Last updated: 30.09.14

The future of e-learning

There are several trends in e-learning that need to be implemented now in order to maintain relevance in the future, according to development tool SHIFT.

In its blog on disruptive technology, the company said technology is changing, meaning a revolution is happening in the way education establishments teach and students learn. This also means e-learning needs to adapt to continue providing fresh and relevant courses.

SHIFT believes that to move forward, we first have to understand where the future lies, and has created a list of trends that e-learning needs to comply with in order to stay pertinent in the years to come.

Online learning needs to be social

Modern learners are active, which has led SHIFT to suggest that e-learning programmes need to leverage interaction with collaboration to enable students to think, explore and offer input on the subject matter. Learning environments that use technology to connect learners in meaningful ways and include relevant and authentic activities are more likely to succeed.

The learner must be at the centre of e-learning

Courses that focus on the learner, rather than the content, allow students to be taught in ways that help them to digest more information. SHIFT explains: “These courses encourage learners to acquire knowledge effectively and eliminate the all-too-common rigid instructional designs that require the students to adapt to programmes.”

‘Active learning’ will become more important

Active learning, which involves interaction and social engagement from students, allows learners to relate the content of the course to their own experiences, enabling them to apply the knowledge to their daily lives. Passive learning, which sees tutors simply delivering the information in a dry and formal manner, is becoming less and less prevalent.

Course material needs to be digestible

According to SHIFT, today’s learners can struggle to maintain their concentration for long periods of time and are seeking “immediate gratification”. Bite-sized content, ranging from short modules to ten-minute video tutorials, allow the student to learn at their own pace.

The company added: “Short sentences, captivating photos, infographics and quotes are all ideal ways to convey a message quickly. E-learning developers should also switch between these different types of content to keep learners interested.”