Written by:

Holly Macdonald


December 5, 2021

What are the eLearning trends emerging for 2023?  Last year we made five bold predictions for trends in eLearning for 2022.  Find out how we did with them.  But more importantly, see the new and unusual online training trends predicted for 2023.

Elearning Trends We Predicted For 2022

Last year we made five predictions for eLearning trends for 2022.  First, we examine how we fared in our predictions before we get to those for 2023.

#1 Elearning Trend 2022 – The Future Will Be Hybrid

What we said over a year ago:

“This is one of the eLearning trends where there’s no going back.  Elearning is here to stay in one form or another.  There are many studies and statistics that show the effectiveness and efficacy of online learning.  But there will be some parts that will benefit from in-person interaction.  So, one of the trends for 2022 will be an increase in hybrid or blended learning.”

Hybrid learning was one of the strongest eLearning trends in 2022.  For organizations who thought: “We’ll make do with zoom versions of our workshops.  And when the pandemic is over, we can go back to in-person delivery.” They were in for a shock.  Rather than switching back to in-person delivery, organizations added in-person modules to the courses where they needed them.  As most organizations quickly understood the cost savings, convenience and power of online learning, and the expectations of learners and employees.

In 2022 hybrid learning became more structured and resourced appropriately.   With facilitators who now support in-person and online events, the experience is effective for both audiences.  Numerous examples now exist that help support hybrid learning, none better than Cindy Huggett’s “Facilitators Guide To Immersive, Blended and Hybrid Learning.”

“90% of corporations now use elearning compared to just 4% in 1995.”

#2 Elearning Trends 2022 –  One-Way Virtual Sessions Aren’t Enough

What we predicted over a year ago

“Expectation levels are rising for a quality online learning experience.  And they should.  Lecturing a group of people for 30+ mins, with muted mics and no interaction, will become passe at best.  Elearning trends for 2022 will include an increasing expectation for interactivity…”

As anyone in the training world will tell you, expectations for quality online learning continued to rise throughout 2022.  And it will increase further in the coming year as well.  Learners will demand high-quality interactive education.  So, instructors will increasingly need to improve their expertise in conducting live virtual training sessions.  An example of this in 2022 was the rise in programs offering cohort-based learning options.

#3 Elearning Trends 2022 – Synchronous Isn’t Scalable

What we predicted over a year ago

“… synchronous learning alone is not scalable.  And 2022 will begin to prove this.  Organizations have more live webinars and other forms of learning that occur simultaneously for all participants.  And they will start to reach breaking point.  They will soon be short of instructors and unable to meet their training demands.  And learners will gravitate to asynchronous options.  Because they better meet their lifestyles and schedules.”

In 2022 there was massive growth in on-demand training due to two forceful trends in elearning.  First, organizations had challenges meeting training demands solely with live webinars.  Second, learners prefer asynchronous (self-paced elearning) options because of the improved convenience for their lifestyle.  We expect on-demand training options to grow further in 2023 but at a slightly reduced pace.

#4 Elearning Trends 2022 – No Code Tools Become Mainstream

What we predicted over a year ago

“No code tools let you use a graphical interface to create the things you want.  But without having to use any programming skills or knowledge.  They have been around for a while and are becoming more common.  And there are lots of good ones to save you time and effort.  They’ll also enable you to develop content and media to enhance online learning.  However, it will also improve the user experience.”

We predicted that one of the elearning trends in 2002 was that no code tools would increase significantly.  And they did.  While they have been around for a few years, they became much more common in 2022.  And will continue to gain ground in 2023 as more emerge and as they expand their influence.  Examples to explore include CANDU, BubbleNotionGlide, Thunkable, Zapier, and Landbot.

