Speexx Predictions: What’s Shaping the Future of L&D?

man looking up what is shaping the future of L&D on his cell phone with a view of NYC

The concept of “learning” is understood differently by the modern learner these days.

Even before we experienced the effects of a global pandemic, L&D professionals were already showing interest in implementing new technology in their learning programs.

Now, however, that plan is being expedited as more and more companies and employees are demanding access to personalized and interactive online training.

Indeed, the future of L&D will look different to learners as we introduce more technology to learning.

–> To find out more about corporate training trends and how to successfully move your traditional training to digital, be sure to get in touch with our digital transformation experts here at Speexx.

Influencing factors on the future of learning and development

With the continuously changing learning landscape, L&D has been forced to take a step back and reevaluate its role and how it brings value to the business and its employees.

As many have realized over the past year, learning is still valued as an asset to the business and has been gaining more visibility as the year progresses.


The overall business trends are proving that digital transformation is can no longer be treated as an afterthought, and delaying digital skills training is no longer an option for those who want to survive in the new normal.

Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we think and believe learning should happen, and the effects will be felt for years to come.

After evaluating the trends in learning over the past year, we at Speexx have identified the most influential trends in digital learning.

Keep reading to find out what they are and download the corresponding infographic for free!

virtual corporate training session

The 6 trends for 2021

1. Reskilling & Upskilling 

Reskilling & upskilling keeps organizations agile and boosts business performance.

Challenging times require flexibility and adaptability. What we have learn from the pandemic was that many companies were just not prepared. Many believed that there was still time to look into moving from face-to-face training to digital, unfortunately not working in their favor.

Reskilling and upskilling is self-evident as an important aspect of L&D as a whole. But as we have seen in the 2021 L&D Global Sentiment Survey from learning leader Donald Taylor, the results have shown that people are less concerned with trendy tech, but rather on where to put the focus.

For those unfamiliar with the report, each year Donald takes a pulse check on the L&D community by asking them ,“What will be hot in workplace L&D?”

The answer this year- “Reskilling and upskilling”.

The reason for this? Mainly, because priorities have changed in L&D.

Check out the replay of our exclusive webinar with Donald on the results of the 2021 Global Sentiment Survey here: What will be hot in workplace learning in 2021?

What specifically do we mean by reskilling and upskilling? As explained in the webinar, the way we would reskill and upskill our workforce is by starting with the training that is by teaching people on how to be digital first.

According to Donald, “What’s going to happen is by talking to people, by using the right technologies we have now we can build strategic influence, not just do our jobs better be strategically influential on solid foundations.”

In summary, organizations that wish to turn challenges into opportunities need to provide their employees with agile training that will help them rapidly gain the skills they need to succeed.

2. LXP and mobile-first

Learning Experience Platforms (LXP) allow greater focus on the learners’ experience.

During the dawn of the eLearning era, one of the basic expectations or standards was that eLearning would be “mobile-friendly.” Of course initially, most trainings were focused on desktop-only, and then later modified for mobile and tablet devices as the need developed.

Going forward, we believe that the standard will the other way around. That being – mobile users first, then desktop users.

The reason for this is the user experience.

Learning experience design (LXD) will be playing a big factor in this, as eLearning trends will prioritize the convenience, usage and quality of the lessons over the production of content.

By creating a mobile-first learning design, L&D professionals are prioritizing learners’ objectives and preferences so that they have the option to build their own journeys specific to their needs.

3. Remote learning

The working from home concept may have already been familiar with some companies, but for others, this was a whole new world.

Not only has the change in location for the workplace put many employers in a state of dismay, it has also brought about some logistical and financial strain. As a response, companies plan on reducing office space, and with many employees being given preference on their physical working location, it bodes well to say that working and learning from home will remain a reality even in a post-pandemic world.

What this means for the L&D industry is a significant audit of their current learning material.

With people spending up to 3 hours a day on their mobile devices, naturally the trend would push learning professionals to prioritize mobile-first content.

Video-based learning means producing video content with a microlearning style approach. You can get the most out of your video content for remote learning by preparing the goal for the video content in advance. Is this video aiming to educate, explain, engage, or entertain your learners?

Knowing the why behind your content will help with your learning engagement for your remote leaners.


Download and share our free infographic: Digital Learning Trends for 2021

4. Personalization

Creating learning content that is tailored to specific needs and that can be easily integrated into day-to-day work.

Personalized content runs the subscription-based world. In learning, personalized learning content can be developed by reviewing activities based on learner choice and performance.

To help learners chose the most appreciate learning modules for their specific needs, recommended learning paths are presented to the learners by using assessments.

Of course, artificial intelligence is bound to play a big role in the customization of digital learning content.

Some ways AI is already changing the learning industry:

  • smart learning content
  • virtual facilitators
  • content and performance analytics

While some in the learning industry still hesitate to introduce AI into their learning and training programs, we can expect to see AI to be more and more included in personalization of learning content and filling the gaps of the learning experience with performance support.

5. Data-driven learning

The global shift to digital learning has enabled organizations to gather relevant data about learning.

Not does data play a critical role when it comes to making business decisions, it is also now a game-changer when it comes to digital learning. Going forward, we can expect to see that data-driven learning design and delivery will become the standard approach to learning and development in 2021.

Why? Because now we have access to the data can be used to create more effective and impactful learning, aligned to the needs of both learners and businesses.

Additional benefits: L&D leaders can review the data and pose the right questions at the right time to discover what matters most in their design learning solutions for both the learner and the organization.

Armed with data, L&D will continue to redefine what learning success means and looks like, as well as continue to transform the world of corporate learning.

6. Enhanced performance focus

Learning should now focus more on increasing performance, not just skills.  

Since L&D will be heavily involved in reviewing data in the corporate learning programs, they will need to be able to show the relation between the data and performance.

Since the pandemic, many L&D leaders have found themselves under increased pressure to demonstrate the way learning affects the bottom line. It’s a growing trend that will see learning being put under more scrutiny than before as executives look for ways to cut costs and streamline processes.

On the contrary, we know that learning has the ability to drive business performance, for example with reskilling and upskilling efforts.

For that reason, digital learning that allows for easy performance support will now become more important than ever.