Written by:

Holly Macdonald


January 1, 2024

What are the latest trends in training for 2024?  In recent years, we have used the New Year as a Spark to predict the upcoming training trends for the coming year.  This year, we discuss the five hottest trends in training for 2024 and suggest easy ways you or your organization can take advantage of the current trends in training and development.

The Trends In Training Last Year

Before we speculate on the latest trends in training for the upcoming year, let’s quickly review the elearning trends we predicted for 2023.  As you can see below, we hit the jackpot with two of our predictions, and two others were also strong training trends in 2023.  While one was perhaps diluted a little by the impact of AI – more on that later…..

Training Trends 2023 – #1 AI Growth ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

We predicted that AI (artificial intelligence) would make more substantial inroads in its application to training.  That started to take root with AI tools becoming more mainstream, including their learning applications.  SPOILER ALERT – But this was only the start.  Wait till 2024 and see the current trends in training and development below and how significantly they will impact you.

Training Trends 2023 – #2 Diversity, Inclusion + Reconciliation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

As predicted in the top elearning trends for 2023, Diversity, Inclusion + Reconciliation topics were at the forefront of trends in training.

Training Trends 2023 – #3 Use of Narrative + Story Telling ⭐

While narrative + storytelling grew, they didn’t become the strongest trend in 2023.  Perhaps that had something to do with the emergence of AI.   While it can’t make up for the thousands of years of practice humankind has in narrative and storytelling, it is having a significant impact on training (see more below).

Training Trends 2023 – #4 Outsourcing Customer Education Development ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Customer education faced a challenging and somewhat chaotic 2022; as predicted, the trend of outsourcing in this area grew.  Business process outsourcing will increase by over 9% annually between now and 2030.  The financial services, IT, and telecommunications industries will be the most significant drivers behind that growth, and outsourcing customer education continued in 2023.

Training Trends 2023 – #5 Embracing An Instructional Product Approach ⭐⭐

We predicted that taking an instructional product approach would be one of the slow-burner trends in training for 2023.  And it was a slow burner!  But as an advocate of combining instructional design and product design to create superior training products, we’re keen advocates and looking forward to this trend in training continuing in the coming years.

graphic of instructional and product design

The 5 Latest Trends In Training For 2024

So, after a couple of home runs with last year’s predictions and two other strong current trends in training and development, what awaits us in 2024?  In reverse order…..

Graphic of the top 5 current trends in training and development

The Top 5 Current Trends In Training And Development

#5 – Behavior Change Over Content Delivery

At Spark + Co., we’re strong advocates of ensuring your training results in changes in behavior.  Otherwise, why bother with the effort and expense?  So, our desire to see an increased focus on creating changes in behavior over solely delivering content may be overemphasizing this as one of the latest trends in training in 2024.  But over the long term, we feel confident that instructional designers will emphasize techniques that encourage behavior change over just having slick-looking content.

What You Can Do

To create behavior change, you need to understand what causes people to change their behavior.  One model referenced in over 1000 academic publications is the Fogg Behavior Model.  It shows that three elements must converge simultaneously for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and a Prompt.  When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.

Using this model, what was once a fuzzy mass of psychological theories now becomes organized and actionable.  So, how can you take advantage of one of the latest trends in training, ensuring behavior change is at the forefront of your course?

  • If you are designing your own training, use the resources below to educate yourself about how to change behavior and what to include in your training
  • If you have internal staff that design your training, ensure they are knowledgeable about the Fogg Behavior Model and the current trends in training and development to ensure behavior change is a top priority
  • If you hire outside instructional designers or an agency, ask them how they ensure they focus on behavior change training trends as part of the selection process for your project. Also, ask them what models they use in creating their training

Additional Resources

#4 – The Creator Educator Boom

In recent years, there has been an explosion of creator entertainers, particularly due to TikTok.  Popular social media stars such as Addison Rae (89M followers and 6B likes), Charli D’Amelio (more than 150M followers and 12B likes), and Khabane Lame (162M followers, 2.5B likes) are producing content and entertaining hundreds of millions of people.

Number 4 in our latest trends in training for 2024 is the boom in creator educators.  Creator educators design educational content, using their expertise to teach others.  Like other types of creators, creator educators usually hone in on a single niche or area of expertise.  A great example of one of the current trends in training and development is Ali Abdaal.  Formerly a doctor, Ali Abdaal, used to create educational content to help med school students ace their exams and supercharge their studies.  Today, he’s helping people of all kinds boost their productivity by sharing evidence-based strategies, literature, and tools.  Want to find your passion, build your dream career, or get more done?  Ali and his inspiring content have got you covered.

Ali’s revenue streams reputedly earned him $4.6 million in 2022.  With over 5M subscribers on YouTube alone, Ali is at the forefront of the creator educator training trends.

