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Traditional learning has changed substantially in the last couple of decades, but evolution is not even close to the end. Only a few years ago, elearning used to be a major sensation among teachers and instructors from all over the world, but now we can already talk about the progress and changes in this field as well.
Why learning platforms are evolving
Here are some major reasons why learning platforms are evolving: see how your strategy is keeping up.
New learning management systems
As the number of elearners keeps growing, it is natural to see new LMSs emerging every year. A report shows that small businesses have increased their use of elearning by 900% in the last 16 years, thus making online learning the new industry standard.
Contemporary elearning software is able to adapt to any given student and offer 100% learner-focused programs.
Today, there is far more than just one LMS option available on the market. Individuals and organisations can now take advantage of:
- Knowledge Management Systems
- Learning Record Stores
- Micro Learning Platforms
- Learning Experience Programs
These and many other solutions make the digital studying experience much more comprehensive and adaptable to individual learning preferences.
New learning models
New platforms allow you to use alternative learning models. This is a big trend and one of the main reasons why learning systems are evolving. The main models of work now include:
Software-as-a-Service eliminates availability issues
Lots of companies couldn’t enjoy the privilege of elearning because quality platforms were out of their reach. It was necessary to buy a full package of services regardless of your needs, which was more often than not an investment too costly for smaller teams.
However, SaaS providers changed the game and revolutionised learning programs. SaaS helps companies to reduce operational costs and concentrate on the most important segments of elearning exclusively. As such, SaaS helps learning platforms to grow and boost availability on a global scale.
User experience is changing
User experience is yet another critical segment of the evolution of learning platforms. Namely, modern learners are highly engaged individuals who demand a lot of interactive features and ways to engage with the content of their studies.
Jake Gardner, a graphic designer at 123helpme, explains that new technologies enable the creation of more interactive elearning processes: “Online learning providers can now make the process more engaging with two-way communication features, gamification elements, role-playing tasks, and many other details. In other words, user experience keeps getting better over time.”
Cloud-based courses and libraries
A digital course directory such as Coursera offers you thousands of top-level study programmes in almost every field you could imagine, from physics and medicine to sociology and psychology.
All it takes is to enter a keyword and Coursera will display a list of all programs currently available. For example, you can enter 'pedagogy' and the platform will show 71 courses that you can filter by languages, skill levels, etc.
Almost every person in the western world owns a smartphone. It’s like a natural body extension that no one can live without anymore. It has also become one of the major reasons why learning platforms are evolving – new students are mobile addicts who demand lessons through this medium.
This is exactly why some of the most popular learning programs are mobile-oriented. Take Duolingo as an example. The language learning app attracts millions of students thanks to its mobile-friendly features, micro-learning content, personalised experiences, and gamification elements.
Duolingo is just the brightest of examples, but the Internet is full of similar apps that prove the impact of smartphone technologies on elearning platforms.
VR is certainly one of the most influential elearning trends that could revolutionise the entire industry in the years to come. It already makes a huge impact on some learning experiences, including complex medical procedures.
For instance, doctors use VR equipment for cardiac surgery training, but the number of applications is countless. Businesses can use it for employee onboarding, corporate presentations, practical training sessions, and tons of other exercises.
Online learners create huge volumes of information while studying. Such feedback is by no means irrelevant, especially now that we have powerful tools to process large sets of data. The benefits and influences of big data on elearning are very serious:
- It helps elearning providers understand how students react to specific courses and identify the biggest pain points.
- Big data can analyse training-related insights in real-time, thus preventing any time-waste.
- It pinpoints the most successful learning models and communication channels.
- Big data enables you to predict future learning trends and anticipate students’ needs.
Learning platforms are dominating the business world with the sheer power of availability and interactive studying features. But they keep changing year after year and it is important to understand why this happens and how to respond to new trends.
Is your organisation ready to embrace the latest trends in this field? Have your elearning programs progressed in the last few years? Feel free to write a comment – we would love to hear about other people’s experiences and discuss this exciting topic!
About the author
Tiffany Harper is a freelance writer based in New York.