ELearning Trends: Which You Should Definitely Follow
Teaching methods have changed drastically over the years; from traditional classrooms and online webinars to high-tech methods using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Augmented Reality (AR). Naturally, most eLearning entrepreneurs fancy jumping onto the bandwagon.
Technology like this seems to be the silver bullet right now, but it’ll be quite a while before taking over the entire eLearning industry, primarily because it’s not a small undertaking. Let’s face it:
- Εvery business can’t really afford such technology right away.
- Ιt may not be the right time to invest in this kind of technology for some others.
- Τhere’s the mammoth task of onboarding the entire website content.
However, there are a couple of other trends that have been catching up for some time now. They’re not newly emerging trends, but they’re definitely worth implementing if you haven’t yet. While you can get going right away, they also happen to be comparatively economical and extremely effective at the same time. Let’s jump right in.
1. Online Mentorship Programs
“If you ask any successful businessperson, they will always say they had a great mentor at some point along the road.” Richard Branson – Founder, Virgin Group
The best corroboration of this is that Mark Zuckerberg was mentored by Steve Jobs himself. And of course, neither of them need an introduction.
Online mentorship programs are a great way to connect your students with domain experts. In addition to providing your students with first-hand knowledge in the field, it’s a great way to ensure a personalized experience.
There are more than a few features to experiment with when it comes to online mentoring. You could:
- Have a live chat widget that connects students with subject experts.
- Host webinars and have experts talk about the subject.
- Have discussion forums for students to post their questions online.
- Host live video sessions to help students connect to mentors.
Building an effective mentorship program is all about choosing the right team and using the perfect collaboration tools among other things.
- It provides a wholesome and quality learning experience.
- It connects students with like-minded experts and fellow students.
- It keeps your students motivated and focused.
- It ensures knowledge sharing.
2. Adaptive Learning
Adaptive or personalized learning is when the courses and the learning process are customized for specific learning needs. Technology-based adaptive learning is already widely used in order to help students learn better, based on their performance. This means that a student’s difficulty and pace of learning can be changed in real-time based on how they perform.
For example, in a quiz exam, the difficulty of the questions can be increased or decreased based on the student’s answers. A student who constantly performs well can skip a few topics while taking a course or questions in the case of a quiz.
- It makes for a better learning experience.
- It generates data that can be used to learn about the student.
- It focuses on specific aspects based on the collected data.
- It helps students learn at their own pace.
3. Adaption To BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
With the increase in implementation of the BYOD policy, eLearning platforms and especially corporate training LMSs need to invest in technology that can adapt to any device. You need to provide your students or trainees with a seamless experience across any device, such as a mobile, a tablet or a desktop screen.
BYOD comes with quite a few advantages. A student’s participation is bound to increase when you allow them to learn comfortably on a device they’re comfortable with. Having a responsive website, in this case, is more of a necessity than a ‘trend’.
- Students feel comfortable learning from their own device.
- Students can easily share course material among their friends.
- Students will be more involved and make better use of technology.
4. eLearning Mobile Apps
We did talk about mobile technology, and how devices of their choice can help students learn more effectively. A mobile app, however, deserves a special mention.
I know what you’re thinking. “Since when did mobile Apps become affordable and easy to implement?” Getting a good mobile app developed is the need of the hour for educators. While some are still unsure about the need for a mobile app, most of them shy away from the heavy investment involved.
The fact that there’s so much demand out there has been reason enough for developers to come up with a bunch of workarounds. If a traditional native-mobile app isn’t a viable option for you right now, you could easily get your hands on a web app or a hybrid app. With ever-changing technology, apps are becoming affordable and proving to be an invaluable tool to engage your students.
While platforms like Moodle and WordPress have plugins that transform the website content into an app-like experience, apps built specifically for the platform prove to be a better option as they have optimized layouts and can be customized to suit your requirements. For example, WisdmApp for LearnDash is a Hybrid app for LearnDash course creators and the Moodle App is a Web application that students can directly download from the App Store or Play Store.
- Easily available for students to download.
- Enables better understanding of concepts.
- Helps provide bite-sized information.
- Courses can be accessed anywhere and anytime from a mobile phone.
5. Self-Directed Learning
Self-directed learning (SDL) is an approach where the students take the responsibility of learning at their own time and pace with or without the help of a teacher or a mentor. This approach to learning gives your students the freedom to control their learning process.
You can allow students to select, manage, and assess their own learning activities, which can be pursued at any time, in any place, through any means. They can schedule their own tests and examinations and be at the driver’s seat throughout the entire routine.
This simple feature addition to your eLearning website could have a huge positive impact on the course completion rates for the better. The important aspect here is to get the execution right. If you give your students minimal control over their learning process, they’ll feel restricted; on the other hand, you give them too much freedom, and they’ll just end up getting lost in the process.
- It ensures a flexible learning process.
- It helps students manage time effectively.
- It allows students to learn at a pace they’re comfortable with.
6. Blended Learning
Blended learning or ‘hybrid learning’ are the terms used to reference an education program which combines both online digital media and traditional classroom methods. You can divide course content into face-to-face classes and online lessons to make the learning experience more effective.
For example, in a traditional classroom with a teacher and students, the lecture can be recorded and later shared with the students, so that the students can go through the lecture video to recall the lesson. This can also help students who had missed a class to stay on track.
- Students can have access to course material and lecture videos at any time.
- It saves money by sharing course material online.
- It increases the reach of course content and better information retention.
- It helps the student establish better communication with teachers.
7. Big Data And Learning Analytics
Technology is changing at a rapid speed and before we knew it, Big Data became one of the major conquests. Big Data, in terms of the eLearning industry, is the data that is created by learners while they are taking an eLearning course or training module. eLearning professionals can modify or improve their LMS based on this data.
Analytics can make a huge difference in eLearning by assessing students data online which can help you improve on the content delivery, and create a personalized eLearning experience.
For example, it’s hard to keep track of every student and their performance. With the help of Big Data and analytics, you can track the performance of each student online and personalize their learning experience.
- These help in understanding an individual student’s performance and needs.
- They can predict the student’s performance and can help in improvement.
- They help to personalize a student’s learning experience based on the performance.
The transition from traditional seminars to webinars has made valuable information accessible to knowledge seekers across the globe at a low cost. Webinars have are often considered to be more effective than traditional seminars as they can be recorded and viewed by spectators from a different time-zone who missed it.
You can use webinars for collaboration or host informative sessions. Implementing interactive webinars in your eLearning website can help students ask questions more comfortably as compared to seminars. Also, they don’t have to be physically present at a particular location to acquire the information they’re seeking.
You can also use webinars to present online workshops, host meetings, conferences, lectures, and presentations. Hosting webinars with good relevant content is a great way to keep your learners engaged and provide them with additional wisdom.
- Interactive webinars make it easy for students to ask questions.
- They can be accessed at a low cost or free of charge too.
- They can be downloaded and re-watched for better understanding.
Let’s keep an eye out for emerging technologies because you never know what’s new. But for now, we’ve got you covered. You’re up-to-date with the most effective eLearning trends that are expected to be seen in 2019. Implementing these will help both you and your students to understand each other better and work towards creating an excellent learning experience.
Originally written By Rohan Thakare