eLearning has had, and continues to have trends come and go during its relatively short lifetime, with certain trends disappearing into oblivion, while some trends sticking for good, and being followed to this day. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 timeless eLearning trends that stuck, and have become more of eLearning essentials than trends. Let’s go.
Gamification tops the list of eternal eLearning trends because it is a sure-shot way to build learner engagement. Gamified eLearning courses have evolved to include more elements in them than simply game dynamics and rules like leaderboards, points, rewards and achievements. Although all these points are what makes gamification so great as a learner engagement and motivation tool, the gamified courses of today utilize augmentations, animations and compelling storylines. Gamification has not only stood the test of time as an eLearning trend, it has improved with it. Which is why gamification is the way to go, and one of the most beneficial trends in eLearning ever.
- Personalized Learning
Corporate organizations have now understood that each individual learner/employee is different, and have different professional and personal goals, according to which they should be provided training through eLearning. They should have the freedom to choose their own learning paths, which makes their learning more focused and targeted. By giving the learners the power to choose what modules to complete and which to skip, personalized learning empowers its users. Personalized learning also appeals more to learners, as everyone wants something that is designed based on their personal choices. Personalized learning is thus a trend that stuck, and is being used more and more by corporate organizations that wish to improve their employee learning and development.
Talking about learner autonomy and freedom, nothing gives learners more freedom than mLearning. After all, employees have a lot on their plate, even without having to take out the time during office hours to complete eLearning courses. When they’re forced to complete courses during office hours, it leads to a backlog of actual work, as well as discontent. When employees feel resentment towards eLearning courses, and treat them only as a tiring convention that must be done, no learning can take place. mLearning allows employees to complete their eLearning courses on their smartphones, whenever they want to, wherever they want to. This solves all the above mentioned problems. This is the reason mLearning has transformed from an eLearning trend to an absolute necessity in the modern world, as a smartphone is something that every modern-day employee has, and regularly engages with.
- APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
It was SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) that started the trend of APIs within eLearning by allowing training and course content to be shared with other SCORM compliant systems. SCORM was succeeded by xAPI, also known as Tin Can API as well as Experience API. Basically these programs have built-in instructions for applications to talk to each other, so that the content is compatible and platform-independent. xAPI or Tin Can was considered an improvement over SCORM because it enables learners to collect data online and offline, while helping track learner progress and use content through a multitude of software suites, in addition to certain other features. APIs too have become an essential nowadays, but it wasn’t long before they were considered just a new-fangled trend.
- Flash to HTML5 Conversion
Flash is dead. This is a brutal truth. But, Flash didn’t die all of a sudden. It wasn’t long before Flash was the gold standard of eLearning courses, but that was before eLearning professionals realized the magic of HTML5. HTML5 allowed audio, video, 2D/3D graphics and animation to play without a plug-in. In addition, it gave hardware access, offline storage, and supported cloud-based applications. But the clincher was the fact that any eLearning course made on it was automatically responsive! This hastened Flash’s imminent doom. So what about all those Flash courses that were created? Would those become useless? Fortunately, no. It was found that Flash courses could be converted to HTML5 courses, and thus began the trend of Flash to HTML5 conversion, which is a big thing, even today.
You never know which eLearning trend might be here to stay, so never knock one until you’ve tried it.
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Gamification is one of the most popular trends in eLearning. Gamification increases learner engagement, makes eLearning fun and interactive, improves learner’s knowledge absorption and retention and enhances the learning experience for learners from all age groups. eLearning professionals, L&D (Learning and Development) professionals, as well as learners that have experience with gamified eLearning courses would have heard the term “gamification mechanics” a lot of times in passing. But what does this term mean and why is it important? In this article we’ll discuss the same.
Gamification mechanics, also called game mechanics or verbs of gamification are actually the elements that are used in an eLearning course to gamify it. These include the actions, control mechanisms and processes that are usually found in games, which help put the learner in the middle of the action as well as restrict them in certain ways in order to create a challenge. The term “mechanics” refers to how anything (in this case a game or gamified eLearning course) operates. Different publications list different number of gamification mechanics, but there are 7 key gamification mechanics which are recognized globally and used the most often. These include:
- Progress bars
- Learner Interaction
Let us discuss these gamification mechanics in detail:
Well, it wouldn’t be a game without a scoring system, would it? In case of gamified eLearning, learners should earn points by progressing through a course or by unlocking achievements. Points should also be tied to either a reward, badge or an achievement itself. Points are also often used to level up (by collecting a certain number of points), to appear on leaderboards or as currency in the game to buy badges, rewards and other in-game items.
