Now is the time, as the pandemic is being controlled, to take stock of the eLearning trends- current and those indicating the future.
In the new normal that we are experiencing, eLearning is witnessing an explosive growth as more organizations are increasingly investing in virtual learning experiences for their employees. According to a new study by Global Market Insights, the eLearning market is set to exceed $375 billion by 2026. This opens up a plethora of opportunities for businesses looking to use eLearning to fuel their growth and expansion. The top trends that dominated the industry in 2020 have been- Mobile Learning, Micro learning, Personalized Learning, Data-Driven Processes and the Rise of Peer-To-Peer Learning. As the eLearning market continues to grow in 2021, here are top five trends to watch out for:
1. Learning Experience Platforms
A learning experience platform (LXP) is an AI-driven peer learning experience platform employing software as a service (SaaS). LXPs are result of a new approach in developing corporate learning platforms, addressing perceived shortcomings with learning management systems (LMS). Learning experience platforms are a paradigm shift away from the top-down, management-administered style of learning management systems and toward a more independent, autonomous and self-directed style of learning preventing learner drop-offs. A lot of leading eLearning software companies have already begun to implement it.
Industry analysts estimate the market opportunity at over $300 million and project an annual growth rate of over 50%.
2. Bigger Big Data Analystics
In eLearning industry, big data is the data created by learners while taking up a course or module. For instance, if an employee completes a training module on company rules, their progress, results and any additional data created during the course is considered to be “big data.”
When harvested effectively, this information can result in many new possibilities for eLearning. Managing your data effectively can streamline your instructional strategies and learner satisfaction.
In 2021, it is expected that this trend is going to grow exponentially allowing corporates to increase their training ROI by gathering right information of the learner experience so that the learners can be presented with suitable training.
AI’s role and impact is going to be ubiquitous including in corporate training. It is most likely to improve learners’ experience by offering the possibility to create adaptive learning features with personalized tools.
Here are some of the ways in which AI is changing the elearning industry.
Smart content: Can be created across various mediums be it audio, video or online assistant as digitized guide and curriculum.
Intelligent tutoring systems: AI not only has the power to condense lectures into flashcards and smart guides, but it can also be used to tutor learners based on the difficulties they are facing.
Virtual facilitators: By using new technologies such as gesture recognition, an actual trainer can be replaced by a robot. AI, 3D gaming and computer animations are used to create realistic virtual avatars and interactions.
Content analytics: Using this, content taught to the learners is optimized for its maximum effect.
Universal access: AI can make classrooms available to all, even for those those who speak different languages or those with visual or hearing challenges. For example, Presentation Translator is a free plugin for PowerPoint that creates real-time subtitles when a trainer speaks.
Automate admin tasks: AI systems can already grade multiple-choice questions and now they are close to accessing written responses as well!
4. AR, VR, And MR
Industries such as manufacturing are experiencing a digital transformation by using AR/VR/MR eLearning solutions to develop smart manufacturing production. AR/VR/MR eLearning solutions cover everything the workforce has to learn in an industrial working environments (e.g., Artificial Intelligence, robotics, hardware, and software) to create innovative product designs.
For example, Virtual and Augmented Reality eLearning solutions allows digital production models to be examined and tested virtually in an eLearning course under various real-time conditions, such as pressure, temperature, stress, etc.
Wherever there is scope for delivering an immersive experience, AR/VR/MR will have the edge.
5. User-Generated Content
User Generated Content (UGC) has quickly occupied the digital world, and is here to stay. UGC is any form of content that is created and delivered by users themselves.
User generated content has become so popular because it is proactive and quickly draws on engagement from an audience that would otherwise be passive. By inviting users to bring in their own content on the table, the users not only begin to participate, but they get to facilitate the conversation surrounding a project without Learning and Development (L&D) Admins needing to be in the decider’s seat. It’s a smooth way to harness creativity and enthusiasm from learner audience by welcoming their additional inputs.
User-Generated Content, or UGC, is a trend that has already put to use by many large companies. In 2021, it is expected that we will see this democratic approach to learning and sharing knowledge being used on a larger scale to deliver training. Much of this inevitable shift toward a more open working and learning environment is facilitated by technological advancements that enable easy participation.
Disruptions are the new norm, causing trends to shift continually in the eLearning industry. We need to master these changes and always be in top gear to get the most of our organization’s learning and development efforts. Let’s predict change, respond to change and ultimately celebrate change!