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e-Learning Predictions for 2011

This time of the year is always fun, when one tries to look forward and guesstimate how the year would shape up. Before putting down my thoughts for 2011, I thought I would check out how did my predictions for 2010 hold-up, which I posted around same time last year. Here’s what I posted last year  –

S. No. Prediction Came True? Analysis
For India
1. Skill Development Programs to take off Y Supported by various govt. bodies, skill development programs grew at crazy pace in 2010 – will continue to grow in 2011
2. e-Learning adoption in Government bodies to increase Y Everyone from PSU’s, to armed forces came out with e-Learning RFP’s in 2010 – trend to continue and grow
3. Traditional sector to implement training management systems N This didn’t take off the way I had expected (atleast not for us and companies that I know of) – hopefully 2011 will be different
4. Movement towards online examinations for grad/post-grad/govt. jobs entrance tests to increase Y AIEEE, J2EE, GATE etc have all started drawing out plans to take their examinations online. This space is looking more interesting by the day.
5. Social learning & m-Learning to still remain in infancy Y Not much traction in India yet, though there have been some interesting launches, such as Kinetic Glue. Tablets might change that once they come under sub Rs. 5k price point.
For Global Market
6. eBooks to explode N Actually not so sure about this one since we ourselves don’t deal too much in eBooks. But there has been no more noise about it than what was there last year (and I am still reading via paper books) – so kind of assuming the big push is yet to come – perhaps this or next year.
7. m-Learning to finally start growing rapidly Y iPad & Android – these two developments shaped the mobile world in 2010. Former lead to development of a new class of devices – tablets; and later is making it accessible to everyone.  We saw lot of interest in developing content and apps for these mobile platforms – we expect it to grow by rapid pace in 2011
8. Rapid content to rule the roost Y This was a no-brainer. Customers and designers have been moving away from unnecessary media richness, and rather focusing on effective learning with neat graphic usage. This is good move, and will continue.
9. LMS to remain primary medium for learning delivery, search for other mediums to continue Y Inspite of all the negative talk, LMS still remained primary medium of e-Learning delivery in 2010. L&D world still doesn’t have an answer for how to structure learning via social media, so 2011 is not going to be very different than 2010 in this regard (at-least not for corporate sector).

7 out of 9 – not bad for an amateur fortune-teller, right! Do you agree with the above analysis?

Now, for 2011, in addition to the trends I shared above, these are some of the new developments that I think can take shape in current year–

  1. Live Online Training to Grow in India – The need is there – vast geography and shortage of trainers. With 3G and affordable tablets/notebooks, I think we can see beginning of adoption of live synchronous training for front level field staff, and for remote tutoring this year.
  2. Birth of Motion Controlled Learning & Interactivity – Xbox Kinect and PS3 Move are amazing technology innovations, and have tremendous applications in learning environment – especially in K-12 segment. I believe that learning developers will soon develop (if not doing so already) innovative, engaging, and fun learning experiences using these motion controlled technologies. I know Nintendo Wii has been around for some years, but the controller free motion capture of Xbox Kinect, and the smoothness of PS3 Move take the experience to next level, and should lead to some interesting developments.
  3. Performance Support Tools to Gain Adoption – As L&D departments adjust to ‘Just-in-Time’ learning needs of their users, performance support tools, such as embedded tool-bars, calculators, search-able crowd-sourced knowledge repositories etc would gain importance. I believe some of it should start in 2011.
  4. Outsourcing to Continue Growing – Recent recession made many e-Learning organizations and departments, those who had not yet outsourced, look for better team structuring to optimize their cost structures. With wider acceptance of outsourcing model in e-Learning, and e-Learning development processes getting mature, outsourcing is bound to grow at even faster pace than ever before.
  5. Gaming to Gain Momentum – On one hand we have movement away from unnecessary media usage in e-learning content and increase in usage rapid content development frameworks, but on the other hand I sense renewed interest in game based learning for various programs that are to be taught to fresh recruits (digital natives), such as induction programs. We should see much more development happening in serious gaming domain in 2011.
  6. LMS’s to Remain Primary Delivery Mechanism for e-Learning – I know am repeating myself and have stated same thing in the table above, but this one is just to annoy the doomsday prophets!

So this is how I think things would shape up in 2011. What are your thoughts?

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