Badges are usually awarded when the gamer/learner achieves something, and are thus, usually linked with achievements. Badges are usually displayed alongside a learner’s username, in leaderboards or any other places in the LMS (learning management system) where usernames are displayed. Badges boost learner ego, and let learners boast about them in front of colleagues.
Most games have levels. A ‘level up’ occurs usually when a gamer/learner gains a certain number of points, completes a task, unlocks an achievement or reaches a specific stage in the game or course. Leveling up also usually means that the course or game is about to get harder. It also means the introduction or unlocking of new opportunities, new skills, new learning material or new modules or courses.
- Progress Bars
Progress bars give the learner a visual indication of how much of the course they have completed, and how much of the course is still left. Progress bars should be visually appealing, and should move smoothly with animations after every progress.
Leaderboards are one of the most important gamification mechanics, as they propagate healthy competition. They are basically tables with the names of top 10 (or top 20) highest scorers in the game/course. Leaderboards are used to display learners with the most points, most badges, most progress, highest level. Top scorers gain the opportunity to boast in front of their colleagues, but could also gain a badge or an achievement.
Rewards could be anything from points, badges, levels, appearances on leaderboards, the advancement of a progress bar to even branded merchandise which are offered when the learner either accumulates a certain number of points, reaches a particular level, progresses to a certain stage in the course, or passes an assessment or evaluation.
- Learner Interactions
Interacting with other team members is something that has become a prominent feature in a number of games recently. Interacting with other players/learners can be a really powerful motivator, whether they are cooperating, competing, discussing new skills and new ideas, or just showing off their accomplishments. There should be a chat option in the game/course, and learners should also be encouraged to discuss courses on office’s social media groups or personal groups.
In order to integrate all of the above mentioned game mechanics in your eLearning course, you require a powerful LMS. That is something that should be kept in mind when going for gamified eLearning courses.
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Corporate eLearning is swiftly growing as more and more organizations transition from traditional classroom training to corporate eLearning for their employee learning and development needs. But what is the reason behind corporate eLearning’s swift growth? A lot of things actually, if we get down to it, but most of all it is eLearning’s versatility, adaptability as well as its ability to cater to all known learning styles that make it the learning methodology of choice, not just for corporate training, but academic training as well.
What are Learning Styles, you ask? Let us understand. It’s a fact proven by scientific studies that each individual learns differently. Some people learn better when instructions are provided verbally to them, some by watching others do something, some by reading instructions, some through images and pictures, some on their own in seclusion, while others learn better in groups. A person’s learning style, thus, can be defined as the way they absorb, process, understand and retain information. Every person is different, and eLearning is considered an advanced learning methodology because it covers all of these learning styles. In this article, we’ll learn about these learning styles, while understanding how eLearning helps individuals with different learning styles acquire knowledge.
Visual learners are those individuals that are able to better process and understand information presented to them in conjunction with images and videos. Thus, corporate eLearning modules for such learners should be optimized to include plenty of colorful visual stimuli. Make sure learners first see what they’re expected to learn, and keep verbal instructions to a minimum.
Auditory learners are those individuals that learn best when information is presented in audio cues. For example, they are comfortable with large pieces of information (such as lectures) as long as its recorded speech they can hear. For such learners, eLearning modules with voice-overs, as well as videos where an instructor delivers a lecture or presents information through speech work best. In case an organization uses a Blended Learning program, auditory learners respond better to traditional classroom training.
Verbal learners may sound similar to auditory learners but are not. Although verbal learners do learn better when information is presented in the form of speech, they also learn better when the information presented is textual or in writing. Such learners are also proficient in using written or spoken word to communicate, and learn better when they can communicate to and fro with their instructor or lecturer. The crux here is that verbal learners grasp ‘words’ better, and that is what an eLearning module designed for them should consist of. Blended Learning works wonders for such learners.
