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ATD Blog

Tech Trends That Will Change Learning in 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

According to some estimates, enterprises spend more than $3 trillion in IT, and by 2020, enterprises will spend over $216 billion per year in cloud services. Per a study conducted by LinkedIn, cloud and distributed computing skills are the most sought after skills globally. As enterprises move their workloads to cloud, training and enablement will play a vital role in bridging the skill gap, driving adoption and successful deployments.

Democratization of Content

We will see more professionals outside of the training team contribute to the creation of learning content. The concept of crowd sourcing will evolve in a big way with solution architects, professional services, and support organizations creating more content. Customers and partners also will contribute content as they implement cloud computing solutions, identify new use cases, and design and rollout best practices. This trend will see the role of training organizations evolve to act more as a strategy and content curation arm that provides tools and templates to subject matter experts who develop learning content.

Machine Learning and AI-Driven Customized Learning Paths

Machine learning and artificial intelligence will play a key role in 2018. Algorithms will be used to create customized learning paths for learners based on the topics they have recently studied, sites they have accessed, and people they have followed or interacted with on social media. These learning paths will be “living and breathing” trails that change automatically based on the change in user preferences tracked through social behavior.

Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning is emerging in a big way. When it comes to training, one size doesn’t fit all. Learners come from various backgrounds, skill levels, and experiences, and their training needs are different. Not everyone needs to sit through the complete duration of training to be able to get the most out of it. Adaptive learning methodologies allow learners to move quickly through the concepts that they already know and focus on the concepts that they need to build skills on. In 2018, we will see more organizations using adaptive learning platform, like one from Area9, to train their customers, partners, and employees--reducing training time and increasing productivity.


Microlearning as a concept has been in the training industry for a few years and it will continue to be a trend in 2018. Studies prove that the retention is better when information is delivered in bite-size pieces focusing on a single topic. (ATD's Microlearning Certificate can show you how to use snack-size learning for employee dvelopment.)

Hands-On, Embedded Experiences

Hands-on experience is critical to developing skills, especially when it comes to technology. In 2018, we will see lab-delivery platforms emerging, and lab-style learning embedded within e-learning. This trend will bring e-learning even closer to the traditional instructor-led, hands-on training methodology.

Social Learning

To scale and provide their global learner base with a continuous learning environment where they learn not just from experts but also from each other, more companies will adopt a social learning platform such as Konnect to host their e-learning solutions. Social learning platforms also will be used for customer evangelism—where by practitioners from within and outside the organization share their experiences and help build a latent sales force via customers. Digital badges and gamification will be used to motivate the learners and encourage them to collaborate in social learning environements.

Bottom line: Innovation in technology is revolutionizing the training industry, and I am excited to see how these emerging trends will change how we produce learning solutions—and results—for our organizations.

About the Author

Rashim Mogha is responsible for driving innovation and growth in her role as customer market leader, Leadership and Business Solutions for Skillsoft. Her role concentrates on leading the content, platform, customer success, sales, and marketing teams to deliver compelling experiences to Skillsoft's customers.

Rashim is a prominent woman in tech evangelist and a frequent speaker at global conferences. Her thoughts on leadership, innovation, women in technology, and enablement strategies have appeared in publications like Forbes, Association for Talent Development (ATD), and Thrive Global.

Prior to Skillsoft, Rashim held leadership roles at companies like VMware, Amazon Web Services, Oracle and Automation Anywhere, where she built high-performing teams and launched innovative solutions to support over $2 billion businesses. Recognized by Business Chief USA as a woman to watch, Rashim is an industry influencer, a thought leader, and a best-selling author. She is also a recipient of Women Empowerment: Game Changer, Woman of the Year, Women Tech, and Silicon Valley Woman of Influence awards and was inducted in Alameda county hall of fame in 2020.

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