We are experiencing exciting innovations in the world of technology, and eLearning cannot be oblivious to them. Improved authoring tools, powerful learning management systems, collaborative tools and many more are now holding a sway on the learning arena. As we step into another exciting year, let’s look at some of the developments that are likely to change the way eLearning is going to impact the future.
Long courses with 60 minutes duration will become a thing of the past. Courses will be broken down into smaller modules with learners having the option to choose their preferred path. Courses will be structured not in a linear fashion but independently to enable learners to choose modules as per their need instead of sequentially. Typically, modules could be anywhere from 3-10 minutes duration. These can be easily converted to suit the mobile learning format as well.
With a growing number of courses being offered online, corporate L & D departments could tie up with universities to offer courses jointly for general content. Organizations could also encourage employees to benefit from the courses offered by MOOCs. There are courses such as Introduction to Marketing, Introduction to Corporate Finance or Introduction to Financial Accounting, which could be a very relevant and useful course to employees working in the relevant domain. These MOOCs certainly provide employees to advance their personal career expectations. As a result, more time and resources are available to organizations to focus on training employees on more organization-specific subjects.
Tin Can (Experience) API:
Tin Can API was launched in April 2013. Since then, its adoption has been slow but consistent. Going forward in 2014, would it replace SCORM? May be not so soon. However, integrating learning resources with courses seem to be a relevant and useful development that Tin Can makes it possible. This is something that organizations might be eager to explore and use. It surely is going to lay some foundations for the way learning landscape will shape up in the years to come.
Big Data Analytics and LRS (Learning Record Store):
Learning management systems are a storehouse of a wealth of data about learners, their responses and feedback on courses. There is a possibility of collecting more information and analyzing this information to decide on the future course of action for training programs. Response time for training feedback can be in real-time, enabling quicker modifications to courses or training structure so that it better caters to the learning needs of employees. How LRS would integrate with the Learning Management System will be interesting to observe. However, what is certain is that the Big data in both the LMS and LRS will offer phenomenal information to L & D managers to measure performance metrics and analyze training ROI.
Mobile Apps and Performance Support:
Mobile applications are becoming increasingly popular across various domains and the learning and training domain is no exception. Mobile apps can be a very good performance support tool and it would be interesting to note how organizations will take this forward and the extent of its penetration within the corporate world.
BYOD and Device Agnosticism:
More and more organizations are supporting and accepting the BYOD policy. Therefore, eLearning needs to support multiple devices as a rule rather than an option in future. We have to wait and see how organizations can integrate multiple devices seamlessly with their current training framework. Organizations will need to focus on security challenges. Given the fact that several universities have successfully set up device-agnostic systems to enable students to access the school’s LMS or community portal through any device, its replication in the corporate world is more of a natural progression.
Social or collaborative learning could extend beyond wikis, blogs and discussion boards to more course-specific issue or problem – that is, related interactions that could foster collaborative effort across the organization. Information technology companies might take the lead to make this a reality but whether there would be any systems and structure or framework in place soon is anybody’s guess. However, organizations need to explore the potential of social learning in bringing employees closer to experts within the organization to expedite the learning process.
Technological developments are enabling us to move towards a more holistic training and learning system where a one-off training program or an eLearning course is no longer the norm. Organizations are moving towards an integrated and long-term approach where learning is an ongoing phenomenon. Don’t you agree? How do you visualize the learning landscape in the years to come? Do share your thoughts.