Redefining Learning: Instructional Design Trends that Matured in 2021

Thomas Bril
L&D Specialist
Redefining Learning: Instructional Design Trends that Matured in 2021

Imagine, five years ago, a world in which Learning and Development wasn’t just about checking boxes and fulfilling basic requirements. Fast forward to today, and the maturation of instructional design trends in 2021 has surpassed those humble beginnings. It’s now about creating engaging, immersive, and personalized learning experiences that drive performance and align with the unique goals of an organization. So, what has changed?

In this article, we’ll explore the instructional design trends that have finally matured in 2021, providing Fortune 500 companies with more sophisticated and effective learning solutions than ever before. Let’s dive in.

1. Microlearning

Microlearning has evolved from a buzzword to a staple in the eLearning industry. This trend focuses on delivering short, targeted, and easily digestible content to learners. With attention spans dwindling and the need for flexibility increasing, microlearning has become an essential component of modern instructional design.

“We’ve seen a significant shift in our learning programs, moving from large-scale training events to shorter, on-demand microlearning modules. This has allowed our employees to learn at their own pace and apply their new knowledge immediately,” shares a Learning and Development professional from a Fortune 500 company.

2. Gamification

2021 has seen gamification rise to the top in instructional design, as organizations leverage game elements to make learning more engaging and fun. Gamification appeals to our competitive nature, rewards progress, and encourages continued learning. This instructional design trend not only improves learner motivation but also enhances knowledge retention.

Another L&D professional explains, “Integrating gamification into our training programs has resulted in higher engagement levels and better performance. Our employees enjoy the challenge and appreciate the recognition for their achievements.”

3. Personalized Learning Experiences

Personalization is another instructional design trend that has matured in 2021. As organizations recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for every learner, they’ve begun to customize learning experiences based on individual needs, preferences, and roles.

This approach not only demonstrates a deep understanding of the learner but also increases engagement and drives better learning outcomes. A tailored learning experience caters to different learning styles, allowing learners to build on their strengths and address their weaknesses.

4. Immersive Technologies

Virtual Reality ( VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have made significant strides in the world of instructional design. These immersive technologies create interactive and lifelike experiences that help learners gain practical skills in a safe and controlled environment.

“Incorporating VR and AR into our training programs has been a game-changer. Our employees can practice real-world scenarios without the risk, leading to improved confidence and competence on the job,” shares an L&D leader.

Learnexus: Connecting You to the Future of Learning

As the instructional design landscape continues to evolve, Learnexus is here to help you stay ahead. We connect managers at companies like yours to top-notch freelancers with highly specific skills and experience in Learning and Development, offering a 47% cost saving and eliminating procurement issues with a single master services agreement.

With our easy-to-use platform, you can quickly find and hire the right talent to create engaging, innovative, and personalized training programs that drive results. Partner with Learnexus and harness the power of these maturing instructional design trends in 2021 and beyond.