There are certain trends and practices in eLearning industry, both the ones we are used to and the ones we still expect to see. There is one thing in common for all of them - they disrupted the landscape of eLearning when they appeared and they will continue to do so in the future. We analysed multiple expert opinions on topic (like this Elucidat analysis) and compiled the list of 10 most important eLearning trends of 2016 and the next decade:
- There are some trends in eLearning that have been around for some time. Learners expect bite-sized training, gamification and mobile access, while course administrators and authors prefer cloud-based LMSs with rich analytics and HTML5-compliant authoring tools.
- There are some trends that are hot right now and will see even wider adoption in the next couple of years. These are the Tin Can APIs as an improvement for SCORM and Big Data analysis tools that rely upon Tin Can APIs to better reflect the learning patterns, both per-learner and statistical. These tools can help provide better personalization of education to create immersive individually tailored eLearning solutions.
- There are also some trends that are in their infancy now, yet these can change the landscape of education and eLearning as we know it. We speak of AR, VR, voice input and other technology here, as well as about course modification on the fly through learner facilitation. Keeping an eye on these trends is the key to remaining competitive and riding the wave when they hit the market.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these group of trends.
Hot eLearning trends 2016: what do we have right now
- Bite-sized courses — a very important trend, as fast-paced life forces learners to dedicate small periods to consuming small chunks of data, so that 8 out of 10 eLearning instructors prefer bite-sized content, as their audience prefers it. Delivering education in the form of easily consumed 3-7 minute long lessons cuts costs by 50% while taking 300% less time to produce as compared to traditional courses.
- Gamification — either presenting the learning content in the form of serious games or adding gamification elements to the course (points, badges, competitions, leaderboards, achievements, etc.) — helps increase the learner’s immersion and engagement greatly.
- mLearning — while not the most leading trend nowadays, mLearning will undoubtedly seize the leading role in the future education practices. 80% of the audience does not leave their homes without a mobile device, so this trend will only grow and increase in importance.
- Cloud-based LMS's help provide huge numbers of students with access to learning while keeping the sensitive data secure and leaving essential tools (course authoring and statistics) under course author’s control. They also help save effort, time and money on everything, from deployment and setup to content adjustment.
Hot eLearning trends 2017: what is about to hit the market
- Tin Can API as a replacement to SCORM — to provide better and more in-depth statistics about the process of elearning, compiling a huge amount of data on the effectiveness of elearning approaches and strategies. xAPIs allow congregating data on user’s activities from different sources in order to present a much more detailed picture of their learning patterns as compared to SCORM-compliant courses.
- Big Data — current analytical tools will have to evolve or be replaced with more efficient ones, able to analyze learner’s training patterns, their decisions made in the process, their learning time preferences, etc. This will help create more personalized approach to each learner. Here are 20 incredible facts on Big Data from Forbes you will be astounded with.
- Personalizing user’s learning experience will create highly immersive eLearning environments tailored to the needs of each individual learner. This will help keep learners engaged and satisfied, which will greatly increase their training efficiency and overall productivity.
Hot eLearning trends for the next decade: what to keep an eye on
- Augmented and virtual reality devices — AR and VR are in their infancy now, but they promise a level of immersion that the learners cannot achieve through traditional learning. This cannot be discarded, because once wearable tech will become as easily accessible and popular as smartphones — eLearning should have the appropriate tools to implement this technology into educational process.
- Online course interactivity and adjustability — using HTML5 to provide immense interactivity is undoubtedly the future of eLearning, as HTML5 is supported by multiple content authoring tools across a variety of platforms.
- Course facilitation by the learners — another not yet widespread trend that will burst out. Current learners are quickly becoming subject matter experts and will want to adjust the training path they take, share their insights on the course - or even improve it on the fly. Providing learners with a possibility to facilitate on the course will turn them from passive knowledge consumers into active co-authors and collaborators, which will drive their engagement sky-high.
As you can see, various researches, infographics and articles describe the hot eLearning trends for 2017 and the next 10 years. We think it’s important for elearning providers to keep these trends in mind — and be prepared to invest into them in order to remain competitive. What are your thoughts? Would you like to add or replace some points? What trends does your company consider the most important? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!