Learning Trends to Fully Embrace in 2021

COVID-19 fundamentally altered the learning landscape in 2020. Organizations typically had to adopt a work-from-home model with little notice, causing them to focus heavily on simply maintaining typical operations. As a result, training initially became an afterthought, as there were more pressing matters.

Today, COVID-19 is still an issue. However, much of the changes that were first necessary now feel commonplace. As a result, organizations are expressing a new interest in workforce development, ensuring they can upskill their teams to fill skill gaps and otherwise achieve training-oriented goals.

For 2021, the narrative created in 2020 is playing a big role in learning trends. Many of the trends are specifically aimed at overcoming the challenges created by COVID-19, as well as how to achieve stellar results during this “new normal.” By embracing the right trends, you can position your organization to thrive. If you aren’t sure which ones deserve your attention, here are a few that are worth embracing.

The Top Three Learning Trends to Embrace in 2021

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to optimize the learning experience. When properly implemented, AI solutions can play a significant role in the personalization of training. For example, the system can assess a learner’s current knowledge level, identifying strengths and weaknesses. It can then cultivate a customized training program, ensuring more time is spent in areas where improvement is needed and less is wasted on topics the learner already knows well.

AI can also be used to curate course recommendations. The approach is similar to what you see in e-commerce stores and video streaming services. The system is able to use information about a learner’s engagement, preferences, and success rates to determine which courses may be of the highest interest or most beneficial, ensuring those are actively promoted over classes that may not be as useful.


The classic approach of presenting a lengthy course covering several topics in a single sitting doesn’t align with most learners’ schedules. Additionally, a drawn-out class isn’t typically ideal for engagement. First, it doesn’t provide many opportunities for learners to absorb what they learn before moving on to the next topic. Second, the course’s sheer length can be an issue, as maintaining focus for a long period isn’t always a reasonable ask.

With microlearning, the traditional paradigm is abandoned. Larger concepts are broken up into bite-sized chunks, allowing each topic to be covered independently in a short period. The shorter duration means it is easier to fit learning into even the most hectic schedules. Plus, since there’s a break between each microlearning module, it allows students to pause, giving them a chance to absorb what they’ve learned, take a brief rest, or even revisit the subject if they feel they need more instruction.

Social Learning

Social learning is an approach that encourages collaboration. Learners who are exploring the same topics have a set platform that allows them to engage with one another. They can seek support from other learners if they struggle with a concept or share their knowledge with someone who is seeking input. Not only does this create a supportive environment, but it can also encourage creative thinking, deeper exploration, and even innovation.

Are You Ready to Embrace 2021’s Learning Trends?

If you need support from L&D experts to fully embrace the 2021 learning trends, Clarity Consultants is here. Clarity has more than a quarter of a century of experience in the L&D field, giving you access to experts how can guide you as you update your training approach. Plus, the Clarity team can serve as candidate search allies, ensuring you can quickly secure the talent you need.

If you need standout L&D professionals who can help you achieve your learning goals, Clarity Consultants wants to hear from you. Contact us today.

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