eLearning on Campus: What to Expect from 2017

Posted by Josh Young on 19 January 2017 |

elearning on campus what to expect from 2017As part of its eLearning Market Trends and Forecast 2017-2021 report, Docebo estimated that the U.S. academic and corporate eLearning market could currently be valued at a little over $27 billion with steady growth projected for the next five years.

In particular, the report predicted that more businesses and educational institutions would turn to eLearning platforms due to their increased adaptability as well as the lower price point when compared to traditional, face-to-face learning.

With this growth comes a number of emerging trends intended to better engage learners and provide them with more flexible options.

What Are the Trends?

Microlearning

Attention spans are shrinking, and the number of people willing to sit through a 60 minute training session is on the decline. To adjust to this new reality, campuses and training organizations are beginning to offer microlearning courses -- short education sessions that last only a couple of minutes and are focused to meet a narrow but specific learning outcome.

By relying on more easily consumed content to keep students and faculty informed, a school can:

  • Empower users to control how and when they are exposed to information
  • Save time
  • Fill in educational gaps quickly
  • Rein in training costs
  • Simplify updates as well as the release of new modules
  • Encourage increased participation

Multiplatform support

With the shift to more easily distributed content, academic and corporate institutions are also embracing multi-device support, releasing instructional modules that can run on various devices including desktops, tablets and smartphones.

According to research conducted by Facebook, more than 60 percent of adults active online in the United States use at least two devices every day, with 40 percent reporting that they sometimes begin an activity on one device only to finish it on another.

Considering that 67 percent of eLearning students are accessing these courses via mobile devices, platform flexibility will likely only become more common.

Gamification

In an eLearning context, gamification relates to the incorporation of game theory and mechanics to better engage learners, encouraging them to think critically about the training content by solving problems related to real-life situations and challenges. Gamification efforts can also include incorporating awards, badges, leader boards, and progress updates into educational efforts.

Gamification strategies are being more widely embraced in the workplace as well. For example, retail giant Wal-Mart introduced gamification to train 75,000 workers on safety procedures in its distribution centers. During the six month pilot program alone, the organization was able to cut safety incidents by 54 percent, and the ongoing success of the program has encouraged Wal-Mart to expand the training to its transportation department as well.

Storytelling

While not a new technique, scenario-based learning is experiencing a resurgence among eLearning courses. By providing users with a compelling narrative that reflects potential real-world incidents, your campus can create a more engaging learning experience. These efforts can be further amplified by infusing the narrative with more interactive content, such as dynamic videos.

Social learning

Traditional eLearning is often considered to be very one-sided with training pushed out to users, offering them no room for comment or feedback.

However, today's students primarily rely on social media to communicate with their friends, classmates, and faculty. And according to Pew Research Center, 90 percent of young adults use social media, with 82 percent currently active on Facebook.

It should be no surprise then, that social learning programs are becoming much more frequently embraced on campus. Social-enabled learning allows users to interact and communicate before, during, and after each training event. These programs sometimes also incorporate social-based mentoring.

More metrics

Throughout 2016 and into 2017, more eLearning platforms are beginning to integrate tracking and other performance metrics. By closely monitoring completion rates and other participation statistics, your campus can more readily identify which training modules are meeting with success and which topics still need improvement.

Further, you can track opinions on campus and provide users with insight into what their peers think about similar questions and topics. For example, a diversity training course could inform a student that many of his peers view a particular scenario differently and encourage them to consider a new perspective.

Conclusion

Long gone are the boring, mandatory orientation sessions that waste half a day and leave attendees bleary-eyed and no better informed than they started. By embracing the eLearning trend, your campus can empower students and faculty to absorb important content on a host of subjects at their own pace and on their own terms.

Of course, not all eLearning programs are created equally. A competent curriculum will actively engage participants, be regularly updated, and focus on the unique challenges faced on your campus.

To learn more about how Campus Answers can help or to just see eLearning done right, request a demo today.

comments powered by Disqus