E-learning trends are changing rapidly, as well as the whole online learning industry itself, as more and more companies realize the truth: e-learning is an efficient leverage to foster employees self-education. New eLearning companies create new learning trends, as their online community is very flexible and quick to abandon LMS solutions that do not meet learners’ needs. With a market so big - it is estimated to reach $200 billion worldwide by 2018 - more than 200 million people actively using various learning management systems (e.g. whopping 18 million of learners at Coursera), many new players enter the field with their corporate eLearning solutions. This is why it’s particularly important to understand the best eLearning practices and trends that will continue to develop in 2016.
However, some statistics, according to Brandon Hall Group research published on Docebo.com, show that nearly 2/3 of online courses’ students, as well as their managers, are not satisfied with their current LMS and are not going to renew their subscription. These people are actively searching for an alternative. That is why knowing the most important trends in e-learning is essential for anyone working in this industry or barely entering it.
Cloud eLearning Technology
One of the most important features any MOOC should provide is scalability. No matter if 1,000 or 1,000,000 students are learning right now, everyone should have sufficient resources to cover the materials without lags and buffering. As of now, only cloud hosting is capable of providing sufficient resources for this task.
Going for public cloud servers seemed a bit risky some time ago, that is why older online learning providers mostly relied on dedicated server clusters, which imposed certain limitations on resources available. However, security levels of using cloud service nearly quadrupled in the recent years due to the rapid deployment of various protection methods and new infrastructure. That is why going for cloud-deployed eLearning solutions is a wise move.
Big Data Usage
The online education industry may become the one to experience implementations of Big Data technologies. The learning process of millions of students generates a huge flow of various statistics, which could – and should – be gathered and processed. Which part of your course is more popular and which is not; behavioral patterns of your students; their results in comprehending your course information and solving tests, average time required to complete a test or an exercise, etc. – every little piece of statistics can be important for tailoring your course to fit your students’ requirements best. Therefore, the LMS of your choice should provide convenient and efficient tools for gathering statistics.
Gamification in eLearning
Gamification is becoming more and more widespread in all types of educational programs worldwide. Since most of the tutors and managers embraced this method, they began incentivizing the students by assigning them a role and turning them from passive listeners into active learning process participants. When every student can actively participate in the learning process, their attention and concentration increases and they are more likely to provide valuable feedback which can be used to further improve your LMS content and functionality.
One of the most important aspects of running any learning platform is creating regular tests, quizzes, and exercises. However, developing such tasks requires some time from the one who already excels at the topic and is a reliable source of knowledge. However, a single person can only produce a limited amount of testing tasks per some time limit and, therefore, should choose between producing the content and producing tests for it. This slows LMS expansion, obviously.
With that said, automation is one of the most important tendencies in eLearning. If LMS of your choice deploys powerful authoring tools, this allows significantly reducing the time and resources needed for creating various tests, as well as structuring the course content. Being able to include various quizzes and questionnaires using powerful automation tools is invaluable.
Several companies, including DDI development software company, are working on such automation solutions. Choosing the right partner is important for any business, and in e-learning industry, it’s crucial.
One of the most important tendencies in eLearning is providing access to MOOC via mobile devices. Smartphones become more and more utilized as access points, enabling any student to study wherever and whenever it suits them. Mobile LMS technology is supposed to surpass computer counterparts soon (as well as in many other fields of application). Developing mobile LMS apps is vital for any provider aiming for success, as it grants much more audience coverage and engagement, as compared to standard laptops or PCs.
We think that following the latest trends in online learning is essential if you really plan on biting a big piece of the pie and becoming a successful market player in the years to come. What are your thoughts on these online learning trends? Please share your opinion in the comments below, we’re always open for a discussion.