E-learning is gaining popularity with every passing day with continuous evolvement along the way. One of the key factors driving this growth was the pandemic of COVID-19, pushing both education and businesses to adapt to this new technological era of gaining knowledge online. However, this growth has been instrumental in showing the gap between traditional education and the real-life demand for knowledge and skills.
To stay on top of e-learning and make the most of it, it is necessary to keep an eye on the latest online education trends. If you are looking to broaden your knowledge of the e-Learning industry then this post is for you!
In this article, we will discuss 11 e-learning trends that will shape 2023 and beyond.
Trend #1: Mobile Learning
Probably the biggest trend in online learning is mobile learning, or m-learning, as mobile devices have become indispensable for everyday life, work, and education. This fact requires e-learning platforms to actively adapt their content to mobile devices to improve user experience and provide more opportunities to learn from anywhere.
So, mobile learning is simply learning using mobile devices. It can basically take two forms–accessing a course using a browser on a mobile device or by using a separate mobile app developed by an e-learning platform. M-learning means learning using small screens so it requires content to be responsive and highly interactive. A common practice for m-learning content is having a mobile-first design and short course duration. To ensure optimal user engagement and measure the effectiveness of mobile learning experiences, e-learning platforms should integrate mobile app analytics to gather valuable insights on user behavior and performance.
Mobile learning often takes place in public transport, cafes, and similar places. Thus, along with the content being adapted for a small screen, its best if diverse content formats are used. The most frequent ones for e-learning are videos, podcasts, short text-based content, and quizzes.
Trend #2: Microlearning
Microlearning is a learning approach when the content is split into small portions of information. So, each online lesson has to be up to 15 minutes with the optimal duration being 5 minutes.
Short, fast, and effective learning has become a favorite format among users because such microcontent is more entertaining and easy to grasp. It ensures users’ attention is retained by providing content to them in a more consumable format.
The most popular formats of microlearning are videos, podcasts, infographics, and even games. For instance, with microlearning, a common one-hour podcast will be split into ten or more episodes. Platforms like DataCamp or Codecademy are leveraging microlearning by breaking lessons into 3-7 minute chunks formatted as quizzes.
Trend #3: Gamification
Do you remember when you were a child and you learned the colors or numbers while playing? The same concept was used when gamification was adopted by the e-Learning industry.
E-learning creators started to use gamification some time ago, and this trend will continue to evolve in 2023. Gamification means utilizing techniques borrowed from games to improve learners’ engagement and motivation.
Common gamification techniques include collecting points, gaining prizes, getting to higher difficulty levels, following heroes and scenarios, etc. All these elements ensure the dynamic of learning online and help reach learning goals easier. For instance, rewards as a common gamification technique provide a student with a more intense feeling of accomplishment after completing a lesson or a module.
Trend #4 Personalized experience
With the growth of the e-learning sector, the competition, as well as the expectations of learners, also grows. So, companies utilize more advanced technology mixed with insights from psychology to improve user experience. For instance, e-learning platforms use different techniques to evoke users’ emotions and increase the emotional connection with the content.
Meanwhile, the data analysis also becomes more sophisticated. Data collected on each user allows for analyzing how a learner interacts with a course and based on that offers the next steps or adapts content accordingly. Such a human-centered learning approach allows for better participation from learners and a higher involvement.
As an example, a learner gets hints on how to complete a quiz with a higher grade, how many lessons they should take in a row, or receives notifications on the best time of the day to continue learning based on their historical data.
Trend #5: Social learning
One of the biggest drawbacks of e-learning is probably a lack of communication and the feeling of not being involved in a community. Social learning as another huge trend is what helps e-learning stay closer to a traditional way of learning.
Social learning means utilizing social networks so that learners can share knowledge, help others with assignments, grade others, and just study in a more competitive and thus more productive environment.
Social learning includes additional features for interaction, commenting, and debating, and generally for peer-to-peer and peer-to-instructor communication. These can be forums, chats, or just sections on e-learning platforms for file sharing and peer review.
In a nutshell, such elements allow for easier communication between students as well as between a student and an instructor. For instance, some online courses have Slack channels so that students can communicate, ask questions, and get assistance in real-time.
Trend #6: Live classes and webinars
Other trends that help online learners overcome the feeling of being disconnected are webinars and live classes. Such learning formats allow real-time learning and interaction which is important for both instructors and students. Live classes allow students to get fast answers and stay motivated toward their learning goals, while allowing instructors to easily get feedback on their course and understand the difficulties students might have.
Live classes and webinars can be a part of an online course or just an additional activity organized by an e-learning company or a tutor individually.
Trend #7: Chatbots in e-learning
Chatbots are used by many businesses as they help users get immediate answers and navigate them through the website. They help e-learning companies in the same way.
Chatbots are new conversational learning technology that allows e-learning platforms and content creators to save time while providing students with the needed help. Chatbots are used for real-time interactions as they have instant access to relevant information or a document. Chatbots can give answers to students’ general questions and inquiries, show what to do next, collect feedback, and solve other issues. If you are struggling to find a chatbot developer for your existing platform, you may try IT staff augmentation. It will allow you to find a relevant specialist quickly and elevate your students’ experience with a new feature very soon.
Trend #8: Virtual reality (VR) in e-learning
There is no doubt that technology is advancing more and more, and a clear example is virtual reality or VR which allows students to get into a 3D interactive environment with an impressive interface. VR is highly immersive and instead of just watching content on the screens, students can interact with this 3D virtual world similarly to real-life experience.
Virtual reality provides both visual and auditory experiences while eliminating distractions like notifications and other simultaneous activities on mobile phones or laptops. The most benefits VR has for learners who need to get on-hands knowledge in the fields like medicine.
Trend #9: Remote employee training
According to recent statistics, 16% of companies work on a fully remote basis and this trend doesn’t seem to go away anytime soon. This new work-from-home model leads to a demand for virtual training for teams.
Virtual training can be organized for each employee individually based on their current role at a company and skills or, at the same time, it can be organized for a whole team to teach all of them one particular skill and also connect them.
Such an e-learning approach usually requires additional features for managing a group so that a manager can control the process. Meanwhile, it usually allows each team member to see their results in the context of their coworkers.
Trend #10: Blended learning
Blended learning, or b-learning, is the combination of face-to-face and online learning that allows learners and instructors to have better communication and involvement. In this case, an offline class can be then combined with watching a video at home or completing a quiz online. Such an approach allows students not to feel isolated while saving time and providing more flexibility to the learning processes.
Trend #11: Monetization of knowledge through e-Learning
While most educational content can be found online at no cost, a lot of people prefer to pay for the knowledge and skills to stay motivated. Meanwhile, e-learning has become a powerful and widely used alternative to traditional education as it allows one to get real skills faster while ensuring affordability.
At the same time, more and more people are trying to sell their knowledge and skills by offering their courses and training. Content creators can do this on e-learning platforms, on their social media and websites, or using Youtube. In the latter case, course creators can share their knowledge for free through their channels, while generating income through paid advertising.
Without a doubt, e-learning has its deserved place in the future of education. There are many trends that will be shaping e-learning this year, including mobile learning, microlearning, gamification, and others. All of these trends are aimed at making e-learning efficient and engaging while saving time for learners and instructors.
About the Author
Stacey is a content creator at Self Starters, where she writes about online courses and self-development. She has completed plenty of online courses and is planning to create her own one on effective writing. Stacey always searches for ways to become more productive and organize everything in a more efficient way.