Many years ago, when I started out my career in the eLearning industry; I honestly had no clue about all the terms and phrases that were dished out with practised ease by experts and tech-bloggers. I was lucky to be a part of an organization that invested in training its graduate trainees on all core aspects of eLearning. By the time the training was completed and I was deployed on my first live project, I had read a fair bit about the whole idea of eLearning – from Bloom’s Taxonomy to Learning Pedagogies and Target Audience Analysis to Learning Outcomes; it was good fun. 15 years ago, one would never have imagined that smartphones would empower users, or tools like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp would change the way we communicate and consume content.
We are at the cusp of a great new future for both learners and makers of good eLearning courses. The audience or the learners are not restricted to limited options. If I want to sign-up for an eLearning course on Android Development, a simple Google search will get me over 100 different options; all claiming to be the best and most affordable course available in the market. It is up to me to filter out the most appropriate courses and opt for the one that best matches my needs and budget. On a similar note, the number of eLearning companies around the world has multiplied many times over in the last decade. From India to the Philippines and Poland to South Korea, new companies have mushroomed and a fair number of them are creating some really good courseware.
In this blog post we look at some of the trends that have defined the changing requirements of the industry and how delivery of learning has changed significantly.
People do not have long attention spans and everyone seems to be in a hurry nowadays. No one is willing to sit through slide after slide of a lengthy presentation or a course which has an instructor speaking in a flat voice throughout explaining vague concepts. Akin to instant gratification that the social media world has made us slaves of – Micro Learning also known as Bite-Sized Learning / Byte-Sized Learning is where we are headed to. Quick short courses ranging from five to ten minutes offered as capsules of learning accompanied by interesting videos is the new mantra.
Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, Pinterest – everyone seems to be sharing their life-stories on social channels and people seem to be spending more and more time glued to their smartphones. It definitely makes sense to chalk out specifically designed mobile learning content that can be easily delivered via existing social media channels. Learners can complete a module and challenge their friends to complete the same module with a higher score. Social Learning is here to stay!
It is very difficult to get a uniform target audience. When we get to create courses for a vast set of school or college students; we can’t adopt a one-size fits all approach. This is where Adaptive Learning comes in to play. Learning designed in a way that it matches the learner’s skills as the learner navigates through the course. This is similar to how the current GRE is structured with the severity of the questions changing on the test-takers selection of right or wrong answers. This coupled with ‘just-in-time learning’ that focuses on running capsules of information that can be accessed via an application or in-built in a product are also some trends that continue to gather momentum.
The evolution of standards that define what constitutes an eLearning course and topics like SCORM and xAPI have been explored earlier on our blog. This is a significant aspect as well that showcases the shift towards mobile learning.
As a trend this continues to vacillate between being over-used and hardly being used in learning. The challenge is to implement this as an effective solution that does not mock the intelligence of the learner. Games built into courses should not be added just for the sake of it but should add value to the course and not be intrusive and artificial additions.
This has definitely been a game-changer in many ways! The ‘cloud’ despite all the concerns of security and access; definitely has changed the business model. There are numerous learning management systems to choose from, which offer a high level of customization. From LMSes designed specifically for academic purposes to ones designed to work for corporates; eLearning in more ways than one is definitely seeing a ‘cloud-shift’. It is cheaper for smaller companies to ‘rent’ an effective LMS than investing in time, server-space, bandwidth and personnel to run a full-fledged LMS at their workplace.
Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality
Among all the fancy trends this is one of the latest ones and is still very much in a nascent stage and used in an extremely small percentage of actual courses. Costs, production and streamlining effective hardware for AI and VR to be merged effectively are key problems. The possibilities are myriad with great potential in pharma/healthcare and high-level product engineering solution courses. It is going to take at least another three years for VR-sets to become easily available and for course-creators to deploy AI and VR within the content with greater frequency.
At Ingegno, we have worked with numerous organizations around the world to create cutting-edge courseware that has helped the organizations achieve their internal training goals. If you are looking for high-quality eLearning solutions delivered on time, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your requirements. We look forward to working with you!