e-learning is basically imparting of education through utilization of electronic technologies outside a traditional classroom. It comes with various benefits and is being widely adopted. The onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted its importance even further. E-learning is also becoming quite popular in employee training programmes. According to a report, the global e-learning market will reach $325 billion by the year 2025.
Here are the top trends in e-learning to watch out for:
Adaptive learning is a type of learning in which activities, projects and resources are tailored to meet the individual demands of the learners. The technique of adaptive learning in learning is helping students to learn at own pace and according to their own convenience. It makes the learning process personalized. It uses a data-driven approach to customize the pace and the path of learning for each learner and is becoming very popular.
In order to make learning more interesting, adding games or game-like elements helps in building interest of the learners by making even difficult concepts easy to understand. This trend of ‘gamification’ has been on a constant rise and will continue to grow in future as well. The gamification of learning makes learning fun and exciting and also motivates the learners to perform better. Also, things like role-play lend an immersive angel to angle and learning does not looks like learning. Another advantage of gamification is that it creates an addiction as winning a game always nudges one to play more.
Visuals have a deep impact on the mind, much deeper than written content. Videos have always been a part of e-learning and this trend is expected to grow even more in coming years. Apart from enhancing learner engagement and participation, videos also help in maximising knowledge retention. Video sharing platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo are growing phenomenally. The latest in line are interactive videos that help learners explore further through reference links and interactive objects that appear in the video. The users can navigate the content through bookmarking, content tables, navigational buttons and interactive transcripts
Learning Analytics is a tool that keeps a track on the behaviour of the students and how the learners perform in general. It also helps in identifying how much amount of engagement is generated by each study module or each learning activity. This helps the course designers to optimize the course content and to better the learning process. This information and data about learners will assume even greater importance in future.
Another rising trend in e-learning is that of microlearning. Due to its engaging nature, this trend is sure to rise both in public as well as private sectors. Microlearning involves bite-sized courses and personalized courses that are easy to read and understand. It can happen through texts, images, videos. Games, quizzes, or a combination of them. Microlearning usually contains a lot of interactive elements and is mostly designed for skill based learning. As such, it is perfect for employee training programmes. It is fairly easier to design and update courses for microlearning. Another advantage of microlearning is that it shows high completion rates. With things like push notifications for lesson reminders and cloud distribution and translation, microlearning makes things easier for the learners.
Along with microlearning, another emerging trend in e-learning is that of Mobile learning. Mobile learning simply means accessing learning through mobile devices like mobile phones, tablets and laptops. The strong demand of learning on-the-go, from anytime and from anywhere has given rise to this trend. Mobile learning is perfect for generation Z learners who are very comfortable with technology and carry a digital-first approach to life. It is also in line with modern teaching methodologies. The content that is designed for mobile learning is very dynamic complete with visually engaging graphics. It is also a perfect way for personalized learning.
User Generated Content (UGC)
A Vast array of User Generated Content emerges when the students get completely involved in the learning process and help their peers to understand concepts that they find difficult. They often tweet about their learning process and post testimonials. UGC is the latest trend in e-learning. It not only helps generate more engagement on any course but also allows other learners to get a better idea of another learners’ learning process. Through chat rooms, short videos or forums, learners share their learning experiences. This boosts their confidence and also helps other learners.
In order to make the learning content clearer and objective-oriented organizations are hiring instructional designers to design quality content. Instructional design is hence one of the top trends in e-learning. Instructional designers organize the content and decide over the learning goals. His is responsible for simplifying the content and to make it more engaging and fun.
Social learning can happen through direct contact i.e. face to face interactions and or through indirect contact i.e. social media interactions. For example if a person wants to know more about a specific business, he follows the related accounts on the social media and takes cues from them. It is a kind of informal learning that results out of group discussions, observing people’s behaviour and interacting with them on social media platforms.
A virtual conference in the e-learning context refers to the coming together of a group of people who intend to share their knowledge. Video conferencing assists in hosting virtual events where the learners can communicate with instructors and peers. It acts a virtual classroom where real time interaction is possible.
With MicroSoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri, Artificial intelligence has pervaded our daily lives and has found use of context in e-learning too. This technology is being increasingly used to guide student through the courses, to inform students about learning predictions and for personalization in learning. With the growing ambit of Artificial Intelligence, we are witnessing Smart learning content, content analytics and Intelligent tutoring systems. In the distant future, the human instructors may be replaced by AI technologies.