I know many of us didn’t expect that we would start another year with the pandemic still ongoing, but here we are. In 2020 when COVID started, we thought it was going to be a simple universal glitch or a short-term setback that would be non-existent after a month or two, but again, here we are. For the companies that saw opportunities in the “new era”, and invested in creating a digital niche, this is a big win.
On a wider scale, institutions are accepting a permanent change in how things were traditionally run before the pandemic. Even though a total overhaul may not be pragmatic anytime soon, there’s a consensus to properly merge digital processes with physical ones.
Last year saw a number of e-learning trends including blended learning which has become “the new normal”. This year, we’re predicting that the following e-learning concepts will be more globally used.
Note: Since e-learning is widely used in both academic and corporate institutions, we’ll not make a distinction between corporate e-learning trends and academic e-learning trends.
Mobile learning lives evident in its name. It’s a testament to everything the word mobile means: changeable, adaptable, on-the-go, etc. Since the traditional fixed system of learning is evolving, mobile learning is expected to be the next real deal. Smartphones are the most common devices these days. Globally, people who do not have access to desktop computers at least, have access to smartphones which they use to access the internet and perform simple tasks. This shows how crucial it is to focus on a mobile-friendly interface for corporate and academic learning platforms.
Adaptive learning focuses on personalizing learning. It is built around the principle that every learner has unique needs and interests as a result, the content, pace, and level of learning is easily adjusted per employee or learner. Learning platforms built with this technique will be more popular because skill-based learning is becoming more centered especially in corporate institutions. Many of these platforms require that learners take a test that is used to measure their strengths and weaknesses and tailor their learning process in line with data from the test.
If you ever had a robot friend fantasy then imagine the possibility of a computer-simulated mentor who knows your strengths, weaknesses and guides your learning process as such. This learning technique is similar to adaptive learning in terms of how personalized it is. AI is a simulation of human cognitive processes and predictions based on identified patterns therefore, it practically performs the function of a personal tutor.
Many people are visual learners, and considering the significant decline in the attention span of humans, learning is generally more effective when it’s visual. Video-based learning is widely preferred because the blend of sound and visual content makes it easier and more fun for learners to retain information. This explains why It is easier for learners to narrate all seasons of a TV series than to narrate a single lesson in class. Video learning is the way forward. Unlike traditional classroom teaching, video Lessons can be forwarded, paused, and replayed when a concept isn’t clear.
Catalog Courses are in demand because of the ease they provide. These courses are normally referred to as off-the-shelf courses because of how quickly they can be finished when one is in need of a “tutorial” on how to do something or learn something relevant to an ongoing task. Many people go to YouTube in search of a “How to . . .” video or they enrol in a short course on Coursera, Udemy, etc. A specific catalog course platform is still in high demand in the learning environment.
One of the major challenges of learners and teachers is the process of forgetting past lessons. After a period of dormancy, a learned instruction is likely to be forgotten. This is what educators call the forgetting curve. Continuous learning focuses on helping learners to retain information permanently. It thrives on the concept that learning is a continuous process and not a one-time experience. It involves the use of digital resources to create games, etc that will constantly refresh previous lessons.
Social learning is one of the most common learning strategies around the world and it has proven to be very effective. Let’s face it, we learn from the people around us almost all the time, a lot of the things we know are a result of observation and imitation. The future of e-learning is predicted to be more engaging. Even now, many courses require peer reviews and team efforts to complete. Learning in this sense does not only become a personal process but a collaborative effort with learners in other parts of the world. Social learning in a corporate environment helps employees to easily interact with and learn from supervisors, etc. It is a predicted trend in this new year.
Content curation is already a popular trend in the entertainment and marketing industries but it’s still growing in the e-learning space. It is expected to be more widely used this year and in the coming ones because of how easy it is to incorporate diverse types of digital content. The Global Human Capital Trends, through a report, says “Corporate learning departments are changing from education providers to content curators and experience facilitators, developing innovative platforms that turn employee learning and development into a self-driven pursuit.”
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
This is an excellent duo when used complementarily because they allow learners to experience reality through different perspectives. While augmented reality is an enhancement of the real physical world through digital elements and sensory stimuli, virtual reality is total modeling or simulation that allows an individual to interact with an artificial sensory environment. Adopting these techniques in learning will widely change how learning is ‘experienced’.
Just as the word ‘micro’ denotes small or minute quantities of something, microlearning deals with relatively small learning units and short-term learning activities. Many microlearning platforms use gamification and assessments to boost learners to grasp concepts quickly and effectively. To boost performance for frontline workers who do not have long periods to dedicate to long-term learning, this technique is a great approach.
Closing this, we recommend that academic and corporate institutions planning towards improving their learning strategies should consider the following suggestions.
- Survey to determine the learning needs of your employees or students. Since almost all these learning strategies are individual-centered, it is important to know what each learner needs. The areas they want to improve upon, and what they’re interested in.
- Build a project and plan a feasible budget. A lot of older folks say knowledge is power, well, another important part is that knowledge is expensive. Building training projects for your employees is an investment. It requires proper planning and good budgeting.
- Consider long-term relevance. It is advisable to center learning programs that will not only be temporarily relevant because of how expensive these training projects can be.
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