Elearning market in the US as per the prediction of experts is expected to reach $27.1 billion by the end of this year. With elearning experiencing such rapid growth, an array of trends is going to appear converging new technologies and new learning focuses.
From gamification in learning management systems, to rapid proliferation of mobile learning, from increasing role of social media in elearning to the increasing emphasis on design elements in authoring and module development, we have already seen many of the biggest elearning trends appearing from the last year. While many of these trends are likely to grow in influence, incorporation and involvement of new tech horizons like the virtual reality, augmented reality, cloud LMS and automated course authoring will add more value to the bandwagon of emerging elearning trends. Here below we have discussed on the top 10 elearning trends to stay ahead in 2016.
1. Mobile Learning
Mobile as the new premise for learning management system continues to grow. Thanks to the increasing penetration of mobile devices and rise of sophisticated authoring tools, mobile devices now offer affordance of learning at any place and at any time. The impact of mobile devices on elearning has begun to encompass serious learning modules and courseware for distant learning students and for corporate training. As mobile savvy learners and authors are increasing, in 2016 we can see a larger and deeper impact of mobile on elearning. Moreover, with the advent of wearable devices mobile learning will continue to grow.
2. Personalized Learning
In 2016, we can see learners taking the center stage in every aspect of learning. This increasing emphasis on addressing the needs, preferences and requirements of learners at individual level will result in personalized online courses rather than learning modules and courses for groups. Learners are likely to enjoy greater control over all aspect of learning, from the pace of course progression and instruction to the choice of specific learning paths to personalized learning contents on the basis of their individual interests and abilities. Moreover, accessing all learning materials in the preferred language or mother tongue will be a reality. Custom learning with innovative courseware and instruction methods will make learning more enjoyable than ever.
Incorporating gamification in elearning has been a big new trend in the last year and this year this trend will only proliferate with more rigors. Gamification in elearning became widely popular as it helped learning modules incorporate fun elements and game like competitiveness and engagement from learners. In 2016, this can as well be the biggest trend in elearning. From incorporating elements like badges, rankings and team like scenario for group of learners to offering scores and dashboard simulating the game experience, in more than one way gamification made elearning more interesting than ever.
4. VR for Elearning
Virtual reality is the new exiting technology in the block that has been introduced in elearning from the last year opening immense potential for learners. This year, several virtual reality devices offering their consumer versions virtual reality education is expected to get an unprecedented boost. From the new, less expensive Oculus Rift headset coming at $600 to the new Google Cardboard, that connecting the wearer own smartphone delivers all content in the optically mounted VR screens, we have number of exciting options for VR learning this year.
5. Learning Experience Design Playing Key Role
Apart from the so called gadgets, stunning technologies and devices, online learning will increasingly incorporate design elements to male elearning experience better and immersive. While user engagement and penetration of learning materials is considered key in the wake of high tech learning environments, design thinking on making the online courses and instruction more interesting and involving, gets priority from authors and mobile app developers. Like user experience across mobile devices and emerging technologies, learning experience will be key in elearning technologies more than ever.
6. Open Learning Resources through Social Platforms
In last year we have seen widespread involvement of social platforms in online courses. In 2016 while elearning will continue to engage social platforms for sharing, communicating and knowledge building, eventually we can experience new learning and teaching community based social platforms to dominate the scene. This new niche of social media of elearners and elearning community will have the effect of a cultural shift in education. Niche social networks of learners and teachers like TES, BEST Network, Teachers Pay Teachers and Inspark is a bright example of this. Open Educational Resources offering a new scope to share and borrow educational materials from each other is another horizon in this direction.
7. Automated Course and Authoring Tools
Though until now in spite f widespread technological evolution in elearning space, iwe humans instead of the robots have the control over every aspect of education and learning, automation of many of the most tedious learning tasks is likely to grow in 2016. This trend is to grow particularly in the areas of authoring courses and instructional design. Already we have an array of tools for automatic generation of course material and documents on the basis of raw inputs, data, and pre-mentioned processes.
8. Learning through Augmented Reality
Augmented reality conceptualized once as the material of science fiction now is being implemented with bigger force by merging real life environment with real time virtual information. Now, this new horizon of technology converging simulated reality with the real world is looming large for elearning world as well. Already there are tools that can incorporate highly engaging augmented experience in designing learning experience. In 2016, we can see unprecedented growth in this.
9. More Emphasis on Video
With the latest tech advances and the rapid growth of smartphones, video content is experiencing boom in every facets of interaction and this is likely to continue in 2016 and beyond. In elearning space also omnipresent text coupling with videos will make learning more interactive and throughout engaging. Videos in elearning environment can also be incorporated for tracking progress. Elearning instructors can now access an array of useful information concerning the learning progress. From tracking the number of times a video is opened to tracking the activity of the user on the page to tracking keywords searched often, the use of video tracking revolutionize the progress tracking in online education.
10. Cloud based LMS taking Lead
Finally, it is the cloud based learning management systems that would help protecting the device specific local data from any intrusion and breach of security. Secondly, cloud LMS will also help protecting the learning data from unwanted system failure and crashes. Cloud based LMSs make it really harder for the intruder to track and any local device or security failure to disturb the flow of education.