The recent success of Ali and others will see many more people looking to enhance their content with education.  It will likely also increase consumer tools in online learning as training gets productized.  While this will lead to a massive increase in content, not all will necessarily be good content.  But it might result in more ‘learner-centered’ content.  And although popularity doesn’t necessarily equate with instructional value to the audience, the entertainment value might be high.  If you copy an influencer or focus your content around consumer tools, you might create something novel or exciting, but ensure it is instructionally sound.

As well, influencers can also help savvy creator educators set themselves apart.  If you can combine the best of learner-centered approaches and your content has high instructional integrity (e.g., Khan Academy), then this could lead to a revolution in online learning.  And develop into one of the most prominent training trends in the coming years.

What You Can Do

Suppose you’re considering a new training course to sell or one targeted at an external audience (e.g., a Government Agency or Non-Profit looking to educate the public).  In that case, you can gain valuable insights from current trends in training and development related to creator educators.  Doing some research can help you determine your topic’s interest level and could provide some great ideas for how to present and market your content.  As well as ideas of what not to do.  You might find an untapped market or a novel perspective for your training.

For those in the non-profit space, it might also provide you with a potential revenue stream that could help reduce your reliance on grants.  It might also help you reach a broader audience.  And it can help you with the goal of behavior change, too!

Many platforms or pundits in this area will tell you to focus on your expertise, but you must go beyond that.  Ensure you define your audience and go beyond basic demographics.  It’s not about you and your expertise.  It’s about how you can help your audience solve a problem or otherwise get value from your instructional product.

Also, be curious.  Check out the latest trends in training in ways creator educators are packaging and sharing educational content or building instructional products.  Just because you share it on TikTok doesn’t mean it’s not quality instruction.  One of the best aspects of these platforms is the ability to reach audiences directly and personally.  Are there techniques you can emulate?  Are there ways you can do something similar and improve the learnability?

#3 Of The Latest Trends In Training – An Increased Focus On Learning Science

With the increased amount of generic content creation, learners and organizations creating training will want to ensure the content is legitimate.  And that you present it in an instructionally sound way.  Current trends in training and development in 2024 will include a focus on learning science.  Designers must be extra vigilant about how they package content to maximize learning.  For example, humans learn best when there’s context to the content.  It might be through narrative approaches or storytelling.  So, a concrete challenge posed at the beginning of a lesson helps the participant understand what you’re learning in real-world terms.

The increase in available content (perhaps created using AI, see below) will necessitate that organizations differentiate their training based on its authenticity and accuracy.  While also incorporating learning science in their presentation of the content.  Instructional designers will increasingly need to focus on being current and able to design training using the latest learning science.

A significant part of this process is debunking popular learning myths that regularly appear in human and AI-generated blog posts, such as ‘learning styles’ and ‘right and left brain learners.’  Again ensure you’re up to date with the latest trends in training and trends in eLearning.

What You Can Do

One way to differentiate yourself from the generic content is to develop customized training and an authentic, high-quality product.  Ensure your content is reputable and presented so that the intended audience isn’t simply entertained but learns and can apply it.  For creator educators, this can also be a fantastic way to convey value to your audience.  It also adds to your credibility as you apply learning science to the core of your niche expertise.

Ensure you educate instructional designers in your organization on the latest trends in training in learning science.  And if you hire an external company to help design your training, ask them about the learning science they apply in creating their training.

If you train people in a workplace, you must be extra vigilant.  There’s only limited, legitimate research on workplace learning.  But a good place to start is The Science Of Workplace Instruction by Clark N Quinn.

Additional Resources

#2        Accessible And Inclusive Training

One of the current trends in training and development in recent years has been accessibility.  It even featured in 2022 as #5 on our elearning trends.  But while progress has been steady in recent years, it’s now close to a tipping point where accessibility in training, particularly online training, will be the norm.  Expectations and tools are increasing, and legal requirements to make learning accessible and inclusive are becoming commonplace.

While there’s been an emphasis on ensuring it’s “compliant,” a more robust approach is to design training from an inclusive point of view.  Increasing expectations from learners, regulators, and society will make accessibility and inclusion of training design one of the top training trends 2024.

One challenge that instructional designers have to overcome is that accessibility has been treated by some as a trade-off with novel or creative design.  But that is an excuse no longer as accessibility laws, expectations, and tools are all increasing.

What You Can Do

There’s only one thing to do: embrace the wave of accessibility and inclusion in your training design.

An excellent first step to ensure you are keeping up with current trends in training and development is to review courses you’ve designed and developed from an accessibility perspective.  Try navigating only using the keyboard and note where it gets frustrating or confusing.  Then, turn off the narration and consider whether you can still get the same learning experience without it.  You could then turn your monitor brightness down to the point where you can barely see what’s on-screen.  Are there audio instructions that enable you to still learn from this course?  Or you could have a group of testers with accessibility needs review your course and give feedback.

