As the world turns more and more digital every day, so does the professional development industry. Continuing professional development is always changing with the times and usually

for the better. Evidences exists that proves this is a good thing as learners are more engaged than ever in history

We have compiled 8 key trends that we think are changing the face of online learning in the coming months and years.

1. Personalisation

Personalised learning paths have been among the top learning and development trends since the turn of the millenium. This is due to the fact that “universal” online training courses do not cater to the varied audiences that they are designed to serve. Professional learners must be able to focus on their areas for improvement, instead of merely replicating peers. Learning and development personalisation can take the form of ‘sandbox’ (i.e non-linear) eLearning course maps, individualised online training contracts and self-directed online training activities. The key is to gauge the gaps found in pre-assessments, and then empower professional learners by providing the online training tools they require to bridge them. Consequently they will see more career success. This is a very clear development in the CPD industry. 

2.’Acorn’ Support Resources

Professional learners do not often have time to sit through a days training course. This is why bite-sized resources are essential in professional CPD. Everyone gets the information they need to solve the problem and build their skills on the spot. Thus, organisations improve their online training ROI and employees are more satisfied in the workplace. Everybody wins!  It is an increasing development.

3.Analytics and deep reports

Metrics, website stats, and other sources of big data give you the ability to continually improve your CPD strategy. You can track the professionals performance in order to identify patterns/trends as well as highlight individual strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, you have the logical basis for appropriate intervention when necessary and offer the ideal supplemental training resources. For this reason, it is essential to look for a learning management package with robust reporting and analytics applications.

4. Open and ‘freestyle’ online learning

Professional learners must be able work to their own pace and focus on individual areas for improvement. Self-paced online training is one of the top learning and development trends for 2018 and beyond because different employees have different online training needs, hence the point made about personalisation earlier. They need to engage in professional development when it is most convenient for them so that they can retain and recall the information. This involves setting their own schedule, developing realistic and tailored goals, and seeking out online resources autonomously regarding their industry.

5. Responsive Design

Multiplatform-friendly training content gives professional learners the power to access online training resources on any device; from laptops, mobiles and tablets. As such, responsive design eLearning authoring tools are trending strongly in the learning and development sector. These platforms allow eLearning professionals to create a master version of the online training course broken into digestible and accessible sections . These systems adjust the layout based on the device. This gives every professional learner the opportunity to navigate online training courses with ease and actively participate in such online experiences.

6. Virtual and augmented reality

Virtual reality and augmented reality content gains a larger share of the market every year. The absolute base however is still low at less than 10%. This is changing and it is predicted that most professionals will have experienced some virtual reality CPD by 2025. This is primarily due to the fact that it has a host of applications in learning and development, from immersive task-based online simulations to more interactive yet serious games. Virtual and augmented reality already transform learning by putting learners into action and making development exciting. Thus, they are able to gain experiences that closely duplicate real-world experience with the best part being- in a risk-free environment.

7. Social online environments

A vast majority of professionals already use social media, blogs, and engage in online discussions, i.e forums. Therefore, such applications are great tools for accompanying more robust professional development tools . Individuals can use these to interact with others within and related to their industry. They also have the ability to share resources and create their content, which improves understanding and engagement. For example, to create weekly blog posts to recap the subject matter and explore their own perspective, or to participate in social media groups in order to relfect on CPD and share tips.

8. Online mentorship programs

Professional learners have experience, knowledge, and skills to share. Online mentoring programs facilitate this exchange and give them more control over their own training. You can make this collaboration even more effective by incorporating training contracts. As a result, professionals have a strong basis to create personalised goals and set milestones.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article and please stay tuned to for more advice about everything CPD. Nothing else in the learning and development industry exists. 

Our unique product, the Leap CPD Hub allows you to stay organised and focused in regards to your continuing professional development. The hub will allow you to capture, manage and track your professional development easily, simply and safely with no risk of losing any information. 

Check out the online CPD Hub or stay informed with our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts.



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