Logical learners are creatures of reason, and will grasp concepts better if presented with logic and if they can easily recognize patterns in them. They like to learn through reasoning, solving problems, and understanding the cause and effect relationships of phenomena. To make sure logical learners learn better, the eLearning module given to them must contain problems, graphs, equations, formulae as well as infographics, as they can wrap their heads around such forms of information with ease.
Social learners, as is evident from their name, learn best in groups. Although traditional classroom learning springs to mind, modern eLearning programs utilize features like social sharing, team-based eLearning modules as well as Blended Learning to cater to social learners. One-on-one sessions with trainers too, have been shown to help social learners learn better.
Solitary learners learn best when left to their own devices in seclusion. Such learners need to be provided with mobile eLearning modules that they can complete at any time, any place if maximum learning is desired. Freedom, peace and quiet is what such learners require the most, and thus dislike learning in groups. Their learning program needs to be largely mobile eLearning modules, coupled with one-on-one training sessions with an instructor or trainer to clarify doubts.
Corporate organizations are quickly realizing the fact that they need personalized, custom eLearning programs that can cater to each individual employee in their organization. eLearning is the future of learning, that much is clear. What remains to be seen is that which organizations capitalize on it and motor ahead, and which get left in the dust.
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For over a decade educational technologies are emerging at exponential rates, But many schools and educational institutes fall short on understanding and utilizing these technologies. Today we are introducing 10 emerging technologies in e-learning that educators and school management must know/understand for providing quality education for the children. Let’s have a look at it.
Augmented reality is an exciting topic that educators need to know. According to Wikipedia, augmented reality defined as “an interactive experience of a real-world environment whereby the objects that reside in the real-world are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities.”
The use of augmented reality visual content is able to catch student’s attention. It ensures you the engagement and interaction of the students in lessons, as they are seeing and experiencing what they are learning. The use augmented reality to learn abstract and complex concepts because it helps students to visually see complex 3D models rather than imagining it in mind.
Anatomy 4D, Elements 4D, Aug That are some of the most popular and useful augmented reality apps that students and teachers can use for effective learning.
Artificial intelligence is one of the most discussed topics in the educational industry. Artificial intelligence in education is a significant technology which helps education in a number of ways.
Personalized learning is one of the most important area of education that has used artificial intelligence. In personalized learning, AI helps you to find the best course material for you based on your identity, interests and your way of learning. Artificial intelligence replaced the old-fashioned classroom study with a more personalized and student-centered approach.Artificial intelligence can monitor overall performance by identifying the strength and weakness of a learner. It can rank learners based on their performance and give real-time suggestions to improve the overall performance of their studies. Artificial intelligence is very important so as to keep track, report and monitor the performance of the learners.
3.student data privacy and security
In the era of online education, the student data should be handled safely. In digital learning students may be required to share their personal information with many online services. This data sometimes get compromised and misused if not handled securely. Data security can be defined as the protection of data, usually in digital form, from unauthorized or unwanted access, use, and dissemination.
Hacking into a online learning portal makes it possible to extract all the student data including their personal details. It can be shared online for malicious purposes. A secure e-learning portal helps protect the student data from being hacked and ensures their security.It includes host security, network security, malware prevention etc.
4.Internet of things(IOT)
Many of you people are wondering what is internet of things or simply IOT. In layman’s terms internet of things is taking all the things in the real world(for ex: a light bulb, a car or any material thing) and connecting them to the Internet. Now you may be wondering how IOT will be useful in e-learning.
IOT helps to create a global network among educators and students. This helps learners to interact with their peers worldwide.
5.learning Management systems
A learning management system is a software that is used to deliver courses or training programs for students. It helps to manage the courses efficiently. By using a custom e-learning development, anybody can create,change and assign courses for students.
Using a learning management system you can give personalized courses to each student. You can identify the weakness and strengths of the student, and create customized courses that will help students to concentrate more on their weakest part to improve it. Many LMS support live chats with educators also, this will help shy students to ask their doubt and clarify it.
6.School management systems
School Management Systems are software that helps educational institutions to manage their daily academic and administrative activities easily and effectively. School management systems are the most popular emerging technology in educational niche.
