There was a time when telephone sets were complicated instruments with insulated wires, a ringer, dial, and a mouth piece. Now-a-days, they fit into our palms and are operated even by infants. Telephones – an indispensible part of our lives – have undergone tremendous changes – in terms of their appearance, size, features, and benefits.
Similarly, the field of e-learning which has become the most preferred training delivery platform for organizations across the world is also witnessing tremendous technological advancements that aim at making learning delivery more easy, accessible and in tune with the sensibilities and preferences of today’s learners.
In this blog, I will provide a brief introduction of 4 current trends that have taken the e-learning world by storm and are worth investing your time and efforts in.
Videos and video-based learning have emerged as the most influential medium of addressing and engaging people.
With their high impact visuals and scope for narration, videos have the potential to convey a vast array of topics ranging from simple customer interaction scenarios or messages from top management to complex product demonstrations and executing the steps of software processes.
Videos offer learners a chance to view things that are difficult to handle/experience in real life. They also offer the flexibility of viewing the clip as and when needed and becoming familiar with the process/steps.They are a very effective medium of engaging Millennials – the growing majority of today’s workforce – who are hooked on to YouTube.
Their versatility in presenting different subjects seamlessly makes videos one of the current hot trends in online learning across all organizations.
According to Gartner Research, by 2016, large organizations will stream more than 16 hours of video per worker, per month, up from 10.8 hours in 2012. That translates to each employee spending 45 minutes every day watching business videos.
All of us love games – playing, competing, achieving and winning. The trend of gamification draws on this inherent human tendency to convert learning material into games so learners are engaged and learn while enjoying a simulated game-like environment.
Gamification is adding game elements, mechanics and aesthetics to engage, motivate learners, and help them gain problem-solving skills and knowledge. While playing, learners get totally involved in the game and as such, learn and retain better. They become good at applying the knowledge at the point of need in their regular jobs too as this is what they do in the game – to survive, progress further, and ultimately win.
Gamification is now moving away from basic elements,such as rewards and levels towards creating totally immersive, life-like environments that actually support and add value to the subject being taught.
Often, organizations lose sight of the big picture and create games just for the sake of being counted “in” with the cool gang. Thus, it is of extreme importance to ensure that the game environment suits the subject being delivered and brings about the desired behavioral change.
According to a report by Ambient Insight, the global market for game-based learning was $1.5 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $2.3 billion by 2017 – a growth rate of 8.3%.
3. Micro learning
Most of us have grown up playing with building blocks – each piece is a stand-alone entity and contributes to the whole to form something meaningful.
Micro learning serves the same functionality in the e-learning realm. Though part of a whole curriculum or training program, each micro learning module is stand-alone and comprehensive. They are used to personalize training programs where learners have the option to choose the modules they want to pursue and chart their individual learning paths. This provides better control over training and ensures maximum learning and application.
These micro modules also make for a great reinforcement platform wherein learners can access a module –when needed, even on the move – and refresh their knowledge. They are a very effective medium to engage Gen Y professionals who have very short attention spans and need access to information on the move, on the gadget of their choice.
Micro learning yields best results when it incorporates video bytes and made mobile compatible.
According to a report by Software Advice, around 58% of employees surveyed said they would be more likely to access their organizational online learning if the content was presented as multiple, shorter lessons.
4. Mobile Learning
The mobile has become ubiquitous in our lives and so has mobile learning. This is a trend that is here to stay for long and rule the roost. The real power of mobile learning comes from responsive design and HTML 5. Responsive courses can run on multiple devices of all screen sizes without needing any additional design and development efforts.
Mobile learning can be accessed on the move and offers learning nuggets which maximize the impact of learning. Employees will have the flexibility of accessing courses from the device of their choice at their preferred location – this adds to their appeal, especially among the Gen Y workforce.
Mobile learning, in addition to engaging learners, aids collaborative learning as mobile users are more likely to learn from each other, share experiences, and have discussions to solve problems (According to a study by Towards Maturity).
According to a report by Ambient Insight, the global market for mobile learning is expected to reach $12.2 billion by 2017; it was $5.3 in 2012.
As in any field, trends keep emerging even in the field of online learning. Not every trend will sustain itself; some announce themselves with a big bang but ultimately fizzle out. Before adopting a trend, ensure suits your organizational needs and you have the resources necessary to support it.