2013 has been a good year for the higher learning and education industry and general. Let’s take a look at the trends that will be shaping online training this year: 1. Rise in Competency-Based/Credit-based Learning With the Obama administration and stakeholders pressuring colleges to cut the time for a student to obtain a graduate degree, educational providers have been trying to find ways on how to do it. According to Sophie Quinton of The Atlantic, one of these ingenious ways is called “competency-based learning,” which basically is most effective when conducted online. Competency-based learning allows students to learn at their own pace, and move forward based on their performance, i.e. their test scores. Quinton cites the Western Governors’ University as a leading example of an institution offering competency-based learning. Quinton notes that students at the said University graduates two years early than their counterparts from other Universities. Quinton also noted a continued growth for credit-based learning this year. 2. More companies trying out MOOCs. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are courses that bring connected and collaborative learning to a whole new level. MOOCs impose no limits on participation and access online. One of the most distinctive characteristics of MOOCs is that it offers a user forum where anyone can provide real-time assistance to fellow students. What’s also great is that some website even offers career placement services for students aside from their career cultivation resources. “MOOCs have sparked realizations that learning experiences come in all shapes and sizes, and that course completion might not be the only end goal” said Ellen Wagner, executive director of WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, in her interview with Campus Technology. She explains further that the “hotness” of MOCCs nowadays depends more on the realization of training content creators and students’ that learning and engagement can take many forms. 3. Using training for employee retention. Laura DiFlorio and Kerrie Main of Nobscot Corporation said CEOs will be focusing more on using training for employee retention, in their article for the Business Legal Resource website. People are becoming more confident now in choosing jobs and shifting to other companies with better offers, considering that the economy has rebounded from its terrible crash. According to the two, CEOs have a high success rate with mentoring programs when retaining tenured employees and especially new ones. How? Mentoring programs have a way of easing employees’ transition into a new company environment.