ELBX Online 2022: The Top Learning Trends You Need to Know

“Trends don’t appear out of nowhere, and sometimes trends that seem to have nothing to with learning, such as social networking and VR gaming, influence how people expect to learn new information and how we deliver it.”

-Shaun McMahon, President & Founder of Illuminate

In his 2022 ELBX presentation, Shaun and his colleague Lauren McNally, Curriculum Design Manager of Illuminate, break down the top learning trends we need to know in the learning industry. 

They discuss how the following trends have evolved, their benefits, and practical tips to effectively implement them

  1. Instructor-led training 
  2. Video-based learning
  3. Collaborative and social learning
  4. Message-based learning
  5. Immersive learning with augmented reality and virtual reality



Pre-pandemic, instructor-led training was “essential” and “irreplaceable.” During the pandemic, instructor-led training (ILT) was replaced with virtual instructor-led training (VILT). Post-pandemic, we are utilizing rapidly evolving blended learning. 

When to use ILT vs. VILT:

  • Application-based training
  • Experimental, hands-on learning
  • Collaborative learning and team building
  • Varying learner groups
  • Didactic content
  • Knowledge reinforcement
  • Peer-to-peer discussion



Because of popular platforms such as TikTok, Netflix, and YouTube, modern learners are accustomed to consuming video content that is concise, engaging, and entertaining.

Best practices when using video-based learning:

  • Keep videos under 6 minutes when possible (split up longer videos into chapters)
  • Invest in an authentic human voice (not computer-generated)
  • Embed interactivity (when appropriate)
  • Embed emotion (when appropriate)

The most effective type of video content is interactive videos. 

  • Use quizzes and polls
  • Insert pop-ups with additional information
  • Link additional resources



Collaborative/social learning is not a new concept. It’s just a new term for learning from each other. 

Modern learners want to be active contributors to their own learning. They want to interact with the material and with other learners. This method of learning ensures relevance, leverages learners’ existing knowledge, and is learner-centric. 

Best practices for synchronous collaborative learning:

  • Have clear structure and expectations
  • Put learners in control
  • Allow ample time for collaboration
  • Ensure the content is relevant

Collaborative and social learning can also work asynchronously. 

This can be done through:

  • Role-play practice: recorded responses to prompts and scenarios that will then receive feedback from peers, coaches, or AI
  • A library of user-generated videos: centralizes knowledge for convenient training
  • Social learning platforms: leverage social media features to foster learning and create learning communities

Learners spend a lot of time on messaging platforms (text, email, direct, and instant messaging); messaging is always on-hand. Message-based learning is scalable, accessible, and digestible learning. 



AR and VR are quickly becoming part of our everyday lives. They have become very accessible and cost effective. We see them in gaming, visualizing furniture and decor in our homes, social media filters, and more.

How to leverage this technology:

  • AR experiences embedded in eLearning modules with 3D images
  • AR scavenger hunts for live events
  • VR demonstrations
  • VR tours

AR and VR allow learners to experience learning like never before. It’s immersive, visual, and exciting.

Trends heavily influence how learners expect their learning to look and work. If we pay attention to the trends, we can make learning more effective and more efficient.

To learn more about how to utilize these trends to take your learning to the next level, watch the full presentation: ELBX Online 2022 - The Top Learning Trends You Need to Know