsuits related to inaccessible websites.

On top of that, accessibility makes good business sense. A surprising 10%-15% of employees in any large industry will likely have learning disabilities such as dyslexia (reading disorder) or dyspraxia (organization and planning difficulties). Solve training content accessibility for those learners, and the effectiveness of your programs will naturally rise.

Prioritizing accessibility along with some universal design principles when creating training will:

  • Help learners feel included in the learning journey.
  • Provide more user choices on how to go through the training.
  • Increase learner satisfaction and retention.
  • Ensure legal compliance for your training programs.

How to use this trend

Global content management specialist Dr. Dawn DiPeri suggests you "fine-tune the learning experience with the full learner variability."

  • Begin your design with accessibility in mind.
  • Design products with customizable features — captions, volume, skip ahead, contrast, etc. — so learners can activate or deactivate certain features and improve their experience.
  • Use AI to make training more accessible with easy translations, localization, and automated captions.

Inspiration 💡

Cemex, a global leader in the building materials industry, used the AI video maker Synthesia to boost their employee training for 40,000 employees in 50+ countries. They created training programs in 8 languages and halved their training video time-to-market.

5. Leverage user-generated content (UGC)

User-generated content (UGC) has become one of the popular learning and development trends as new tools for easy content creation and collaborative learning have popped up.

Basically, some employees become creators of training content for their colleagues to learn from. That’s super powerful because it helps build an extended learning community and streamline content creation with resource economy. Plus, it also empowers employees and improves their satisfaction.

How to use this trend

Expert Ajay Jacob insists that L&D managers will be responsible for “balancing the tool.” They’ll go from creators of training programs to moderators and curators. And their responsibilities will shift into organizing UGC to avoid learners being overwhelmed with content, keeping it up to date, and ensuring it’s accurate.

Inspiration 💡

Ocado Group used the AI video maker Synthesia and turned every employee into a video creator, with every video they make being automatically localized in 4 different languages.

Google used the Googler-to-Googler program, where employees teach each other skills in which they are experts.

6. Add microlessons to your strategy

Microlearning is a digital learning strategy that breaks down complex information into bite-sized, easily digestible lessons. Microvideos, for instance, typically last 1-3 minutes and are brief, focused learning units for quick consumption.

Microlessons, whether video or in any other format, are ideal for busy learners or those with shorter attention spans. And they’ve soared in popularity lately because learning management systems have also become popular, removing content management barriers.

How to use this trend

Apply microlearning to your L&D strategy. Create short, actionable PDFs and micro videos.

Use microlearning for:

  • Interactive learning modules
  • New short activities meant to reinforce learning through spaced repetition
  • Just-in-time learning, aka content that helps employees with specific tasks right when needed
  • Performance support, aka content that serves as quick reference guides during tasks — checklists, process flowcharts

Inspiration 💡

Google trains managers with condensed lessons through the Google Whisper Course, a series of short-form emails.

IMB uses IMB Micro-Learning, a database with specific content in a “bite-size” format where employees can browse the content to help them develop cloud expertise.

7. Design personalized learning environments

It's proven that students who receive personalized instruction often to outperform 98% of those who didn’t.

And yet, several years ago, managers complained that personalized learning at scale was physically impossible...

...Skip to 2023, and with the rise of AI and machine learning, it’s possible to handle a large amount of data quickly, interpret it, and use it to create custom content.

Whether you turn to adaptive learning algorithms, run self-assessments, or schedule individual coaching sessions, personalized learning that fits the needs and preferences of each employee will benefit your company. 

How to use this trend

Check out this guide on software for educational videos to discover what tools you can use to create personalized training. Look for an LMS where you can store and organize content and learners' analytics.

Inspiration 💡

Lalia is an interactive online education platform that helps non-native English speakers learn English. It provides adaptive materials scaled to the proficiency of each individual learner.

Deloitte created Deloitte University, where employees can access tailored courses and choose what, how, and when they want to learn based on their needs and goals.

Amazon uses machine learning to offer its employees personalized training and development programs. Their virtual learning platform suggests courses and programs based on an individual's role, interests, and career aspirations.

How to follow these trends in your L&D programs using minimal resources

How will you stay ahead of learning and development trends?

Create more with less and stay ahead of the trends by incorporating AI video into your L&D strategy.


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