Elearning, or Electronic Learning is the fastest growing medium in the education sector for many years now. With the most populated and young countries such as China and India taking to e learning as a means to bring quality education to an extremely large number of students at a low cost and the students being able to choose their own pace and place of learning. It has shown immense promise towards changing the education ecosystem of these countries and of the others where it is already quite popular. The scorchingly rapid growth of internet penetration has served as a great catalyst for the massive growth of the e learning solutions.
Since the eLearning process is dynamic and constantly evolving and getting better, the trends are also changing from year to year. Let us try and examine a few key eLearning trends that will affect the eLearning Industry in the near future.
Although e learning started as a method of learning where learning resources could be made available to large number of willing students in a short span of time, it has slowly evolved a completely customized learning plan, more or less in line with the massive customization options available elsewhere on the internet, such as emails, the internet browser etc. Personalization can be effected in many different forms in the process of e learning starting from the e learning environment itself such as the appearance of the content to the user in terms of font sizes, colors, graphic representation and also customized interaction between the facilitator, the student and the content itself such as using quizzes, games or workbooks etc that is evaluated one to one.Customization can also be done on the selection of the content itself, the mode and/or sequence of delivery of the content, the evaluation and feedback processes hence making it more student centric than the teacher or medium centric.
Whereas Personalization is the upcoming trend in the e learning industry, it is also true that due to the increasing size of the market and growing demand, the job of content creation needs to be automated to a level that it can be easy to create, distribute and well, personalize.Through automation algorithm based generation and application of contents of individual courses can really speed up the process of creation of new course effectively and quickly.The automated processes can also generate process defined question papers, quizzes, exercises and interactive content and in the process of its evaluation.Moving forward, automation will be one of the trends seen in the online learning segment and in a big way, by saving the content creators a lot of time and energy.
3. Rise of the Visual Medium:
One of the most fast catching trends in the eLearning industry is the use of video in the delivery of course content and to achieve a far higher level of student engagement. It is true that for all its benefits classroom style e learning processes using pie diagrams and exhaustive text tends to become boring and less interesting over time. The use of moving images creates a sense of interest and reality and accrues a far higher level of interactivity, especially when a response is asked during the video lecture, for example. It is estimated that by 2018, almost 84% of online traffic will be video content. To this end e learning solutions are also gearing up to create content that has more visual appeal, so as to make the online courses lucid and interesting. Rise of videos in the elearning is most certainly one of the top trends in e learning in the coming years.
4. Mobile Based Learning:
Now that the learning has shattered the bounds of the physical classroom and entered the space of the electronic media, it was only a matter of time that it had to reach the mobile platforms . It is a well known fact that personal mobile devices have a lot more benefits in terms of accessibility and almost all web based applications are now hitching the mobile technology for easier and more demographically wider availability of customers. It is also true that in many countries and demographics, a mobile handheld device is much more popular and easily available than the desktop or laptop computers. Mobile and the other wearable technology interfaces will be a huge impact on the delivery of e learning in the days to come. The instant access that is available through the mobile devices, and its ability to use technologies such as the GPS, barcodes, access to cloud based storage and it's already prevalent integration with the social media, makes the mobile phones a more preferred device for e learning than the conventional desktop or laptop computers. Going forward, it seems a huge possibility that mobile phones will be used more and more in the delivery of e learning solutions. In fact there is a large buzz in the sector of mobile only elearning solutions where the content is customized to exclusive mobile use, mostly geared towards sharing, tracking and collaborating at the moment, but the rise of the mobiles having huge hard disk spaces and longer and longer battery lives and larger screens is contributing to the cause of many students preferring the mobile phone as a medium of e learning.
Edutainment or Educational Entertainment, more widely known as "gamification" is the current hot trend in the field of the e education, specially because of the level of customization and interactivity it provides along with increased levels of engagement and sustained interest. Gamification is more about the concepts of applying game design thinking to non game application such as interactive education, rather than playing an immersive game towards a short term goal objective. Gamification, due to its nature of higher levels of involvement, is said to have benefited students in the remarkably higher levels of retention of educational concepts. A well thought of gaming strategy will encourage higher levels of engagement and the experience of the fun' factor, resulting in higher levels of engagement and recall. In eLearning Edutainment concepts provides for an informal yet effective learning environment that requires the learners to apply instant strategies to counter a situation, in real time and through systematic learning. This type of eLearning also enables instant feedback to learners on how far they have reached in their educational objectives. Going forward, gamification is one of the most promising trends of e education and will become increasingly popular.
Is there any other eLearning trend that you think has the potential to emerge in 2016? Let us know in the comments section. You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org