8 e-learning trends from 2016
Now that 2017 is well underway, we take a look at the e-learning trends we saw over the last year.
The January blues are now well out of the way and 2017 is in full swing. For many professionals in the learning and development industry, the past year has been an interesting one, full of extraordinary technological developments and growing learning communities. Yet before we move towards the future of the e-learning industry, the best way to learn is to reflect on the developments we saw last year.
Here we take a look at the top 8 learning trends from 2016.
As technology advances, so does the quality of online gaming. Outside of the work setting, many of us love playing recreational games online and it is estimated that roughly 75 per cent of people in the workforce are casual gamers.
Over the past year, the e-learning industry has adopted gamification as an effective way to learn as it understands the importance of transferring gaming mechanics to learning processes. This way e-learners can more easily retain knowledge for a long period of time. While gamers compete to beat their opponents and earn rewards in a learning environment, they can both have fun and learn at the same time.
2. Responsive LMS
Responsive learning management systems (LMS) were also a trend in 2016 that is likely to persist through 2017 as we see more and more devices entering the market. These types of design courses are accessible across a variety of platforms or devices, featuring adjusting elements including text blocks and images based on the screen size and resolution of the device in question.
With responsive LMS, all learners are able to gain the same learning experience and benefits. For organisations that are looking to build their own system, a responsive interface means that they can preview the system and customise it accordingly.
3. Cloud-based systems
Numerous LMS have opted to switch to cloud-based platforms as it becomes easily accessible to employees and helps significantly reduce training costs. As well as this, businesses can easily update online training content and introduce new products and features on a cloud-based system.
In the past data security has been an issue for companies, however with the cloud, advances encryption measures are improving the safety of sensitive data.
4. Wearable tech training
When it comes to technology, wearable tech has become increasingly popular, with the introduction of the FitBit, Apple Watch and even some wearable clothing. Gadgets like these are now becoming incorporated with e-learning so that users are more engaged and learning is more interactive.
Virtual Reality is also becoming well-known throughout the e-learning industry as the 3D simulations and scenarios help users understand different learning environments.
5. Growing influence of learning communities
As learning moves away from the traditional classroom practice, the learning community grows across the globe. No longer are learners just seen as school pupils or students taught by teachers and administrators. Now, no matter what your age or background, communities are being formed that support all types of learning. There is a push for learning, the promotion of collective creativity and shared leadership which is uniting groups with similar values, visions and practices on a worldwide level.
6. Mobile learning
Towards the end of 2016, for the first time ever, internet usage on mobile and tablet devices exceeded desktop, according to StatCounter. The research found that mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3 per cent of internet usage worldwide in October last year compared to 48.7 per cent by desktop. With more users opting to learn on these types of devices rather than computers, 2016 saw the e-learning industry adapt to utilise this trend.
Now there are numerous e-learning tools designed specifically for smartphones, making it more convenient and effective for learners. Mobile learning means that courses can be accessed whenever and wherever, which suits today’s generations.
7. Social media learning
With a rise of mobile learning comes an increase in social media usage among learners. A trend that was seen in 2016 included the powerful use of social media to aid learning. For example on Facebook, course instructors have the option of creating either an open or closed group where they can interact with learners and have educational discussions.
According to the Global Web Index, users spend roughly 28 per cent of their time online on social media - a number that is expected to grow. In a millennial survey by Deloitte, by 2025, 75 per cent of the global workforce will be millennials, who favour social media learning.
8. Augmented Reality
Another trend that proved to be popular in 2016 was the development of augmented reality with e-learning. This type of technology integrates digital information with the user’s environment in real time. It differs from virtual reality as it doesn’t create a whole new environment but uses the existing reality to overlay information.
With augmented reality, learners are able to find their own potential by allowing the environment adapt to them, which they can customise, according to their preferences.