There has been an exponential rise in e-learning and related strategies to enhance the e-learning experience over the past year. 2016 saw the inception of some great practices such as in-depth exploration of gamification, more focused learning even for diverse subjects, growth in the significance of mobile learning, and more.
This upward trend is anticipated to continue as we step into 2017, with more and more efforts being dedicated to the development of e-learning peripherals.
Here are some of the major trends we have listed, that are expected to have a significant impact on the e-learning industry in 2017. For the sake of convenience, let us classify these into course-related and performance-related categories. The course-related trends are those that will be integrated into the actual course being taken, to make it better; the performance-related trends are those that will be implemented to create the quintessential e-learning experience.
Course-related trends in 2017
In recent times, there has been a paradigm shift regarding mobile learning in education. With the rapid advancement in cell-phone technology, it has quickly become a more viable option that laptops or desktops, on account of its easy portability. This has necessitated the creation of responsive courses, accessible across multiple display platforms.
The statistics are that over 80% of internet users use smartphones, and over 70% of e-learners access courses through mobiles; this number is only expected to grow in the future. Considering this fact, course creators cannot afford to ignore the Mlearning arena, and responsive courses have become the need of the hour.
Psychological studies suggest that the attention span of humans is dwindling day by day; the current duration for which people can focus without being distracted is 20 minutes. This has led to the adoption of microlearning, or content condensation, to provide the maximum amount of information in the least complicated way possible.
It is observed that structured content, provided in a clear and concise manner, with intermittent rewards and achievements encourages better understanding and retention among students. The microlearning approach is hence expected to dominate the content part of course creation in the future, making long texts and subjective formats near-obsolete.
Many of the e-learning industry biggies have embarked upon a more personalized approach in their courses. This implies a variable pace, as per the student’s capability to gauge the course material, and occasional remedial measures should they be necessary, as opposed to a juggernaut pace of learning.
This personalization of content is expected to be of especial benefit in e-learning based school systems, where the students can be placed in regular or advanced placement courses, depending on their analytical capability. They can also be encouraged to use reference material based on their performance in the class tests conducted.
Videos have been a great resource in e-learning since its very inception. Today however, they have surpassed all expectation as they offer a unique opportunity of helping the student visualize concepts that cannot be understood through mere text. YouTube, with its plethora of videos is one of the most used resources by students, when they need to understand some idea they have come across while perusing their study material.
This predicts a more video-based approach towards course creation in the future that will not simply be a supplementary resource.
Performance-related trends in 2017
Incorporation of Wearable Technology
The 3D learning experience has taken e-learning to a whole new level. Some of the most popular 3D learning gadgets used include Google Glass and Apple Watches, which are used to provide a real-world interaction with the student.
With the demand for realistic experiences on the rise, there is a huge scope for the integration of wearable technology in e-learning in the future. The many advantages of 3D learning, such as workplace simulations, two-way interaction, immediate access to resource material, and real-time updates can be used for generating a complete interactive experience with the user.
Experience API Integration
Experience API or xAPI or more commonly known as Tin Can API is fast-replacing SCORM as the complete feedback mechanism for e-learners. Tin Can API uses big data collection techniques to generate qualitative analyses of how students respond to the various levels of the course.
This live relay facilitates comprehensive tracking of student engagement, which in turn is useful in modifying the course for the better. Though many platforms still rely on the conventional methods of feedback generation, Tin Can API is expected to supersede all its contemporaries on account of its all-pervasive nature.
The rise in live lectures, virtual events, discussion groups, and two-way interactions between students and teachers is anticipated to lead to a level of never-seen-before communication. Course instructors are engaging in live sessions with their students to improve their retention capabilities and build the quintessential classroom ambience.
Outside of the classroom, social eLearning is also expected to increase, encouraging students to learn from their peers and course mates, for overall personality development. The upcoming years are expected to witness a considerable progression in this type of lectures, and although courses won’t always go completely live, they are expected to constitute a significant portion of the curriculum.
One of the biggest advantages of e-learning is the fact that it is not limited by physical, geographical boundaries.
Cloud-based learning has been in vogue for quite some time now, however, the applications are expected to continue to increase substantially in the future. Advancements in security and encryption, quick uploading and updating of data, and the significant reduction in training expenses make cloud-based e-learning a highly sought-after option for corporate e-learning in 2017.
The Last Word
e-Learning in the educational and corporate sectors has come a long way from the desktop-text-user module, gaining a foothold in practically every segment of the two fields. With rapid advancement in e-learning systems, generation of newer and better resources for content development, LMS platforms facilitating quick course creation, the e-learning industry is seeing a huge rise in the diversity of authors and courses created.
2017 is anticipated to witness some remarkable changes in the way we approach e-learning, with the core centred on performance and experience-based learning, as opposed to boring, textual techniques. The utilisation of modern gadgetry leaves is a wide scope open for the creation of meaningful, thought-provoking content, which will encourage students to discover, explore, and learn with interest.
What are your thoughts about the upcoming trends in e-learning? Drop a comment below to let us know!