Global Market Insight suggests that by 2026 eLearning market is set to exceed $375 billion – that sounds like it is the right time for educational institutions and businesses to be in sync with the best eLearning trends.
To succeed and stay competitive in a digital world, businesses have to understand the existing trends in eLearning. In this article, we are going to examine top eLearning trends that are predicted to prosper in 2021 and beyond.
Top eLearning Trends in 2021
1. Artificial intelligence tools
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has shown a huge amount of feasible potential for applying customization into the learning process without human involvement. AI is on top of the list in 2021 and beyond – it’s predicted that AI could be the trend that grows by more than 45%.
AI can automate basic repetitive routine tasks, personalize learning experiences, interpret reports generated for the courses taken, and provide better recommendations. Today more and more eLearning industries use AI tools to monitor all learner journeys to notify educators when a learner’s performance is dropping back and requires more attention and support. As one of the most meaningful eLearning trends, AI can provide an accurate and deep understanding of analytics on real-time interactions and user patterns within a learning management system (LMS).
There are so many examples of when online educators apply machine learning to learning processes. Basically, the key use cases to be highlighted are:
Natural language processing (NLP)
Dealt with the interactions between computers and human language, in particular, makes it possible for computers to read, understand, interpret the speech, and determine which parts are important.
It allows learners to customize a great number of elements involved in the online educational process. It includes that they are asked to define their own goals, study at their own pace, and communicate with trainers to personalize the learning process.
It offers private and group tutoring that tailors to the needs of learners. The result is the automation of the main processes for teaching companies, schools, and educational centers.
It is aimed at the delivery of custom learning experiences that suit the specific needs of a user through real-time feedback, pathways, and materials.
Needless to say, many of these use cases can be adapted and combined to form a rather competitive AI environment allowing learners to get a rich and authentic experience.
2. Richer data tracking and analysis
The next eLearning trend is better data tracking and a deep analysis of educational statistics. Better data leads to better decisions – many organizations are interested in learning technologies that provide better opportunities for the tracking, collection, and analysis of learning data. Thus, they are willing to invest more in such technologies.
Companies benefit a lot from being able to track interactions and various sources of data. Firstly, they get a clear understanding of the effectiveness of the course delivery. Secondly, it helps them identify areas for optimization based on preferences and interests, revealing where changes can be made for a greater result.
Overall, this eLearning trend gives a better look at plans and strategies that are specific to the organization. Such a personalized approach has become the key in distance learning, and this is a trend that is here to stay.
3. Mobile-first learning
People today are extremely connected to the world of digital information. The number of mobile users is constantly increasing and most internet users (92.6%) prefer mobile devices to go online. No wonder that mobile learning as one of the integral eLearning trends has become a significant aspect of learning due to its mobility and ease of use that has a positive effect on the learning experience. A strong need for flexibility, anytime learning, performance tracking, and accessibility is on the rise and mobile learning is the best to serve this purpose.
4. Rise of immersive technologies (AR/VR/MR)
Immersive technologies, such as Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and Mixed Reality (MR), are another key eLearning trend that will make the learning experience finer in the foreseeable future.
In terms of modern learning practices, it generally includes the adoption of immersive technologies to allow users to get hands-on experience in a close to the real environment. Brought into real-world situations generated by a machine, a student can learn and master skills, as well as solve problems and find the right decisions in a controlled and low-risk environment. In this way, it enables students to blur the lines between the learning processes and the application of knowledge.
5. Video-based learning
It’s not rocket science to see that video content is a crucial eLearning trend that is going to play a massive role in the industry for many years. Do you have anything in mind that could be more popular in 2020 than video? Because of the pandemic and travel restrictions, a major part of education was provided through video lessons and virtual classrooms.
There are some reasons why video content is worthy of being implemented into learning processes. First of all, it successfully reduces the gap between theory and practice. As a result, a student spends less time on a lesson and takes advantage of doing a wide range of extra activities to consolidate skills. Furthermore, the entertaining factor plays a key role – an animated video is a good tool to enrich lessons and make content more attractive and comprehensible. Eventually, it turns learning processes into a satisfying experience.
6. Microlearning for professional development
According to Deloitte research on the modern learner, an employee has just 1% of a typical workweek to focus on training and professional development, so there is no sense in depth-content to be delivered. And here is where microlearning comes into play, allowing one to achieve the goal easily and shortly by receiving the information in a bite-sized manner.
The average lesson takes from 3 to 7 minutes, which means that an employee can find time for professional growth every day. Finally, short lessons keep learners engaged and help them not to be overwhelmed with the information given. Keeping that in mind, this is definitely an eLearning trend in demand for 2021.
There is no wonder that game-based learning is one of the most attractive aspects of learning trends. It includes game design elements and the usage of fun game mechanics to capture user attention and eliminate the routine factor, and the combination of these two aspects leads to a better learning experience. In other words, it packs education in a game that helps to educate players.
One more advantage to consider is that gamification contributes to a higher level of motivation and productiveness, and also serves to minimize dropouts of students by increasing their engagement instead. As for learning businesses, gamification elements allow them to stand out from the crowd by capturing offerings and show greater retention rates.
8. LXP solutions
2021 is expected to see a rise in learning experience platforms, also known as LXP or LEP, that are designed to meet the need of learners. They are predicted to rock this year and beyond because they catch the picture of two more trends: mobile learning experience and microlearning.
With a wide range of integrated technologies, LXP can easily augment your original content while providing a broader perspective, create career pathways and track learning activities and users’ progress, to say the least. In this way, they deliver rich structured learning experiences and a personalized approach for higher students’ motivation, eventually becoming a must-have eLearning trend for 2021.
9. Social learning
Social learning is a key eLearning trend for 2021 and helps learners to get deeper knowledge in a specific subject from peers, senior employees, or experts within their organization. In this case, people learn from real-life scenarios and by direct experiences. It encourages learning in a working environment and allows them to apply their knowledge to work, probably avoiding previously made mistakes.
By observing how different people deal with numerous challenges, it becomes easier for us to identify the best solutions for certain tasks in the most efficient manner. For this reason, social learning tools (such as content and feedback sharing) are now actively applied in modern learning programs, providing effective collaboration among students.
Moreover, the eLearning industry benefits a lot from implementing the social factor into educational processes, because the users can direct their own pathways as well, in this way minimize the need for constant guidance, assistance, and support. Hence, this is one of the eLearning trends to keep an eye on.
To sum up, even though trends in eLearning are likely to come and go, those featured in the article are not going to fade in the upcoming future. As an eLearning world is all about expansion and the adoption of new innovative technologies, progressive companies and organizations need to reconsider and reevaluate their current training programs, keeping in mind these hot eLearning trends prospering in today’s reality.