5 e-learning predictions for the coming year.
E-learning is changing the way that businesses consider training staff. It’s making it easier for staff to use that training in their own time by utilising the internet. The e-learning resource has gone from being something looked down on to something that big companies and small ones alike want to use. So what is the future of this online learning resource? Let’s look at some predictions for the coming year.
2014 is predicted to be the year of change for European e-learning according to Media and Technology investment firm IBIS Capital and education technology company Edxus Group. These companies have published a document considering the top twelve predictions for the biggest trends set to hit the e-learning industry this year.
The report was released in conjunction with OC&C Strategy Consultants and suggests that the top expectations for e-learning this year are user engagement, greater emphasis on content, and peer-to-peer learning. The report states that this year will see an increase in investment in e-learning by large corporations. It also finds that governments, in an attempt to cut costs, may implement e-learning too.
“We expect a significant increase in the level of investor activity around both the educational and training markets. To date the level of investment as a proportion of the size of the overall e-learning market has lagged other industry sectors. As access to capital improves from both financial and strategic investors, we will see European EdTech firms beginning to build scale both in their domestic markets but also internationally,” the report states.
The research and its predictions arrive just in time for EdTech Europe registration. This is an event run by Edxus Group and IBIS Capital and the list of 12 predictions set out in the paper is expected to form the backbone of this event.
EdTech Europe is Europe’s leading e-Learning-focused conference platform. It is a one day event that will be held in London in June this year. EdTech hopes to address current industry and investment trends in e-Learning. The event is also a valuable networking resource, as it brings together key executives from professional and academic learning and investors with an interest in the sector.
Instead of simply going over the twelve predictions for this year lets look at five in more detail.
- Big focus on user engagement
This one is of course important and why it is top of the list. It’s of no use running an e-learning course if the user is not engaging in it. Expect to see much more innovative and interesting approaches in e-learning this year.
- From MOOCS to “Selective Online Courses”, or SOOCS
MOOC is a relatively recent development and it basically means a web-based course designed to provide “free” intellectual content on a very wide-scale basis. A SOOC on the other hand is a stripped down version of the MOOC model and involves direct instructor participation. It is still distributed on a wide scale. The easiest way to differentiate between the two methods is that SOOCs have an instructor present. Both are still evolving platforms however, so keep an eye out for further innovations and changes.
- Widespread adoption of BYOD strategies
BYOD is an acronym for ‘bring your own device.’ Expect to see more e-learning delivered through smart phones, tablets and personal computers.
- The rise of data and analytics to drive adaptive learning programmes
This means simply that e-learning will become further tweaked to a specific user. The more they use the platform the more specific the learning will become. Hence the adaptive learning title.
- Peer-to-peer learning platforms
P2P is a format that is often seen in a negative light due to online piracy. However when in the context of e-learning it is a different animal. Although e-learning can provide an online learning resource, not everyone will be able to access the resource conveniently. P2P is a structure for sharing information and to optimise the process, the current model of client/server is not used. Instead any computer can function as a client or server of information.
Here are three things that P2P focuses on:
- Sharing Assests
- Distributed Computing – many computers can pool their spare CPU power to solve maintenance problems
- Collaborative work
“P2P, in concept, is a natural tool for educators. P2P allows for collaboration, sharing of resources, and a constructivist approach to learning. As P2P platforms integrate to incorporate presentation features and integrate with LMS, e-learning will have its first “complete” tool.”
2014 and beyond
The e-learning model is one that can only adapt and evolve as technology becomes ever more prevalent in day-to-day life. Some of the other predictions to look out for are more video and immersive learning environments and an emergence of more learning record stores. There will also be mobile and causal gaming apps with an emphasis on learning. If the predictions are correct there will be an increased focus on rewards, certification, and accreditation.
You can also expect to see an increase in investment by larger companies, a continued growth in online-enabled tuition, and a growing adoption of technology within the government funded vocational training market.
E-learning is the resource to consider and utilise in 2014. Every forward thinking business and institution will be adopting and implementing it.