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Big Data: Is it a New Revolution in an eLearning?

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Big Data: Is it a New Revolution in an eLearning?

In this digital world, each moment we come across various such terms which have become vogue and is seen to be used too often. Of late, Big Data, the most buzz terms which has appeared in the internet a number of times. So, what’s Big Data? 

Big Data:

It can be best defined as unstructured data generated from various sources, every second, in bulk volumes. Using conventional methods, it is difficult to track and analyze this data. But, with the advancement of technology, it becomes easy to capture, store, and analyze this raw data. Thus, this vast information becomes helpful in organizational context.

What is Big Data in an eLearning scenario? 

In the eLearning context, when the learner interacts with an eLearning course, his progress, passing scores, social sharing – all these bits of information combined together generate the ‘Big Data’. All these data can be tracked through Learning Management Systems (LMSs) and other social networks.

How Big is Big Data?

  • 48 hours of video are uploaded on YouTube every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content every day, Zuckerberg noted that 1 billion pieces of content are shared via Facebook’s Open Graph daily.
  • Bad data or poor data quality costs US businesses $600 billion annually.
  • According to Gartner, Big data will drive $232 billion in spending through 2016.

Source: http://www.espatial.com/articles/20-shocking-facts-and-figures-about-big-data

Hope these few statistics correctly demonstrate why big data is getting a lot of media attention.

How Big Data contributes to eLearning Industry?

In an eLearning scenario, Big Data helps provide detailed information on how a learner progresses through the course, how easily he can digest the information. It also helps pinpoint the areas where he finds difficulty and need to seek ways to fine tune his approach.

For example, an eLearning course on finance which is initiated by an organization that has its presence in all corners of the USA. After tracking, it has observed that employees belonging to Texas are finding Financial Accounting more interesting and are the fastest to learn as compared with other regions of USA. Thus, these trends and forecast give the organization a competitive advantage and can help take business decisions accordingly.

Thus, coming to the benefits of Big Data again, we can rightly say that it allows eLearning professionals to design highly personalized eLearning courses that suit the needs of the learner in a particular location.

Next, it enables to figure out the best possible eLearning strategy. In the example mentioned above, the company’s employees in Texas are finding it easy to learn while others are finding it difficult. Thus, the strategy for the next level should be changed so that these people too can learn easily.

Big Data, due to its tracking feature, enables learning professionals to capture data on types of learners, their learning patterns, how they have performed in assessments and so on.

Thus, with all this information in hand, it becomes easy for learning professionals to devise a scalable approach for an eLearning course based on all the data they have tracked.

Big Data has evolved not just to stay but help learning professionals build effective learning content for learners. It also enables organizations to generate better Return on Investment (ROI). Thus, the time has come to reap the benefits of this new technology to succeed in maintaining a steady growth and gaining a competitive advantage.

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