5 Recent Trends in eLearning
With all the advances in technology and media, eLearning has certainly come a long way. But there’s still plenty more to come to make it even better.
Head of Content Production, David Gristwood, takes a look at some of the buzz words and what’s trending in the eLearning industry at the moment.
Initially a piece of 60s research, 70/20/10 now seems back in fashion. If you weren’t there the first time round, or have missed it since, it suggests learning happens:
70% while we’re working
20% from people at work
10% from courses and reading
So what’s the impact on eLearning? Well, this means people have a greater expectation of learning everywhere, any time, on any device. So, eLearning needs to be in sync with the way people learn from each other, using blended/shared knowledge and experiences, for example user-generated video clips/demos.
The LMS and ‘emotional investment’
We’re seeing the market consider ‘old-style’ LMSs, with their daunting list of courses to select, a ‘cold’ management tool, no longer meeting learner needs for engagement.
The best LMSs are now being made more emotionally engaging and benefiting from being personalised, for example with:
- Individually tailored learning journeys
- Diagnostic tools
- User-generated knowledge sharing
- Leaderboards and other gamification elements
A great idea recently has been those individual learning journeys, linked to job role and identified learning gaps. The user benefits from an action plan that has selectable parts so they can focus on their individual priorities to improve their skills and job effectiveness.
Now officially known as ‘Experience API’ (xAPI), this moves us on from SCORM to a standard that enables data to be collected from a much wider range of formal and informal learning activities. This of course has implications for individuals and organisations with the potential for more comprehensive T&C and CPD records, and a portable personal learning record for the individual learner.
So this ties in nicely with the above drive for an LMS with emotional investment. Whether it’s watching a video, doing some other eLearning, attending a face-to-face course, session or whatever, users can see everything they’ve done recorded on the LMS. Meanwhile, managers can benefit from the MI this creates. At the touch of a button they can see, for example, the direct correlation between the increases in H&S training (F2F, ‘e’, etc.) with the decrease in accidents.
Many of us know the benefits of the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts, such as eLearning, to engage users. However, a balance needs to be struck here between introducing a fun element or an element of challenge to a course and annoying the user, who may well rather just be wanting to get to the end of what it is they need to do – especially if this is mandatory compliance training!
A solution that harnesses the engaging power of gaming without distracting from the learning is ideal. For example, how about building in aggregate scoring of interactive exercises so the user isn’t forced to do the end assessment?
Making content mobile
We’re seeing the market becoming clear on what ‘mobile’ means. You can move ‘traditional’ linear eLearning to be tablet-compatible. You really don’t want to try that with smart phones. These are much better used for learning support. We’ve seen a big increase in the demand for video – and smart phones are ideal for this. Revision aids are another key use of learning on smart phones.
For example ‘flash cards’ of information, like the old crib cards on paper, can be used on your smart phone. And of course multiple choice questions. All of this can help with the ‘5 Rs of mobile’: Remind, Refresh, Reinforce, Retain, Reach.
So there you go then: five game changers that are already beginning to take eLearning to the next level, making it a more attractive proposition for employers and employees alike.