eLearning Trendsetters Everyone Should Know About

eLearning is an ever-changing landscape thanks to constantly evolving tech, teaching methodologies, and pedagogical breakthroughs. This makes it challenging to keep up with the latest and greatest industry news. Fortunately, there are eLearning trailblazers who make it their mission to help us stay in the know and find the best approach for eLearning development. So, we’d like to take this opportunity to shine the spotlight on these thought leaders and thank them for their contributions to the world of learning. In no particular order, here are 30 eLearning pioneers who stay one step ahead of the trends and enlighten us with their insider expertise every day.

Jerry Zandstra

Dr. Zandstra is the chief strategy officer of MindSpring and holds two Master’s degrees and two doctorates. He has taught economics at the MBA level for 10+ years, been a director at a think tank on economics and public policy, and has been part of the leadership team of MindSpring since its inception in 2011.

Asha Pandey

Asha Pandey is the chief learning strategist at EI Design. She brings her rich 18 years’ experience into play to help EI Design customers transform their learning, maximize training ROI, and keep pace with the changing dynamics in the learning industry. 

Ajay Pangarkar, CTDP, FCPA, FCMA

Ajay Pangarkar CTDP, FCPA, FCMA, is an award-winning workplace author (The Trainer’s Balanced Scorecard), performance strategist, and president of CentralKnowledge. His research and insights into performance at the level of the team and individual, as well as on workplace innovation through people, are breaking boundaries and leading to new streams of thought.

Arturo Schwartzberg

Arturo Schwartzberg is a strategic thinker and entrepreneur with a lifelong passion for creating relationships based upon mutual respect and support, adding up to environments, or cultures, where humans can thrive. He is the co-founder, chairman, and CFO of SweetRush Inc.

Zsolt Olah

Zsolt Olah is a manager in Digital Learning and Experience at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Previously, he worked as a creative learning consultant at Kineo. Zsolt has over 15 years of Learning and Development (L&D) experience. He is a frequent speaker at learning conferences on the intersection of digital learning, engagement, and game thinking for L&D.

Vince Han

Vince Han is the founder and CEO of Mobile Coach, a leading enterprise SaaS platform for designing, deploying, and managing chatbots. He holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and is an industry thought leader for learning and learning technology with an emphasis on Artificial Intelligence and chatbot technology. He has founded several successful technology companies and is a frequent speaker at conferences such as Training Conference, DevLearn, Learning Solutions, Masie’s Learning Conference, ATD ICE, and ATD Techknowledge.

Patti Shank

Patti Shank Ph.D. is listed as one of the top 10 most influential people in eLearning internationally. She has written numerous books and her articles are found all over the internet. Having a strong business background and a long experience as a trainer, Patti Shank applies learning and related sciences to improve results from instruction and performance interventions.

Stephanie Ivec

Stephanie Ivec is your source for eLearning news and tips. You’ll spot her on the eLearning Brothers blog, and here on eLearning Industry. She believes in engaging learners and making enjoyable, effective online training. She is the content marketing manager at eLearning Brothers.

Victoria L. Rodgers

Victoria L. Rodgers has a longstanding experience of over two decades in business and learning development, culture transformation through DE&I, leadership coaching, and strategy consulting. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Strategic Management Information Systems and an MBA in Global Business Strategy from Cardinal Stritch University. She is also certified in energy leadership coaching and mindfulness meditation teaching. Currently, she is the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion strategy director at TiER1 Performance, working to establish the IDEA business practice, promote focus to identify systemic changes, and drive inclusive behaviors.

Dr. RK Prasad

Dr. RK Prasad founded CommLab India in 2000 and nurtured it from concept to commercial success. With 33 years of experience in corporate training, university teaching, and eLearning, RK is an engaging speaker and an effective trainer. He shares his experience with the L&D fraternity in seminars, webinars, and live workshops. He holds a PhD in Mobile Learning from Lancaster University, UK.

Dr. Stella Lee

For over 20 years, Dr. Stella Lee has worked with higher education, government, and private sectors to evaluate Learning Management Systems and implement projects, incorporating adaptive and personalized learning technologies for on-site and online learning. She is a sought-after consultant, writer, speaker, and researcher. Currently, Dr. Stella Lee is the technology columnist for the Training Industry Magazine, and Canada’s Startup Advisor. She holds a PhD in Computer Science with a focus on adaptive learning.

Patti P. Phillips

Patti P. Phillips is the chief executive officer of ROI Institure, Inc. She is a leader in measurement and evaluation and has helped organizations around the world implement the ROI methodology, as well as contributed to a variety of journals and authored books on the subject of measurement, evaluation, analytics, and ROI. She holds a PhD in International Development and a Master’s degree in Public and Private Management.

Nigel Paine

Nigel Paine is a renowned change-focused leader with a unique grasp of media, learning, and development in the public, private and academic sectors. In his 20 years of work in corporate learning, he has produced learning software, and award-winning multimedia material, as well as numerous articles and white papers on development, technology, and leadership. He speaks regularly at conferences around the world, teaches at prestigious universities, and presents a monthly TV program and a weekly podcast.

Mario Buljan

After more than 20 years of experience in various industries, Mario Buljan founded a training and development company. He had the privilege to develop content and train employees starting from frontline workers up to CEOs. He is the CEO and inspirational Dumbledore of eWyse.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor is on a mission to help organizations take their learning programs to the next level, incorporating research-based practices from marketing, learning, and technology. He organizes speeches and workshops and runs a blog where he talks about everything related to learning, design, and technology.

