What follows is a brief summary of the emerging trends in eLearning that Dr. Allen Partridge, eLearning Evangelist for Adobe, identified. (Adobe Captivate is a robust eLearning design program)
Mobile First vs. Responsive Design
Mobile First describes the argument that mobile media is preferable because of convenience. When you are on the go, an iPhone is generally most convenient. A tablet is less convenient than an iPhone, but more convenient when compared to a laptop. Both a mobile device and a tablet allow the user to respond more easily to programs (no mouse or keyboard needed).
eLearning designers know, however, that the aspect ratios and other variances for all of these devices can make creating content that is usable/readable a challenge. Often, the expectation from customers is eLearning content appropriate for all devices (meaning multiple outputs) will automatically be provided at no extra charge. On the horizon, we should expect to see eLearning authoring tools that include Responsive Design. Creators of eLearning could build one course and view/edit each of the mobile versions during production.
Location Aware Learning
With the GPS capabilities, location aware mobile learning is emerging. The eLearning system would use the learner’s current location and automatically determine content language needed. Another example would be providing location-specific content for compliance or legal restrictions.
A trend in eLearning is to break up larger software capabilities in favor of applifying them into single or smaller chunks. Apps are popular because they provide a simple software solution that is convenient. However, when applification happens, software becomes less complex and often loses its usefulness. Is the applification going to put roadblocks due to lack of ability to customize? Adobe Captivate is committed to not applifying their software. Instead, they are making it easy to learn and master, but keeping the complexities that make it a robust and highly customizable design solution.
Data / Analytics
While Learning Management Systems (LMS) are designed to house big data, that data is often not easy to get to, organize and analyze. Now, administrators and leaders want to have the data come to them (pushed), as opposed to going to the LMS and pulling the desired data. (An example of this would be receiving an email alert regarding students who are at risk to fail a course). This is big data, driven by intelligence. Intelligence starts making recommendations. A Learning Intelligence System, which could be plugged directly into your LMS, is in development stages.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) vs. 1 - 1 Initiatives
This is a hot debate for schools and the workplace environment. If a school issues or requires each student to acquire an iPad, this is a 1 – 1 initiative. However, BYOD is becoming popular with parents who want to repurpose older devices. This sounds good, but can be a nightmare for administrators trying to manage online content publishable to all varieties of devices.
Serious Games & Gamification
These ideas are converging with eLearning. This has a huge potential if used as computer games are: to trigger addiction. If used within eLearning – this can retrigger the “addiction to learning.” eLearning tools will begin to automate the learning Gamification production. Instructional designers will soon be able to produce 3D simulations without having to build out (programming, producing) 3D simulations.
MOOCS (Massive Open Online Courses)
Thought very trendy not long ago, this avenue of eLearning is on the decline. It’s going through the stages of the “hype cycle,” which includes an arc of “Intro to new technology,” followed by the decline or trough of disillusionment, and finally a stable and monitizable technology.
Traditional classroom teaching is turned on its head. In flipped classrooms, learners consume content via online trainings or other media. They get the foundation of the concepts on their own. Then, learners come together with an instructor to engage in activities that further the learning.
The ability to exchange information and ideas online has been upgraded. Now, you can interact within a published course. Threaded conversations can now be added to published courses, documents, and more. Instructors can track participation and recognize students for their contributions. (Search for “voice threading”)
Described as a stealthy trend, this learning happens all the time and no one knows about it. Many examples are out there, specifically Kahn Academy. In response to the question, “where do you go to learn how to do something,” the participants unanimously responded YouTube.
The average age of online learning is slowly shifting. Older learnings are slowly joining the ranks. Many are even engaging in 3D learning.
Though this practice is not new, eLearning creators continue to be asked to make content that fits everywhere, in every language.
Is there anything we missed? A detail or topic you'd like to expand on? Please join the conversation!
Traditional classroom teaching is turned on its head. In flipped classrooms, learners consume content via online trainings or other media. They get the BMI Calculator foundation of the concepts on their own. Then, learners come together with an instructor to engage in activities that further the learning.