Well before COVID-19, 2020 was set to be a year of significant growth and change in the e-Learning space. From changes in student behavior and expectations to technological advancements to broader societal shifts expected in the near and distant future, these trends are likely to forever change how humanity learns and enhances skills. In this article, we take a brief look at a handful of the trends driving these changes.
Increased Acceptance of Online Education
It wasn’t very long ago that e-Learning was looked upon with a certain amount of derision; as the far less desirable cousin of the in-classroom standard of conventional education. But with fast, cheap, ubiquitous Internet access and other innovations, we have witnessed somewhat of a revolution in the public perception of online learning. Both traditional universities and online bootcamps have developed robust mechanisms to support students in answering questions and enhancing various other aspects of the learning experience.
When you combine this change in perception with the clear advantage that e-Learning has in terms of flexibility of schedule and place, it’s easy to see why online education is not only increasing in acceptance, but in many cases becoming the preferred method of improving knowledge.
Expected Changes in the Nature of Work
The days of spending your entire life in the same career are far behind us. Consequently, workers must be all the more nimble in navigating new avenues of skill acquisition. Arguably the greatest technological driver of this change is artificial intelligence.
AI will forever change the landscape of work. Any occupations that tend to be repetitive or “non-creative” in nature are likely to be replaced by AI.
If applied consistently throughout your career, online learning will likely become the best way to “AI-proof” personal skill sets and ensure your ongoing value to employers.
Over the past several years, quite a few innovations have been devised to improve the quality of the learning experience provided by online courses. These improvements have helped in every facet of education, from improving retention to making the learning process extremely entertaining.
Many online learning programs have used the concept of designing instructional material around games, both to improve engagement and otherwise enhance the learning process.
While as previously mentioned AI is driving immense changes in the nature of work, it is also creating enormous opportunities in learning applications. For example, through the use of AI, courses can now be designed to be adaptive depending on an ongoing assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of an individual in picking up the concepts of certain learning material.
Augmented & Virtual Reality
These closely-related technologies may not be getting incorporated as much into e-Learning programs yet, but we expect that they will become a major element of online education in the future. The ability to create virtual spaces in order to learn new concepts presents an amazing opportunity to not only improve the overall educational experience but also integrate learning into tangible environments.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on these and other trends shaping the future of e-Learning throughout the remainder of 2020, and into the years ahead. If you’re looking for insights into how these trends may impact your specific e-Learning program, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a conversation.