Secondly, take a few courses you’ve developed that aren’t accessible and inclusive and reimagine them to make them more inclusive.  Be on the lookout for helpful training, such as How to Make Existing E-Learning Courses Accessible, so that you can keep up with accessible training trends and trends in eLearning.

Additional Resources

#1 – AI The Leader Of Current Trends In Training And Development For 2024

In 2023, experts say the AI market grew 38% and will grow at high levels over the next decade or more and that generative AI will go mainstream in 2024.  But what is its impact on training trends?

While there are concerns over accuracy in using AI and ethical and privacy issues, AI will, without doubt, impact training.  Already we’ve seen AI make it faster and more efficient to develop on-demand elearning, making it one of the top trends in elearning.  For example, many text-to-video tools exist, including Videate, Syntehsia, Castofly, and even Articulate AI.  Each uses AI to create a version of your voice.  For example, with Descript, you can create a realistic AI voice clone.  These are currently on the bleeding edge of training trends.  But there’s much more to come in 2024, making AI top of the latest trends in training.

For example, you can create custom illustrations and motion graphics or animations with AI.  Other exciting ideas showing the importance of AI trends in training are

  • Include a Personalized AI Coach – Make your own GPT training coach and embed it into your course.
  • Build your own chatbot, like a workplace learning assistant. Poe is a tool to create a chatbot.
  • Incorporate an AI-powered notetaking app into your training course, such as NotebookLM.
  • One of the AI current trends in training and development is creating a lot more data. That will increase data analysis, generating predictive data, performance data, and customized reporting.
  • Enhance your learning or content creation by using a tool such as Quench AI. Instead of searching online for videos or learning content, it has indexed billions of educational videos to bring you only the most pertinent content.
  • You can also embed a GPT coach into an Articulate Storyline course.

Imagine integrating AI and virtual reality – how the training field will change!  Those training scenarios and simulations will get a lot more interesting.  That’s one of the exciting AI trends in training for the (near) future.

What You Can Do

The first and, perhaps, most important thing to do is to get educated and stay abreast of a seismic shift in the current trends in training and development.  AI will have impacts now and for years on training across the board and in ways we can’t yet imagine.  If you’re a creator educator, the head of training and development, an instructional designer, the CEO of a company that trains employees, the public, or customers, or if you’re an agency that creates training for others, this equally applies to you.  Pay attention to AI.

Secondly, to stay on top of the latest trends in training, ensure you have someone who’s your go-to AI person.  It could be an internal staff member, a consultant, or an expert training agency on the leading edge of training trends.  Look for ways to incorporate AI into your training gradually.  Don’t try to be on the bleeding edge, as there are too many risks, but cautiously incorporate AI into your training.

If you have an internal learning and development team, consider the current and future impacts of the latest trends in training and the exponential growth of AI on them.  They’ll increasingly face pressure around the speed of production of training compared to others.  At the same time, some organizations will use AI to cut costs and perhaps outsource a more significant part of their training function.  But if you go the cost-cutting route, our advice would be to consider how your training and development team could use AI as an assistant, not as a replacement for training design and delivery.  Most internal training is compliance-orientated and is often risk-averse and boring.  Can you offload some or all of your compliance training to AI and spend more time on custom training courses?  Custom training can differentiate you, have a larger impact, and have more significant outcomes while allowing you to innovate with technology.

Another consideration when incorporating AI into your training is governance-level issues.  Do you need to develop a policy around the use of AI?  Do you need to consider privacy issues or whether to evaluate the ethics of using AI?

AI latest training trends button for a conversation

Additional Resources

Final Thoughts –The Latest Trends In Training For 2024

Our latest trends in training for 2024 cover the growing influence of behavior change, the creator educator boom, learning science, and accessibility and inclusion.  However, by far, the largest of the current trends in training and development for 2024 and the future is the impact of AI.

While AI on its own is going to be the biggest of all the training trends for years to come, each of the four other top trends will be enhanced by AI.  For example, how can AI apps help with delivering on Accessibility and Inclusion?  And the impact of AI on creator educators could be even more pronounced.  Will we see AI focused on helping build behavior change through personalized nudging?  This will increase their impact but more significantly leverage the growth and impact of AI in these and innumerable other areas.

Staying informed on all these current trends in training and development in the coming years will be essential to maintaining relevance in the training world.  And with the suggestions and resources we’ve provided, you can now take advantage of these latest trends in training for the upcoming year.

Spark + Co has worked with over 80 clients since 2007, providing custom training courses. We help businesses, non-profits, and government agencies to achieve their training and organizational goals.  Keeping on top of training trends is our business.  It’s what we do, and we’re ready to help. Book an initial consultation now, send us an email, or find out more from our website.