A panorama of disruptive and emergent digital technologies usages for training purposes: Methodology

April 3, 2020

Azeneth Patino |


To conduct a panorama of the uses of disruptive and emergent technologies for training purposes, we examined the scientific and professional literature on the design, development, and implementation of research-informed or theory-based training programs involving emergent technologies as well as the development of technological solutions for training in higher education, health, banking, human resources, transportation, government, and private organizations.

Out of 1572 initially identified publications for the period between January 2019 and December 2019, 95 articles were included in the final synthesis based on explicit inclusion and exclusion criteria. 

The following research questions guided the literature review:

  • RQ1. What disruptive/emergent technologies do sectors such as health, banking, human resources, transportation, higher education, government, and private organizations use to train their people?
  • RQ2. How do sectors such as health, banking, human resources, transportation, higher education, government, and private organizations use these emergent technologies to train their people?


The purpose of this literature review was to identify the reported usages of disruptive and emerging technologies for training purposes in the following sectors: Higher education, health, banking, human resources, transportation, government, and private organizations. In order to do so, we followed the following steps:

  1. Define key concepts and search terms according to the purpose of the literature review, as per table 1.
  2. Perform a search in a series of scientific databases using search terms associated with three key concepts (i.e. domain, technology, and sector).
    • Due to a large amount of retrieved unrelated papers in previous search strings and to the wide scope of the research that aims to gather information in several sectors, the Boolean/Phrase type of search was chosen since its search operators permit to narrow the search and provide more relevant results.
    • The documents that were considered for the study include peer-reviewed articles, conceptual papers, reviews of literature and editorial articles in professional magazines published between January 2019 and December 2019.
    • The search string and criteria for this literature review included publications indexed in EBSCO Host listed databases Academic Search Premier, Education Source, ERIC, and Human Resources Abstracts.
  3. Refine the search string. The final search strategy shown in Table 1 was refined by focusing on retrieving documents with the search terms associated with the technology key concept in the title.
  4. Select publications per title according to inclusion criteria. By refining the search with concept 2 in the title, duplicates were removed and publications were selected based on the inclusion criteria.
  5. Select publications per abstract information. After duplicates were removed, abstracts were considered to select papers based on the following inclusion criteria:
    • Articles reported the use of disruptive/emerging technologies within the scope of training, learning, and development or professional development in the identified sectors.
    • Full-text was available. If a paper was unavailable via database searches, requests were sent directly to the authors.
    • Articles were written in English.
    • Articles had been published in 2019.
  6. Select publications per full-text according to inclusion and exclusion criteria. Once the full-texts were retrieved, articles were selected or excluded according to the previously mentioned inclusion criteria. Excluded articles at this phase presented one of the following characteristics:
    • Articles focused on elementary or high school rather than training and/or higher education.
    • Articles did not report the use of emergent technologies for training.
    • Articles reported the use of emergent or disruptive technologies for other uses rather than training.
    • Full-texts were not written in English.
    • Full-text was unavailable.
  7. Review publications for inclusion in the research report. Selected papers were retrieved from a search undertaken in late October 2019. The publication screening process is summarized in Table 2 and Figure 1.
Table 1
Table 2
Figure 1

To note, since the final draft of this report, 5 more full-text articles were sent to us by the authors. These articles were not included in the results section but are included in the references list.


This literature review aimed to examine the scientific and professional literature on emergent technology use for training in higher education, health, banking, human resources, transportation, government, and private organizations. Table 3 presents the panorama of emerging technologies used for training per sector.

