L&D Industry Trends to Watch

Summer is just around the corner and while most are planning vacations, Evolve is busy thinking about Industry Trends. Fresh off ATD22, our summer reading and research will be laser focused on how we can make the most of available technology, tools, and platforms to improve the learner experience and increase engagement.

For a recap on conference sessions, logistics, and all things ATD22 – check out Tristia Hennessey’s Conference Recap.


One of Evolve’s primary reasons for attending conferences like ATD22 is to see and experience the latest in technology, tools, platforms and methodologies. This year did not disappoint and we can’t wait to dig in and work with our clients and partners to incorporate the latest and greatest into learning, development, talent and performance management, organizational development, and corporate training.

Ready to get started on incorporating the latest trends into your Learning & Development initiatives?  Schedule time today and we can help!!

1 – Adaptive & Immersive Learning – Learning at the point of need

Even though we are slowly coming back to a “new normal” for how and where we work, the landscape has changed significantly. We have office, remote, and hybrid environments, our mobile devices are an informational lifeline, our days are busier than ever, and taking time out to “learn” isn’t always an option. The technology and tools for adaptive, immersive and point of need learning is here and is the trend to watch.

Now is the time to bring learning to the learners, in a modality that works for them and at the point of need, in the flow of work, and just-in-time.

Adaptive learning is a customized learning experience that utilizes multi-modal content, learning paths, scenarios, resources, and feedback to meet the varied needs of your organization. We now have more tools and technology than ever to create and implement adaptive learning so that learners are engaged in the content and see it in context during the course of work. Adaptive learning can be applied to everything from task based skills (construction, maintenance, manufacturing, customer service) to soft skills and leadership development and everything in between.
Adaptive tools we are excited about: snippets of learning and communications integrated into common business applications and text or mobile app based learning and development.

Immersive learning utilizes virtual environments to immerse the learner in situations and scenarios. These virtual environments can be real or hypothetical situations that build the learners experience, exposure, and fluency in real-time while collaborating and ideating with their peers. Immersive learning and use of virtual environments are no longer the stuff of future technology. Tools, platforms, and the equipment make implementing immersive learning a reality for organizations of every size and type.

Immersive tools we are excited about: turn-key XR solutions with customized content, incorporating virtual environments into a blended learning experience, training delivered in the metaverse.

2 – Gamification & Simulation – Task based skill development

Gamification & Simulation have been around for years, but the effective utilization is starting to hit its stride. With the latest versions of common rapid elearning development tools and platforms, gamification and simulation is a practical modality now available for all.

Gamification in learning environments now goes beyond simple rewards and badging for completing an elearning module. Robust elearning gamification is now being built into learning experiences to build fluency and understanding of repetitive tasks, complex recipes, customer service, communication, problem solving, and leadership development. We saw the most excitement from those in food service, hospitality, automotive, manufacturing, and healthcare industries that see elearning gamification as a safe and cost effective environment for employee onboarding and remediation.

Simulations in learning environments are not new but how and when they are being used is is a trend to watch. Simulating software, web applications, or equipment controls with just-in-time content, context, and applicable tasks is quickly growing in popularity for elearning experiences. Organizations across industries have already been using simulations for software and application training but now we see them as yet one of many options, modalities, and resources available to learners as they build their skills in a customized and adaptive learning experience.

Check out our new Gamification & Simulation eBook here!

3 – Focus on Organization Change & Learning

The practice and management of organizational change has been around for decades but now we are seeing a trend in the industry that change needs to be thought about and managed in a very different way.  Organizations are faced with unprecedented and constant change and organizational challenges, hybrid environments, and exponential growth – all while trying to scale, shift, and adapt. The conversation has shifted from just managing through change to a more integrated approach: change and learning. In order to adapt, grow, scale, and shift in our global economy, we need to effectively integrate organizational change principles into our organizational initiatives. In order for a change to be successful, we need to be thinking about building skillsets (learning & development) and changing mindsets (change).

4 – Learning Experience – Personalization, customization, and choose your own adventure/modality

Back in the “old days” of learning & development, personalization was a difficult and complex endeavor. It was tough to get customized content ready in time for product or initiative launch, let alone customize and personalize it for difference audience groups. Times and technology have changed and evolved and we have the tools, platforms, technology, AI, and software to highly customize and personalize the learning experience. LMS and LXP platforms build this into workflows, profiles, and learning paths with just a few clicks. AI and technology create learning environments can generate recommendations and suggested resources based on your activities and interactions. Content and information can be developed and delivered in multiple formats and modalities to let the learner choose how they engage and consume the information.

5 – Beyond the LMS and LXP – Integrating technology for a seamless learner experience

There are quite a few LMS and LXP platforms, and we saw about 15 of them at ATD22. While the platforms are not new nor trending, what organizations need from them and what they are doing outside of the LMS/LXP is a trend to watch and consider. LMS/LXP platforms are the foundation for your delivery and management of blended learning across your organization and depending on your platform, they may have collaboration, interactions, community, gamification, and badging that create an engaging learning experience. But now we must think beyond the platforms and looks at what is best for the learner and how to create that truly customized and personalized experience that meets the learner at point of need and in a multi-modal format. Many of the conversations we had at the conference were about extending or going beyond the LMS/LXP platform to:

  • Integrate with other systems, tools, and technology
  • Create customized learning paths outside of the platforms with curated content.
  • Curating from multiple sources.
  • Mechanisms for delivering simple and accessible (inside and outside the organization) learning content, knowledge management, best practices, resources, videos, and product information.

Ready to get started on incorporating the latest trends into your Learning & Development initiatives?  Schedule time today and we can help!!