I think 2008 will be an exciting year that will mark some interesting changes in corporate HR strategies and social learning phenomena.
If we look at some of the recent trends – one is the evolution of Web 2.0 and its increasing fusion with the e-Learning tools that broadly include mobile learning, wiki, blogging, podcasting and synchronous tools (including white-board, chat, audio and video). Second is that earlier the delivery was static because the objective was completely different as compared to what administrators seek from the delivery platforms today. Now the learning platforms offer you endless functionalities to plan, size, deliver, track, calculate and support your decision making process.
I’ve been watching and receiving a number of e-Learning platform requisition tenders and what I could imply was: –
- No organization is barely interested in delivery of the e-Learning programs; instead they need a system that dovetails well with the overall HR infrastructure.
- An attractive feature demand change in the LMS market with increasing demands for Web 2.0 features, improved collaboration, robust reporting, and Talent Management.
- Organizations are looking for a system that offers superior functions to support organizational communication not just training!
- Robust decision support, reporting and analytics.
- Much more…
My predictions for 2008: –
Informal e-Learning: –
- Social networks AKA networking tools: More social portals that would foster open learning and community based transfer and synthesis of knowledge, thoughts and insights. These portals may offer noteworthy functionalities like discussion board, wiki, podcasting and much more! I’m still waiting for a social networking portal to offer mobile compatibility as its very important for business executives.
- Open document sharing portals like SlideShare and DocStoc will acquaint the user’s knowledge-gap.
Corporate e-Learning: –
- E- Learning analytics: With heavy investments in the area – compilation, visualization and interpretation of electronic data collected in the context of e-Learning activity will become much more important. I’m hopeful to witness a promising e-Learning analytics tool that may assist the training administrators calculate the cost, ROI, and TCO over every dollar spent on training programs. This would become even more necessary if economy slows down as discussed in earlier post by Ankit.
- Game & Simulation based Learning – My own gut feel says that overall market for serious games, and simulations would have a more than proportionate increase in demand. Organizations involved in development of such games are realizing that a mixed onsite and off-shore team can substantially bring down game development cost, and that serious games can be developed without bankrupting clients! This I believe would lead to increased adoption of serious games by clients in the coming year.
- Rise in Integrated purchase of Talent Management and Learning Management Systems – In the year 2007 we’ve seen some interesting shift in the LMS purchase with marked increase in demand of integrated Talent Management and Learning Management System. This would force e-Learning vendors to invest more in features and functionalities that meet the Talent Management needs of corporations.
- Web 2.0: Many LMSs are offering “learning on demand” features that support webcasting, podcasting and video among other features, consequently many organizations may desire to redesign there corporate learning platforms.
- Web based course authoring: As the content and interactivity standards are elevating day on day, it will require deeper Subject Matter expertise and team involvement working from various locations. Under such situation a web and workflow based authoring system would make the job more effective. We already have started witnessing some movement in this area and if I could correctly remember Udutu is a tool that offers you web authoring capabilities.
- Movement in the SME e-Learning: If you closely examine the market distribution – the total e-Learning market is divided between SME and Large corporations on a ratio of 65:35. Analysis of the real situation and my close observations predicts that e-Learning usage will gain more momentum in the SME sector, with investments mainly in infrastructure.
No matter what may happen and how far the predictions are realized – one thing that’s predestined is the exponential growth of the e-Learning Industry and thus it will remain a subject to be watched all round in the Year 2008.
(Vivek Pandey is Manager – Business Development at G-Cube)