10 eLearning Trends You Need to Know for 2017

If you influence, or are responsible for learning and development in your organisation, you may want to keep an eye on the eLearning trends that are likely to make an impact in 2017.

To help you stay ahead of your game and on schedule for completing the annual reporting and forecasting, we’ve done the hard work for you and evaluated industry information and predicted the top 10 emerging eLearning trends of 2017, leaving you to take on board what’s happening!

We’ve also designed a handy 10 eLearning Trends for 2017 infographic for you that also shows whether each trend predicted is a design or tech trend, and a rating in terms of affordability.

1: Microlearning

There is constantly pressure in eLearning to do things quicker and shorter, but there is also limit to how far you can push that in the context of learning. Typically online learning courses are delivered in one complete scorm module. Microlearning goes against this, it isn’t however just very short learning, but a longer course broken into chunks or shorter sessions, typically less than 5 minutes. As online learning courses develop, we can expect to see more microlearning over time with one learning outcome per activity and linked typically to a pathway in a coherent way.

 2: Interactive Video

Interactive video is more popular than ever and when applied well in eLearning it has great benefits for learners. However, video is changing and becoming interactive. The use of interactive video is a great way for user to learn and reflect on learning content, and we can expect to see more of this.

3: Games and Gamification

This trend has made the shortlist again as it is still yet again, an emerging theme. Like most new trends, this one has been slow to adopt, with cost playing a big factor in that part as adding these elements can be a costly approach, but illustrations can be a lot more affordable.

Gamification is adding game like elements to learning, things like points, badges and challenges to the content to increase motivation and encourage completion. As we get to understand games and gamification, you can assume to see more of these elements appearing in content as it is a great way of learning.

4: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

This is one of the hottest topics at the moment, just look at the Pokemon Go craze! Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are two technologies which are rapidly changing. Many organisations are adapting these technologies, in particular, virtual reality to facilitate the creation of real-life scenarios to create an immersive experience for the learner as they interact with the digital environment.

We are already seeing green shoots of this emerging trend, right here on our own doorstop, pupils from Pupils at Edmund Rice College near Belfast are one of the first schools in Northern Ireland taking part in a Google project to bring VR to one million pupils across the UK. Although you can pick up a VR headset at a relatively cheap cost, the actual expense is in the designing and building of the content.

5: Responsive Design

Responsive design has largely been driven by the uptake of mobile device. Client organisations are increasingly asking for content that work across all mobile devices. To solve the multi-device issue eLearning is doing what most web sites have already done….gone responsive. Responsive design is an approach to ensure that we can have the same content on all our devices and demand for this is only set to grow.

6: Adaptive and Personalised

Personalised learning has proven that learning outcomes are improved when applied. Adaptive and personalised learning makes content dynamic and interactive, placing the student at the centre of his or her individual learning experience, whilst the platform uses data and analytics to continuously updated the learning pathway by adapting the content in real time. As more research is done on this type of instructional strategy,  more of this approach is likely to be adapted.

7: Brain Friendly

There is a lot more research emerging about how our brain actually works and how it processes information. Instructional Designers and learning experts now applying this neuroscience evidence and applying these ‘brain-friendly’ principles and approaches to design learning.

8: Learning Analytics

As more and more learning activities are taking place digitally, more data is being gathered about learner progress. The growing interest in learning analytics reflects wider interests in ‘Big Data’ a trend that has been popping up for the past few years. Learning analytics will play an increasingly bigger part to support learners as there will be the opportunities to be more evidence-based in how we support learners.

9: Learning Experience Design

Organisations are now acknowledging something that Instructional Designers have known for quite some time that design thinking can positively impact workplace learning. Learning experience design has been on the radar for some time now, but over the next year we can expect to see more organisations integrating learning across all disciples and job functions.

10: Articulate 360

The authoring tool, Articulate released Articulate 360, a brand-new subscription offering that provides everything required to develop an eLearning course.  As we increasingly see more and more organisations developing their own eLearning in-house, course creators using Articulate 360 will have everything they need in one place to create eLearning quickly and easily.

So what do you think will be big in 2017?

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

Big Data, Big Results for E-Learning?

Cloud of words associated with Big Data

Any data, whether it is big or small can provide a useful insight into learner performance and experience. Whilst big data is nothing new and has been a familiar term for a number of years, we will explore whether big data can improve your E-Learning.

In many circles big data has become a buzz word, but what does it mean?

Big data is the gathering of information that is so expansive and complex that it is difficult to manage or organise utilising traditional methods. It is characterised by its ability to quantify events or facts that haven’t previously been traceable in data form. It can uncover correlation between events but not necessarily causation.

So, how can big data be used in E-Learning?

The use of big data relies on the principle that human behaviour has a level of universality and therefore can be predicted through trends.

With just a limited amount of information about a learner, we can predict a wealth of information, including future behaviour. It doesn’t take a huge amount of data mining to gain a fairly accurate insight into an individual learner.

Through data mining and analysing, it is possible to track:

  • An individual learner’s knowledge gaps;
  • Parts of a course where learners often get stuck;
  • Pages or topics that are shared or revisited most often; and
  • When learners tend to tune in to E-Learning.

This information in turn means big data will allow:

1)    Increased personalisation of learning content

Research and data analysis can allow E-Learning providers to identify correlations. For example, if a learner struggles with one topic, relevant data may be able to illustrate that there is a correlation between those who find that topic difficult and those who find a later topic a struggle. Using this information, learning instructors could identify a knowledge gap that is causing this issue and resolve it at an earlier stage.

2)    Instructors to provide timely motivation

If users consistently drop-out of a course or fail at a particular point, learning instructors could recognise this using big data and rectify the course accordingly by providing more encouragement or even making assessments less difficult.

3)    The testing and evolution of learning theories and content

Big data allows instructional designers to see what content works in successfully instructing learners.  They can then amend content accordingly, using the knowledge they have gained in order to restructure it and remove or improve any weaknesses. In addition, big data allows for the widespread testing of learning theories, allowing learning theorists to draw empirical conclusions about how people learn.

As with all new things, there are things to be wary of:

1)    Privacy

The media increasingly report that our digital lives are subject to monitoring of Orwellian proportions. As a learning instructor, you will want your voice to be one of authority and confidence. Therefore, be clear with learners what information you are collecting and why. Learners want to know that they can trust what you have to say and that information they share with you is in safe hands.

2)    Relevance

When using big data, setting a good foundation is important. It is vital to capture information that is both accurate and relevant before it can begin to be organised in such a way that creates meaning for E-Learning decision makers and administrators.

It is of no question that big data is set to be a very practical and tangible asset to E-Learning. If learning administrators can capture the appropriate information and organise it effectively, they can personalise learning to suit individual learners and ultimately create better E-Learning.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.