Last December, we shared insight about the state of the e-learning industry and predictions made by a leading learning management platform. The e-learning market continues to evolve quickly in order to meet with the demands of a growing consumer and corporate base, meaning trends are quick to come and go.
Without further ado, here are the top 7 trends influencing the e-learning industry going into the second half of 2016.
It’s no longer a novelty.
In its early days, e-learning was viewed as sort of a novelty, a fun way to add gaming to student lessons at the grade school level, or a different way to make distance learning courses less dry. As more individuals of all age groups were exposed to e-learning, the concept took off like wildfire. And it’s predicted that the eLearning market will become a whopping $31 billion revenue generating industry by the year 2020. That’s according to research conducted by Technavio, a global market research firm.
It’s perfect for career development.
Organizations demand their workforce to be prepared to meet the challenges of a growing world economy, and in order to remain competitive, employees must be able to demonstrate their abilities. Credentialing and university programs sponsored and developed through organizational efforts will replace traditional hands-on learning efforts. Malini Chaudhri. Ph.D. L.Ac, founder and CEO of Center for Wellness, writes for eLearning Industry that, “Skills development through eLearning is a hot priority in developing markets where accreditation, standardization, quality control, and competency listing have to be managed for a global listing and career.”
It’s getting more personal.
E-learning has always been about the unique style of every learner, but with the advent of more advanced learning technologies, it’s starting to become more personal. Elena Masolova, Founder and CEO, Eduson.tv, writes for Training Magazine and says that, “Personalization is an ongoing e-learning trend.” She adds that, “E-learning tools allow for the creation of individual learning paths, automatically adjusted to current employees’ tasks and needs.” Years ago, customized learning based on the competencies of individuals was nearly impossible – now it’s the norm.
It’s gone mobile.
With the expected number of smartphone users around the world to reach a record-breaking 2 billion users by the end of this year, it’s only natural that e-learning applications are also going mobile in order to reach more people. Mobile device use has also expanded with programs like One Laptop per Child, which gives young people access to technology for learning in their communities. Nearly all the learning content management systems are mobile-enabled today, with well-developed presentation of content and interactive lessons to keep learners interested.
It’s increasingly social.
E-learning is about people. Not only do learners want to connect with the topics and instructors in order to absorb new concepts, but they also want to connect with other learners. One of the biggest trends in e-learning for this year and beyond will be the enhancement of social tools to make the learning experience even better. Companies like Social 27 that create learner communities that are heavily reliant on user collaboration and gamification are leading the way to improve the learner experience. Built in social badges that students can earn to show off their newfound skills will also dominate the social scene.
It’s about videos.
In a recent survey, highlighted by LearnDash contributor Justin Ferriman, the use of video for corporate learning has expanded. “75% of business executives watch work-related videos on a weekly basis,” he notes. Also, millennials are interested in receiving content in video and other quick, easy to understand formats. Micro-learning, as it’s called, captures the short attention spans of typical learners and delivers content in short snippets – a practice that’s very effective.
It’s perfect for Millennials.
In the above study, Ferriman mentions that, “Millennial employees under the age of 25 expect to find a virtual learning platform within their employers work environment.” What this indicates is that employees who are accustomed to searching for information and learning via digital methods now will continue to embrace e-learning in their workplaces too. Employers can accommodate new millennial hires by having an e-learning component in place for orientation and onboarding processes, later followed by a mix of instructor led training and e-learning for the best results.
This is just a handful of the eLearning trends we expect to see for the rest of 2016 and headed into the coming year. We will keep you updated and share more as the year rounds out.