Last updated: 08.02.18

Top nine trends from Learning Technologies 2018

This year at Learning Technologies 2018 we at Virtual College noted a significant shift in the type of conversations and personnel approaching our stand. It was quite possibly the busiest e-learning event we have ever seen – especially on day one – and that’s saying a lot in the past 22 years of Virtual College being in the e-learning industry.

In essence there are nine core areas that really stood out for us as key takeaways:


Everyone was focusing on the personalisation of the e-learning process. This was not specific to the digital content itself, but also relating to providing learners with a personalised experience. References were made to other organisations that do this well – such as Netflix and Amazon with recommendations for what you would like to watch or purchase – and how this needs to map into the digital learning journey via an LMS. For example, how we can all look to develop and change LMS dashboards depending on learners’ job roles, personalised offers of additional learning, creating personal 'learning playlists' for example. This would help with engagement as well as content retention.

New technology

There is a huge of buzz around augmented and virtual reality, and we noticed a lot of organisations using this tech to form part of their learning and development (L&D) strategy. This trend is only getting bigger and we are expecting to hear much more about it in 2018!

Bite-sized and video-based learning

This is all the rage now – everyone is focusing on delivering course content in short, bite-sized chunks. There are many benefits of this approach, which will ensure effective learning within deadlines and within core working hours. The use of videos in L&D is continuing to increase, with a vast number of exhibitors showcasing 360, interactive and bespoke video solutions.

Gamification and serious games

The use of gamification is becoming the norm for many courses – it’s a recognised way to get engagement, entertain learners and embed knowledge. The rise of serious games in L&D was also apparent at the show as a means of helping learners apply the knowledge they have learnt as part of a wider solution.

Mix and match resources

There was a huge range and variety of resources to support new ways of learning. This included board games, online games and also gaming apps – all with a view to support different learner styles and behaviours. This was more visible than ever before at learning tech.

Collaborative and social e-learning

Collaboration was a theme that became apparent through seminars and conversations that were taking place around the show. The opportunity for individuals to test their learning with their peers is something that can be extremely powerful to an organisation's L&D strategy. Platforms and content that supported this were in abundance and it is exciting to see where this will go in the future.

Defining learning success

Assessing both confidence and competence in terms of learning success – it is not only important how much you know, but also how confident you are in applying that knowledge within your day-to-day role.

Tracking of learning journeys

Organisations are talking about collecting big data and using technologies such as Tin Can and xAPI to track individual learning journeys. xAPI has been around for a while now, but is 2018 the year where it really starts to take off?

Learning impact measurement

Organisations are looking at how they can connect learning programmes to the specific ROI of a project. So, there are now plans to better coordinate and track organisational impacts of learning with individual impacts.

To discuss how Virtual College applies these trends into our customer L&D strategies, please contact Cameron Glennon for more information on or on 01943 885085