2021 was a year that no one could predict. From supply chain shortages to an influx of new hires, maneuvering the chaos of 2021 was no easy feat.
As organizations continue to navigate the constant changes happening in the learning and development (L&D) world, we predict that some of these changes are here to stay.
Our predictions for the top six L&D trends for 2022 are:
- Virtual Reality Training Will Become More Realistic
- Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Training Will Continue To Be Prioritized
- More Mixed Reality-Enhanced Virtual Reality Is On The Horizon
- Organizations Will Continue To Expand Access Options To Reach Remote Learners
- Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality Will Continue To Trend
- Increased Demand For Interactive Learning Elements
And just like that… it’s 2022! If you’re anything like us, we can’t believe how fast 2021 flew by.
Our team of instructional designers, learning technology experts, and I got together to generate a list of the top six L&D trends for 2022. We predict these trends will remain popular for years, maybe even decades, to come. Let’s check them out!
From virtual reality training becoming more realistic to an increased demand for gamified learning, this article will highlight six exciting L&D trends to expect in 2022.
1. Virtual Reality Training Will Become More Realistic
In 2022, virtual reality (VR) training will continue to become more realistic in light of new technological capabilities, including:
- Haptic gloves – A haptic glove is a wearable device that allows users to experience realistic touch and interactions through advanced tactile feedback, eliminating the need for handheld VR controllers. This helps minimize any distractions from handheld controllers and allows learners to complete realistic interactions as they would in real life.
- Innovations in hardware – Hardware innovations have allowed creators to utilize methods like 3D scanning and photogrammetry more effectively. In the future, we predict that developers are going to push the limits of what can be done in regards to game graphics and CGI characters. For example, as hardware continues to evolve to support more advanced programming, CGI characters are capable of more advanced facial expressions, movements, and dialogue.
With more advanced hardware and wider accessibility, developers are able to create more realistic characters, environments, and interactions for VR training. This ultimately translates to training programs that more closely mimic the real-world, helping learners transfer key knowledge from the classroom to the real world.
2. Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion Training Will Continue To Be Prioritized
Over 80% of employees want to work for an organization that values diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). We predict that organizations will continue to prioritize standalone DEI topics and incorporate DEI elements into other training topics.
For example, in a leadership training activity, organizations may include a scenario where a team member makes a discriminatory comment toward another employee’s work. The learner must then decide how to appropriately address the situation. This activity builds effective leaders who can lead their team with an inclusive mindset.
In doing so, organizations can achieve the following:
- Develop employees’ awareness on various DEI competencies (e.g. allyship, microaggressions, unconscious bias)
- Create a sense of belonging among employees
- Increase employee engagement
3. More Mixed Reality-Enhanced Virtual Reality Is On The Horizon
In 2022, we predict that mixed reality (MR)-enhanced VR experiences will become more popular. With MR training that utilizes both AR and VR, learners can co-exist and interact with physical and digital objects in real-time. This opens up a world of possibilities within learners’ virtual environments.
While this technology is nowhere near mainstream, we predict that passthrough cameras on MR devices will improve in quality and refresh rates, more accurately drawing the learner’s virtual environment around them. These cameras and sensors are primarily used for headset and controller tracking, as well as mapping a learner’s environment.
4. Organizations Will Continue To Expand Access Options To Reach Remote Learners
As employees continue to work from remote locations moving into next year, organizations will need to continue providing remote access options to ensure everyone can participate in training.
For example, we’ve seen organizations hold instructor-led training (ILT) with in-person learners, while also livestreaming the session to reach remote employees. To do so, organizations must revamp the content of their training sessions (e.g. create accessible slides and organize break out rooms) so that they can also be live streamed to remote employees. This caters to both in-person and virtual learners.
The bottom line is that organizations will continue to make sure that learners can access the same training whether or not they’re in the same room as the facilitators.
5. Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality Will Continue To Trend
We predict XR technologies will continue to be adopted by organizations across the globe because they benefit training in the following ways:
- Boost innovation
- Increase employee engagement
- Improve employee productivity levels
- Expand accessibility options to remote learners
These types of training technologies provide learners with an immersive, hands-on training experience that translates to higher knowledge retention and engagement levels.
6. Increased Demand For Interactive Learning Elements
Have you ever sat through an eLearning module and simply clicked through the slides to finish the activity? While we may not want to admit it, many of us are guilty of clicking through our elearning activities just to get it done.
One way to keep learning interesting and increase interactivity is to integrate gamification into learners’ training activities. We predict that gamification, along with other interactive techniques, will increase in popularity as organizations look for ways to engage learners with their training.
Whether in the classroom or online, organizations are changing how to motivate learners by using games to revamp quizzes and knowledge checks. By integrating gamification (e.g. gamified daily goals, individual badges, and awards) into a training strategy, organizations can help unite several different training activities and encourage learners’ participation.
Read More: Top 5 Gamification Trends for 2022
Are You Ready To Welcome 2022 With Open Arms?
At Roundtable, we’re excited about the future of learning and can’t wait to see what next year brings. If you’re looking to learn more about your corporate training options, chat with one of our experts today or explore more of our resources on all things L&D here.
See you next year!