corporate training trends

What’s Next for Corporate Training? Take a Look at EdTech

Fulcrum Labs
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If you want to know what’s next on the horizon for corporate training, you might want to take a look at what’s going on today in edtech. That’s because the education market is a consistent first adopter for new learning technologies, and it has a long history of proving out (and weeding out) new learning technologies long before they reach corporate learning and development.

For example, look at one of the bastions of corporate training – the LMS. In 1990, SoftArc created the first LMS as a tool for classrooms. Even today, the biggest LMSs on the market are all designed with education in mind– think: Blackboard or Moodle. It wasn’t until almost a decade later that LMSs began to significantly pique the interest of corporate L&D departments. In the late 1990s, corporate learning departments began co-opting these technologies, and eventually, entirely new LMS ecosystems were designed for corporate training.

The same progression has been true for countless other learning technologies and trends – think: microlearning, personalization, competency-based learning, gamification and adaptive learning, to name a few. They all began in education, and only later found firm footing in corporate L&D.

So if you want to know what trends corporate L&D can expect to encounter in the next few years, look no further than what’s hot today in edtech. Here’s a quick rundown of the top three trends and technologies we expect will impact corporate L&D in the near future:


At the top of the list is AI. While this technology is already being used across many business units, it has yet to gain significant traction in L&D. But in education, it’s a different story. Edtech solutions are increasingly leveraging AI to drive learning efficacy and personalization, and offer automation that eases instructional burdens. For example:

  • Content Technologies, Inc. is using Deep Learning to create customized textbooks that fit the needs of specific courses and students
  • Century Tech uses AI to study student engagement and responses in order to help teachers and education administrators understand how their students learn
  • Thinkster, a math tutoring tool, utilizes AI to track a student’s thought process through a problem, and recommends how the teacher can best address concerns
  • Gradescope, uses AI to shorten grading time by 50 percent, freeing up valuable instructional time and energy

As AI becomes more pervasive in education and other business units, we expect that L&D will begin to explore what they can do with the technology within corporate training. In the near future, look for corporate L&D tools that use AI and machine learning to:

  • Develop and refine content so it’s better tailored to the needs of each learner
  • Deeply personalize the learning process for each individual
  • Deliver predictive analytics into performance, behavior and aptitude

Check out our article in Training Industry magazine on Adaptive Learning 3.0 for more on AI in the corporate L&D space.

Interactive Video and Social Learning

Educators are also embracing new interactive video platforms and technologies that enable social learning. These tools combine all the learning benefits of video with the engagement benefits of discussion, collaboration and self-direction. With these platforms, rather than passively watching a piece of content, learners can actively participate – posing and answering questions, commenting and discussing the content with their peers and instructors all the way. Here are just two examples of interactive video tools at work within the education space:

  • Arc Media is educational video hosting platform that implements interactive capabilities akin to SoundCloud and Facebook Live: Every video incorporates a time-based chatroom, with threaded discussion posts by the class popping on as the video progresses.
  • Flipgrid is an app where someone, usually a teacher, poses a question or prompt, and students respond to it with short videos. Once they’ve finished their video, they can leave responses to other students’ videos.

Click here and here to learn about some of the interactive video capabilities that are beginning to break into the corporate L&D space.

AR and Voice

While still largely on the fringe in corporate training, AR and voice technologies are beginning to gain traction in education. Educators are using AR to better explain abstract concepts and engage students where they’re often most engrossed – their smartphones. Additionally, colleges and schools are using voice technology, like Amazon’s Alexa, to improve student engagement and, in turn, success rates.

“Students can ask Alexa about campus events and schedules, which goes a long way toward engagement…Resources like this are particularly useful; studies show that strong campus engagement leads to better grades and improved retention.”

Interestingly, some companies are beginning to merge the two technologies for the education space. One emerging product is called spARK, an AR and voice platform that allows educators to turn lesson plans into interactive, multi-sensory learning experiences. As the students learn, the platform uses voice technology to listen in on student progress and provide comprehensive feedback for teachers, which can improve future lessons.

Click here to see how Fulcrum Labs works with AR/VR content.

What trends do you expect will make their way from education to corporate training in the coming years? Let’s connect and talk about how our learning platform can plugin with these emerging trends to help your organization get ahead of the curve when it comes to “what’s next” in learning.

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