The education industry is undoubtedly one of the sectors that have found the best use of technology. This has helped education industry to save time and money to a great extent by avoiding manual paperwork and taking many shortcuts in their daily academic and administrative activities. Software like EduXpert School Management System, Fedena, etc are changed the way of how a modern school operates.
Cloud computing is simply the group of computing resources located at various places in the world. The system can be shared and accessed from anywhere in the world.Cloud computing guarantees the access to basic data to anyone utilizing any gadgets from the workplace.
Mobile learning or M-Learning is the method of learning through your personal mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets or even a laptop. The study materials are either downloaded into the device or accessed online. Mobile learning allows flexibility, allowing students access to education anywhere, anytime.
9.Virtual and remote laboratories
Virtual laboratories are web applications that emulate the operations of real laboratories. Virtual laboratories can be accessed anywhere without the need for a physical system, and it enables students to practice in a “safe” environment before using real, physical components.
More than 80% of students who used virtual laboratories scored higher in examinations compared to a control group. With 386 students, 80% suggested adapted to self-learning using virtual laboratories. 82% of university teachers who employ virtual laboratories indicated using them to complement teaching material and reduce teaching time.
10. 3-D printing
3-D printing is another helpful technology students using these days. It helps students print out 3-D prototypes. Learners can also take 3-D printouts of difficult to visualize structures to help understand easily. Such as 3-D structures of molecules for chemistry students, 3-D structures of cells, viruses, organs for biology students, topography, demographic, or population maps for geography students, etc
Before diving into what mobile learning (m-learning) is, let’s talk about the latest statistics.
Mobile internet traffic has hugely increased over the past few years. Moreover, representatives of Generation Z (born in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s) grew up with mobile devices and tablets in hands. And now they can’t imagine their learning experience without using mobile devices to do research or take notes.
In addition, busy bees with tight schedule can’t find time to learn, and they prefer to consume information when they have free time, for example during the commute.
All of that has lead to the emergence of mobile learning.
What is M-learning?
Mobile learning, as known as m-learning, is a learning process that is delivered and consumed through mobile phones and tablets.
This type of learning is a logical result of the technical revolution. In early 2000 computers have begun to be used in classrooms for academic education and at home for personal education.
Over time, mobile devices have become more popular, due to their portability. As a result, nowadays smartphones and tablets are used for presentations, taking quizzes, watching lectures, taking notes, playing educational games. etc.
Mobile learning can be provided through an adaptive website or mobile application. The last open more opportunities in terms of performance and engagement.
Why M-learning Is A Must Have?
We access our smartphones continuously throughout the day so learning on the smartphones is a logical extension.
Here are some compelling stats that reaffirm that mLearning is no more an option but a “must have”:
- According to Lynda, those who learn on a mobile device complete course material 45% faster than those using a computer.
- Gartner foresees that 45% of businesses will work according to BYOD (bring your own device) policy by 2020.
- LearnDash research shows that 70% of students felt more motivated when learning on a mobile device.
- Mobile learners usually study for 40 minutes longer than desktop users, says MNAlearning.
- Statista shows that by 2020 mobile market value is expected to be 83.7 billion U.S. dollars worth.
Mobile Learning Pros
One of the key pros of m-learning is that it can be accessed anywhere from any device. This means that students can learn during their commute, on manufacture warehouses and offices.
Other m-learning advantages:
- Suitable for micro-learning
- Adapted to millennial learners
- Easy access to information when needed
- Learners can collaborate on the go through chats
- Instant feedback and Q&A
But there are no advantages on this planet without disadvantages.
Mobile Learning Disadvantages
M-learning can improve the learning experience as well as bring some issues to it.
Mobile learning has more technical problems than educational:
- Device compatibility, battery life and performance.
- Internet connectivity
- More distractions like messages and notifications
Considering these, mobile learners should have appropriate devices to be able to benefit mobile learning.
Best LMS that support mobile learning
If you want to bring mobile experience to your learners, you need a learning management system (LMS) that supports such a feature. We have gathered some top players on the market that allow you to provide m-learning to your students:
Mobile learning can be implemented in ways of an adaptive website or mobile application. Such learning approach increases the course completion rate and makes it more convenient for learners to pass through course or training as they can do it anywhere and anytime.
If you want to provide your students with mobile learning, make sure you have a strong development team that can help you with technical realization.
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