Suresh Kumar DN

Suresh Kumar DN is a learning professional with 17+ years of experience in strategizing and providing learning solutions for varied customer requirements. He works with several global customers to understand their learning and training needs and propose optimal learning solutions to enhance employees’ performance. He is the CEO of Tesseract Learning.

Michelle Ockers

Michelle Ockers is an organizational learning strategist and learning team capability builder as well as the founder of Learning Uncut. Using her expertise, she helps L&D professionals acquire new skills and shift their mindsets through engaging workshops and presentations. She is a strategist, mentor, facilitator, trainer, and speaker who believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to thrive and perform at their best.

Michael Allen

Dr. Michael Allen is the CEO of Allen Interactions Inc. and is considered the godfather of eLearning. He has over 45 years of professional, academic, and corporate experience in teaching, developing, and marketing interactive learning and performance support systems. He holds M.A and Ph.D. degrees in Educational Psychology from The Ohio State University and is an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.

Melissa Milloway

Melissa Milloway is a learning experience design manager with almost a decade of experience in the field of corporate learning. She specializes in the design and development of digital learning products using different technologies. She has published various articles reviewing new tools she’s testing, free resources, and sharing her experiences from the L&D field. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and a Masters’s in Instructional Technology from the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Matthew Richter

Matthew Richter is a facilitator, game designer, Instructional Designer, management consultant, and the president of the Thiagi Group. He specializes in the areas of management, leadership, motivation, and performance technology, and in the past 20 years has consulted and delivered training with numerous enterprises, startups, and NGOs. Apart from being a published author and sought-after public speaker, he is the co-founder and co-organizer of LDA (The Learning Development Accelerator), a professional membership group for professionals in the L&D field.

Laura Hoppa

Laura Hoppa is committed to helping organizations foster strong and trust-inspired relationships with their employees. Leveraging frequent and transparent communication she supports them in achieving their organizational goals, strengthening engagement, and driving performance. In addition, she is a creative writer who shares her innovative insights about employee engagement and performance, happiness in the workplace, and realizing potential.

Lakeshia Ekeigwe

Lakeshia Ekeigwe is an experienced international leadership development coach and consultant and the founder of LeaderThinking + Next Level Clarity Mastermind. She collaborates with senior executive leaders in law and business, helping them build strong relationships with their employees and resolve internal and external conflicts. She also writes original content that aims to help professionals overcome burnout and create fulfilling lives and careers.

Karl Kapp

Karl Kapp is the founder of the L&D Learning Academy, a LinkedIn Learning author, co-founder of Enterprise Game Stack, a TEDx speaker, and author of nine books on the convergence of learning, technology, and business. He helps people understand the convergence of learning, technology, games, and gamification through fun, laughter, and insight (all based on a healthy dose of evidence-based practices).

Julie Dirksen

Julie Dirksen is an independent consultant and Instructional Designer with more than 15 years of experience creating highly interactive eLearning experiences for clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies and technology startups to grant-funded research initiatives. She holds a Master’s in Instructional Systems Technology and has a long experience in topics like UX design, game-based learning, and behavior change.

Jos Arets

Jos Arets is the co-founder of the 702010 Institute and his passion is co-creating, with colleagues and clients, a new future for Learning and Development. He has an experience of over 30 years in the field of L&D and human performance improvement. He has written and continues to write books, articles, and blog posts focused on learning and performance, some of which are considered L&D classics.

John Hinchliffe

John Hinchliffe is the head of Talent at Jam Pana and the founder of the Global Learning and Development Community. Apart from being an internationally recognized award-winning digital learning expert, he brings over 13 years of experience in the industry. He has a proven record of connecting your digital learning needs with the right expert freelancers and agencies.

Hadiya Nuruddin

Hadiya Nuruddin is the owner and CEO of Duets Learning. She has a long experience in L&D and specializes in Instructional Design and development for corporate and academic environments. She also designs and develops eLearning courses. She is a Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) and is MBTI certified.

Dustin Shell

As director of Strategic Growth at TiER1, Dustin Shell empowers people and organizations to achieve great results. He is an advocate for building trusting relationships between employers and their teams which promote individual creativity. Currently, he specializes in team facilitation, experience design, and executive coaching and is a published author and presenter on a variety of topics related to people and performance.

Donald Clark

Donald Clark has been involved in the eLearning industry for more than 20 years. As a result, he has produced over 40 papers, dozens of book reviews and articles on eLearning, mobile learning, and informal learning. Currently, he teaches at the University of Derby and is the CEO of WildFire Learning.

Dani Johnson

Dani Johnson is the co-founder and principal analyst for RedThread Research. For many years she has been writing about, conducting research in, and consulting on, human capital practices and technology. She holds a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University.

Are You An eLearning Thought Leader Who Isn’t Featured On This List?

Would you like to be considered for our next eLearning Trailblazers List? Our Editorial team would love to hear from you, as we’ll publish more niche-specific thought leader lists in the near future, like EdTech Innovators and Presenters. We’d also like to invite you to guest post on our site to share your insider expertise and promote relevant content. For example, we have a new initiative to help authors spread the word about their new releases by publishing an extract on eLearning Industry. You can also download our guide to delve into submission tips and other essential info.

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