Zapier AI - trends in elearning

#5 Elearning Trends 2022 –  Accessible Training

What we predicted over a year ago

“Until recently, many organizations thought training only needed to be accessible for most learners.  But online learning changes all that.  Learning is available to many more people but must be accessible to all.  Increasingly if your learning isn’t accessible to everyone, it’ll be your reputation that takes a hit.  Consideration and adaption of your training for visual, hearing, and motor impairments, as well as cognitive differences, is required.  And will soon become table stakes for those hoping to enter the training and education field.  And creating accessible learning materials requires knowledge and expertise.”

Accessibility will be one of the future trends in elearning over the next few years.  In 2022, more jurisdictions mandated accessibility requirements, and the trend increased.  Unfortunately, it’s still not mainstream for most organizations.  At least not yet.

Four accessibility resources are

New Elearning Trends 2023

Having done well predicting some of the top elearning trends last year, what are the elearning trends for 2023?

“eLearning is changing.  And, we will see new models, new technologies, and designs emerge.  So, let’s drop the “e” – or at least give it a new and wider definition.” — Elliot Masie

#1 – Elearning Trends 2023 – AI Growth

While AI (artificial intelligence) has been gradually increasing in recent years, we see it making more substantial inroads in its application to elearning in 2023.  AI tools will become more mainstream, and one of the elearning trends for 2023 will see AI tools generating much more content.

In 2023 instructional designers will increasingly use AI tools to generate content, audio, and video for online learning.  These tools will make content generation more accessible for non-experts.  However, they will still necessitate that designers plan and create instructionally sound materials.

Some AI tools that will receive more mainstream use in 2023 are Descript, ChatGPT, Videate, and Synthesia

“Corporate elearning is estimated to grow more than 250 percent by the year 2026.”

#2 – Elearning Trends 2023 – Diversity, Inclusion + Reconciliation

One of the significant trends in elearning in 2023 will be the growth in training on diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation.  These are now essential strategies for organizations, and one of the first steps to take is wide-scale training.  Expect these topics to be at the forefront of trends in elearning for 2023.

#3 – Elearning Trends 2023 – Use of Narrative + Story Telling

For thousands of years, humankind has learned through narrative and storytelling.  Finally, this is increasing with online learning and will be one of the growth trends in elearning in the coming years.  An excellent resource for producing great storytelling in video drama for elearning is Tom Hickmore’s book, “Watch & Learn.”  Narrative can come in many forms: audio, comic books, case studies, animation, video immersive VR and more.   Other useful resources include

 #4 – Elearning Trends 2023 – Outsourcing Customer Education Development

Customer education faced a challenging and somewhat chaotic 2022.  Some organizations significantly reduced their customer education team size, while others continued to grow.  Some B2B software as a service (SaaS) organizations have been experimenting by combining their marketing and customer education teams.  Others decided to train sales personnel with a renewed emphasis on product adoption.

It has also led to outsourcing training development to specialist online training developers.  And especially to companies providing a range of expertise for a fraction of the cost of an in-house team.  In 2023 this is one of the trends in elearning that we expect to grow further.   Organizations looking to develop customer education will reduce hiring individual contractors when they can hire an agency with a suite of expertise to bring to their training projects.

“One of the largest trends in elearning in the next decade will be the switch to an instructional product approach to creating online training.”

Holly MacDonald, CEO Spark + Co.

#5 – Elearning Trends 2023 – Embracing An Instructional Product Approach

Taking an instructional product approach is a slow burner trend for 2023.  However, we predict it’ll become one of the hot elearning trends in the next few years.  Traditionally elearning developers viewed projects from only an instructional design perspective.  But the leading custom training and development companies are taking an instructional product approach.  They combine instructional and product design to create a superior training product.  It will be one of the growing elearning trends over the next decade.  More organizations will view their training as a product requiring more than simply designing the instructional content.  For example, what about market research, positioning, pricing/packaging, and associated support for your online courses?

elearning trends - instructional product approach

Final Thoughts –Trends In Elearning For 2023

The five elearning trends we predicted for 2022 were all areas that grew strongly last year.  While those areas will continue to develop further, we’ve identified five new trends in elearning for 2023.  Our clients will be ahead of these trends for 2023 and beyond.  What about your organization?