It’s an exciting time for the world of e-learning as technology continues to enable it to evolve at a rapid pace. With this in mind, we thought we’d take a look at what to look out for in the industry that is sure to contribute even more to e-learning over the next 12 months or so.
Considering that the average age of the online learner has risen in recent years to 34-years-old and that the majority are either employed (81%) or undergraduates (82%) with only 16% of these being “traditional students”, it’s clear that e-learning has really taken off.
For businesses, of course there must be quantifiable proof that e-learning provides ROI. However, this is something that technology is making much easier as e-learning platforms are cutting costs and driving down the time spent away from the business.
So, what’s likely to make 2014 an even more exciting year for the industry?
#1: Mobile E-Learning
The phasing out of SCORM and the introduction of Tin Can will ensure that learning across devices is something that will become much easier than it has in the past. This means that it will become easier to share information with the LMS from mobile devices than it has been before.
Ease of access is another reason that this will take off, as most of us carry our phones with us at all times, thus making it much more accessible than being restricted to the office or a home computer to carry out training.
#2: The Social Intranet
Organisations are becoming savvier to the social intranet and the benefits that it can offer. E-learning can be complemented by this by allowing people access to company wikis, more simple collaboration and who their points of contacts are for learning and carrying out their job effectively.
This is tied into the concept of people centric organisations, which don’t just focus on the customer and sales, but on employees too. The latter who feel they have been given a ‘voice’ within the company and a means to air opinions and connect with others that they may not otherwise meet, are more productive. This in turn facilitates more effective learning, as employees are happier to produce for a company that values them.
We’ve discussed this in a previous blog post and it’s a trend that’s sure to become a biggie in 2014. The beauty of gamification is that it appeals to learners of all ages and is ‘sticky’, meaning that it stays in the memory due to the repetitive nature of it (depending of course, on the platform and industry).
The other thing that it has going for it is engagement, which surely must be the buzz word of the year! Gamification can be used alongside mobile, which is surely a better use of a commuter’s time than playing Candy Crush.
E-Learning is moving at a swifter place than ever before and it’s not just of huge use in the enterprise, but on a personal, individual level enabling people to gain access to learning which can improve their career prospects.
For businesses, it creates such a cost-effective way of training that can be tweaked to suit the type of learner, the training they need and that of the company which needs to implement health and safety training and other regulatory training.
It also helps the employee to learn at a more convenient time and place so that they feel that not only are they an important part of the company and valued as such, but are also being given the opportunity to improve themselves in various ways.
Of course, there are other trends that are worth a mention, such as unconscious bias training, which allows companies to train employees in why they may hold opinions about others that they’re essentially unaware of. This takes away the feeling of defensiveness that might come about due to Equality & Diversity training as once someone understands why they may hold unconscious perceptions about others, they are more likely to be receptive to learning more.
E-learning is continuing to expand its reach and capability which is being driven through the advances of technology and the social demands of learners. 2014 is going to be another exciting year for all of us involved in this industry, and we hope you are as excited as we are by this. As a parting note take a look at this great infographic which provides us with some interesting insights into the demographic makeup of the on-line learning community.
Source: Online Colleges