To call it an emerging trend would be an understatement. Today, the effectiveness as well as cost-effectiveness of technology-aided learning is an established fact – both within and outside the corporate world. Technology-aided learning is now a huge and booming industry, with an estimated market value of $107 billion in 2015 (Source: Forbes.com). It makes perfect sense to end the year with a review of the trends that are set to define the learning industry in the coming year.
- Small is Powerful: While the spread and popularity of e-learning is increasing day by day, the need for micro-learning or learning in small sizes is also on the rise. This is because the number of professionals is increasing exponentially, and though all value learning, most find it hard to schedule long learning hours in the midst of a stressful working day. That is why they find it much more convenient and effective to learn from a series of short learning nuggets, delivered on their mobile phones, than, say, a 2-hour uninterrupted learning module. These short learning nuggets can be prepared for a wide variety of topics, but skill-based courses and performance support trainings will continue to be on high demand. These courses and trainings are created with the objective of improving sales or service quality. There is usually a Quick Response (QR) code to access this just-in-time learning – and the industry will explore this method and use it more and more.
- Wearable Learning Technology: Mobile learning has already made ripples across the industry because it gives just-in-time learning opportunities. The learner can learn anywhere, anytime – and these opportunities will increase with the growing use of wearable gadgets like Google Glass, iWatch, biosensors, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, accelerometers, and so on. The utilization of these gadgets has been explored by other industries and the learning industry will strive to find similar utilizations. For instance, sports coaches utilize smart watches to send notifications to athletes to enhance performance. Similar notifications can be sent to employees on safety measures, performance support, and so on.
- Personalized and Adaptive Learning: In e-learning, Big Data is defining how companies determine learning efficacy. The utilization of Tin Can API will increase the use of Big Data and more emphasis will be given to learner experiences – especially for online learning. This will help calculate and project a more accurate ROI – something all learning organizations strive for. The collected multiple data points will also be an eye-opener to what exactly works for the specific learner, and there will be an increased drive to create personalized content to suit individual needs. The data will also be utilized for creating adaptive learning where content can be changed as per the feedback received on learner usage. By tweaking the content during run time, the learning event will be made more impactful and aligned as per the preferences of the individual learner or the learner group.
- Gamification: Gamification has been the buzzword last year as well. The need for learning games is increasing, as well as the need for inclusion of gaming mechanics in other learning platforms, including learning management systems. There will be continued interest in the merging of gamification and prevalent learning platforms – to enhance the overall learning experience. The growth of game mechanics will propel innovative game-based solutions, like gamified learning apps, that can be integrated with existing learning systems. This will push the barriers that often exist in the way of implementing game-based learning as a lot of platforms do not support them.
- Emerging Markets and e-Learning Development: Most companies will continue to focus on saving time and reducing costs. They will look for e-learning companies with mature processes and resource excellence – both onsite and offsite. Among emerging e-learning providers, Indian companies will continue to shine with their continued focus on innovation and utilizing the latest in technology.
e-Learning too is evolving, along with other evolving technologies. We are all a part of this change – striving together to create a learning culture that is inclusive and helps achieve work excellence.