Table 3


  1. Abrahim, S., Mir, B. A., Suhara, H., Mohamed, F. A., & Sato, M. (2019). Structural equation modeling and confirmatory factor analysis of social media use and education. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16(1), 32. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-019-0157-y
  2. Akçapınar, G., Altun, A., & Aşkar, P. (2019). Using learning analytics to develop early-warning system for at-risk students. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16(1), 40. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-019-0172-z
  3. Almeida, F., & Simoes, J. (2019). The Role of Serious Games, Gamification and Industry 4.0 Tools in the Education 4.0 Paradigm. Contemporary Educational Technology, 120–136. https://doi.org/10.30935/cet.554469
  4. Almousa, O., Prates, J., Yeslam, N., MacGregor, D., Zhang, J., Phan, V., Nielsen, M., Smith, R., & Qayumi, K. (2019). Virtual Reality Simulation Technology for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Training: An Innovative Hybrid System With Haptic Feedback. Simulation & Gaming, 50(1), 6–22. https://doi.org/10.1177/1046878118820905
  5. Alonso-Fernández, C., Cano, A. R., Calvo-Morata, A., Freire, M., Martínez-Ortiz, I., & Fernández-Manjón, B. (2019). Lessons learned applying learning analytics to assess serious games. Computers in Human Behavior, 99, 301–309. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.05.036
  6. Anderson, T. (2019). Challenges and Opportunities for Use of Social Media in Higher Education. Journal of Learning for Development, 6(1), 6–19.
  7. Angelini, M., & García-Carbonell, A. (2019). Enhancing students’ written production in English through flipped lessons and simulations. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16(1), 2. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-019-0131-8
  8. Angelini, M. L., & García-Carbonell, A. (2019). Developing English Speaking Skills Through Simulation-based Instruction. Teaching English with Technology, 19(2), 3–20.
  9. Bavelier, D., & Green, C. S. (2019). Enhancing Attentional Control: Lessons from Action Video Games. Neuron, 104(1), 147–163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2019.09.031
  10. Bayram, S. B., & Caliskan, N. (2019). Effect of a game-based virtual reality phone application on tracheostomy care education for nursing students: A randomized controlled trial. Nurse Education Today, 79, 25–31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nedt.2019.05.010
  11. Bellini, C., De Santis, A., Sannicandro, K., & Miverva, T. (2019). Data Management in Learning Analytics: Terms and Perspectives. Journal of E-Learning & Knowledge Society, 15(3), 133–144.
  12. Bertacchini, F., Bilotta, E., Caldarola, F., & Pantano, P. (2019). The role of computer simulations in learning analytic mechanics towards chaos theory: A course experimentation. International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology, 50(1), 100–120. https://doi.org/10.1080/0020739X.2018.1478134
  13. Bilgic, E., Alyafi, M., Hada, T., Landry, T., Fried, G. M., & Vassiliou, M. C. (2019). Simulation platforms to assess laparoscopic suturing skills: A scoping review. Surgical Endoscopy, 33(9), 2742–2762. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-019-06821-y
  14. Bogossian, F. E., Cant, R. P., Ballard, E. L., Cooper, S. J., Levett‐Jones, T. L., McKenna, L. G., Ng, L. C., & Seaton, P. C. (2019). Locating “gold standard” evidence for simulation as a substitute for clinical practice in prelicensure health professional education: A systematic review. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 28(21–22), 3759–3775. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.14965
  15. Capdarest-Arest, N., Opuda, E., & Stark, R. K. (2019). “Game on!” Teaching gamification principles for library instruction to health sciences information professionals using interactive, low-tech activities and design-thinking modalities. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 107(4). https://doi.org/10.5195/jmla.2019.636
  16. ChanLin, L.-J., Chan, K.-C., & Wang, C.-R. (2019). An epistemological assessment of learning nutritional information with augmented reality. The Electronic Library, 37(2), 210–224. https://doi.org/10.1108/EL-06-2018-0128
  17. Chien, C. (2019). English for Ecotourism and Its Sustainability with Augmented Reality Technology. International Education Studies, 12(6), 134. https://doi.org/10.5539/ies.v12n6p134
  18. Chitongo, S., & Suthers, F. (2019). Use of technology in simulation training in midwifery. British Journal of Midwifery, 27(2), 85–89. https://doi.org/10.12968/bjom.2019.27.2.85
  19. Darwish, E. B. (2019). Social Media Education in the Arab World: Reality and Challenges. 17th International Conference on E-Society 2019, 21–28. https://doi.org/10.33965/es2019_201904L003
  20. Er, E., Gómez-Sánchez, E., Dimitriadis, Y., Bote-Lorenzo, M. L., Asensio-Pérez, J. I., & Álvarez-Álvarez, S. (2019). Aligning learning design and learning analytics through instructor involvement: A MOOC case study. Interactive Learning Environments, 27(5–6), 685–698. https://doi.org/10.1080/10494820.2019.1610455
  21. Foung, D., & Chen, J. (2019). A Learning Analytics Approach to the Evaluation of an Online Learning Package in a Hong Kong University. The Electronic Journal of E-Learning, 17(1), 11–24.
  22. Franco, P., & DeLuca, D. A. (2019). Learning Through Action: Creating and Implementing a Strategy Game to Foster Innovative Thinking in Higher Education. Simulation & Gaming, 50(1), 23–43. https://doi.org/10.1177/1046878118820892
  23. Frendø, M., Thingaard, E., Konge, L., Sørensen, M. S., & Andersen, S. A. W. (2019). Decentralized virtual reality mastoidectomy simulation training: A prospective, mixed-methods study. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, 276(10), 2783–2789. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00405-019-05572-9
  24. Fung, F. M., Choo, W. Y., Ardisara, A., Zimmermann, C. D., Watts, S., Koscielniak, T., Blanc, E., Coumoul, X., & Dumke, R. (2019). Applying a Virtual Reality Platform in Environmental Chemistry Education To Conduct a Field Trip to an Overseas Site. Journal of Chemical Education, 96(2), 382–386. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00728
