For everyone staring at the bottom of their coffee cup still wishing it was yesterday…..

Feeling a bit dusty today and the grim weather doing nothing to lighten your mood? With almost Russell Grant optimism (but without the cannon and yellow spacesuit) Unicorn’s Karenza Morton says you shouldn’t run home to hide under the duvet just yet as 2012 promises much to get excited about………

“Today may apparently officially be the most depressing day of the year, well according to the Daily Mail. But here at Unicorn Towers we’ve been feeling pretty sprightly this morning, give or take the odd residual hangover….

While the media maybe full of economic doom and gloom and what financial woes are heading the nation’s way this year, we’re actually pretty excited about what 2012 will bring with remote learning becoming an increasingly core part of industry/business training.

There is little doubt 2012 is going to be a massive year for mobile – or mlearning – and developers across the globe are fervently working to resolve some of the gremlins that have held mLearning back up until now, despite mobile technologies booming as they have done.

November’s DevLearn gave us an idea of how soon, and how effectively, we would be able to develop mobile-friendly courseware. It is something the learning industry is itching to get right and it certainly is now about ‘how’ not ‘whether’ or ‘when’ sophisticated mLearning is universally available.

Developing mobile content matching the quality of what can be delivered via a laptop isn’t as straightforward as simply having a good idea. Numerous technological hurdles remain, and for every hurdle overcome, new mobile and tablet developments present different learning delivery challenges. Flash integration is of course one key conundrum but there is definitely the feeling that big strides are being made and that presents exciting prospects.

And it’s not just mobile technologies that are evolving and making online learning more emotionally engaging and enjoyable, 2012 is set to be the year that gaming influences will become more and more apparent in learning content.

There are some fundamental principles that the gaming industry does brilliantly, not least graphically. And while we may never have the budgets nor, let’s be honest, the appeal to achieve 1,000,000 people simultaneously online trying to prove who knows the most about anti bribery and corruption little tricks of the gaming trade, like internal leaderboards, exploration, light humour and elements of surprise and risk, are easily done.

It has also been very pleasing to see and hear so much industry opinion about just how much ‘context’ is becoming a becoming an essential component of ‘good’ eLearning. We’ve been preaching this for years, firstly through our business simulation events and in the past couple of years through our eLearning courseware. Again evolving design, multimedia and delivery technologies have enabled us to get more and more creative with this.

And what will continue fuelling these evolving trends and demand for higher quality online learning solutions, whether better rapid development options or stunning, instructionally watertight bespoke courses?

The expanding growth in the use of technology in learning, and the growing demand for regulatory training and assessment in line with the financial industry demand for enhanced professionalism.

Yes, you may still be having cringeworthy flashbacks from New Year’s Eve, but who can’t force even the smallest January 3rd smile when there is this much to feel positive about?”

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