  25. Gaftandzhieva, S., & Doneva, R. (2019). Toward a Learning Analytics System in Bulgarian Higher Education Institutions. TEM Journal, 8(3), 1058–1062. https://doi.org/10.18421/TEM83-51
  26. Garcia-Bonete, M.-J., Jensen, M., & Katona, G. (2019). A practical guide to developing virtual and augmented reality exercises for teaching structural biology: VR and AR for Teaching Structural Biology. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 47(1), 16–24. https://doi.org/10.1002/bmb.21188
  27. Gasevic, D., Tsai, Y.-S., Dawson, S., & Pardo, A. (2019). How do we start? An approach to learning analytics adoption in higher education. The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, 36(4), 342–353. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-02-2019-0024
  28. Georgiou, K., Gouras, A., & Nikolaou, I. (2019). Gamification in employee selection: The development of a gamified assessment. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 27(2), 91–103. https://doi.org/10.1111/ijsa.12240
  29. Goodyear, V. A., Parker, M., & Casey, A. (2019). Social media and teacher professional learning communities. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 24(5), 421–433. https://doi.org/10.1080/17408989.2019.1617263
  30. Gorham, T., Jubaed, S., Sanyal, T., & Starr, E. (2019). Assessing the Efficacy of VR for Foreign Language Learning Using Multimodal Learning Analytics. In C. N. Giannikas, E. Kakoulli Constantinou, & S. Papadima Sophocleus (Eds.), Professional development in CALL: a selection of papers (pp. 101–116). https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=kiKNDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA101&dq=%22Assessing+the+Efficacy+of+VR+for+Foreign+Language+Learning+Using+Multimodal+Learning+Analytics%22&ots=rVi8d1QeeL&sig=u_gYnjPgqqu2oFt8pI7rnydQS34&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22Assessing%20the%20Efficacy%20of%20VR%20for%20Foreign%20Language%20Learning%20Using%20Multimodal%20Learning%20Analytics%22&f=false
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  32. Hernández-Lara, A. B., Serradell-López, E., & Fitó-Bertran, À. (2019). Students’ perception of the impact of competences on learning: An analysis with business simulations. Computers in Human Behavior, 101, 311–319. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.07.023
  33. Herodotou, C., Rienties, B., Boroowa, A., Zdrahal, Z., & Hlosta, M. (2019). A large-scale implementation of predictive learning analytics in higher education: The teachers’ role and perspective. Educational Technology Research and Development, 67(5), 1273–1306. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11423-019-09685-0
  34. Horowitz, K. S. (2019). Video Games and English as a Second Language: The Effect of Massive Multiplayer Online Video Games on The Willingness to Communicate and Communicative Anxiety of College Students in Puerto Rico. American Journal of Play, 11(3), 379–410.
  35. Huang, Y.-M. (2019). Exploring students’ acceptance of educational computer games from the perspective of learning strategy. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 35(3), 132–149.
  36. İbili, E. (2019). Effect of augmented reality environments on cognitive load: Pedagogical effect, instructional design, motivation and interaction interfaces. International Journal of Progressive Education, 15(5), 42–57. https://doi.org/10.29329/ijpe.2019.212.4
  37. Ibrahim, K. (2019). Foreign language practice in simulation video games: An analysis of game‐based FL use dynamics. Foreign Language Annals, 52(2), 335–357. https://doi.org/10.1111/flan.12388
  38. Jamil, M. G., & Isiaq, S. O. (2019). Teaching technology with technology: Approaches to bridging learning and teaching gaps in simulation-based programming education. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16(1), 25. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-019-0159-9
  39. Jaremko, K. M., Schwenk, E. S., Pearson, A. C. S., Hagedorn, J., Udani, A. D., Schwartz, G., Elkassabany, N. M., Snively, A., & Mariano, E. R. (2019). Teaching an old pain medicine society new tweets: Integrating social media into continuing medical education. Korean Journal of Anesthesiology, 72(5), 409–412. https://doi.org/10.4097/kja.19261
  40. Joly, K. (2019). Digital marketing trends for 2019: Privacy concerns, artificial intelligence and shifts in social media lie ahead. University Business, 22(1), 46–46.
  41. Jones, K. M. L. (2019). Learning analytics and higher education: A proposed model for establishing informed consent mechanisms to promote student privacy and autonomy. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16(1), 24. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-019-0155-0
  42. Kaya, O. S., & Bicen, H. (2019). Study of Augmented Reality Applications Use in Education and Its Effect on the Academic Performance: International Journal of Distance Education Technologies, 17(3), 25–36. https://doi.org/10.4018/IJDET.2019070102
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  44. Klein, C., Lester, J., Nguyen, T., Justen, A., Rangwala, H., & Johri, A. (2019). Student Sensemaking of Learning Analytics Dashboard Interventions in Higher Education. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 48(1), 130–154. https://doi.org/10.1177/0047239519859854
  45. Klein, C., Lester, J., Rangwala, H., & Johri, A. (2019). Learning Analytics Tools in Higher Education: Adoption at the Intersection of Institutional Commitment and Individual Action. The Review of Higher Education, 42(2), 565–593. https://doi.org/10.1353/rhe.2019.0007
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  47. Lamb, R. L., & Etopio, E. (2019). Virtual Reality Simulations and Writing: A Neuroimaging Study in Science Education. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 28(5), 542–552. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10956-019-09785-9
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