The future of e-learning is very bright this year. According to Research and Markets, the industry has grown by 900% globally since its inception, which is quite impressive for a new industry. E-learning is projected to grow by up to 200% by 2025.
If these statistics do not move you, consider that 73% of students in the United States chose to continue with their studies online after the pandemic lockdowns, according to Exploding Topics. As many as 90% of companies choose to offer their employees some form of digital training using existing Learning Management Systems.
So, what is e-learning?
e-learning is a form of formal education that leverages electronic sources and digital media. The learning content, including instructional materials, course content, assessments, and credentials, is typically delivered electronically via the internet.
The demand for better and more accessible learning experiences and the rapid advancement of technology is driving growth and evolution in the e-learning industry. New trends are introduced each year, most of which stick because they elevate the learner's experiences.
The year 2023 will be a big year for e-learning as we expect to see new trends that enhance learning experiences and maximize the effectiveness of digital online courses. Here are the top seven trends in e-learning this year.
As its name hints, microlearning involves taking smaller learning steps compared to traditional e-learning. In this learning approach, students can learn in small bursts, taking short-term lessons, coursework, or projects for each course. For instance, rather than learning a broad subject in one go, a student can receive bits of information broken down into smaller lessons.
The most significant benefit of microlearning is that the learner can gather bite-sized information, which helps them absorb it better. This form of e-learning is also beneficial to students such as full-time employees who may have only limited time in a session to study and may find absorbing too much information in one sitting overwhelming.
More people who take e-learning courses also prefer learning on the go. This is because microlearning allows them to receive smaller lessons and access the content on their smartphones.
As e-learning becomes mainstream, learning management systems are incorporating more ways to deliver course content, including emails, short videos, and even chat sessions. These course content modules are tiny building blocks that help learners to broaden their overall knowledge and to achieve their educational goals at their pace.
2. Mobile Learning
It is no secret that the average learner today spends more time on their phones and tablets than on any other device. According to a report by Merril Lynch, about 99% of online learners placed significant importance on mobile-supported instruction learning while choosing a learning platform. Therefore, in 2023, an LMS worth its name must build its platform around making it friendly for smartphones and tablets.
As mobile devices become ever more powerful, with bigger screens and more definition, more students will access course content on their mobile devices. The most notable advantage of mobile learning is that it makes learning convenient and highly accessible. It also makes taking online courses quick and flexible enough to study anywhere and at any time, in bits and pieces within microlearning lessons.
There is much more to making a learning management system mobile-friendly than merely building responsive websites. e-learning platforms must also ensure the course content is compatible with multiple devices. This is a sure way to live up to the trend and ensure that the learning material is accessible to the broadest range of learners possible.
3. Video-Based E-Learning
Video-based learning is a form of learning that is facilitated mainly through video. Humans are visual learners, and video content goes a long way to reduce cognitive load, grabbing and retaining the learner's attention and, in the process, increasing engagement. This may explain why YouTube was the second most visited website in the world after google.com, with an average of 13.34 billion visits in a month in 2022.
Visual content improves learning by up to 400%.
It is also noteworthy to point out that people's attention spans are quite short - and are getting shorter. Internet users typically read only about 28% of plain text on a webpage before losing concentration. Video is generally embedded in the webpage to recapture the attention and help the visitor absorb more content. As a learning medium, video is a cross-generational resource that works for learners of all ages across the generational divide.
Video is possibly the most effective content format to use in e-learning. However, while it is quickly becoming the standard of e-learning content, video cannot be the only medium used in the course content. For maximum effectiveness, camera footage is typically used alongside audio, text, animation, and graphics to create a multisensory learning experience.
4. Social Learning
The concept of social learning was originally fronted by psychologist Albert Bandura back in the 1950s. He theorized that people learn better and faster if they do it together, constantly exchanging knowledge and seeking guidance from each other. He also theorized that, in a social setting, an individual learns through observation, imitation, and reproduction.
87% of employees identify social knowledge sharing as essential.
In e-learning, social learning can be through either direct or indirect interactions between students. Direct social learning implies that students will have personal communication during studying, such as through video conferencing. Indirect social learning may include forming study groups that correspond via chats, social networks, emails, and internal forums.
Unlike in-person classroom studying, e-learning can make studying very impersonal and even alienating. Social learning is engineered into modern learning management platforms to introduce familiarity in learning and to engage passive learners. When properly implemented, it helps boost information assimilation and makes it easier for instructors to identify knowledge gaps in course content.
In 2023, the most notable LMS features for empowering learning include implementing competition, creating teamwork and group work opportunities, and Q&A sessions. These top platforms implement these features using tools such as polls, forums, and leaderboards.
The term neurodiversity acknowledges the broad range of ways the human brain processes information. Everyone processes information differently, influencing how they experience and interact with the world. Since there is no single 'right' way of thinking, behaving, or learning, e-learning platforms must create learning content that accommodates all students.
Attunement to neurodiverse learning styles empowers individual learners by promoting education structures and environments that cater to their specific needs. An LMS that supports neurodiversity develops content and training materials in different formats. It also uses as many channels and media as possible to communicate with learners and receive feedback. For example, autistic learners would prefer written communication, while dyslexic learners would prefer verbal communication.
The YesLMS platform is a perfect example of a learning management system that uses an open learning environment centered on accessibility for all learners. It makes the learning process fun and more engaging for learners across the range of content types and assessment methods.
6. Personalized Learning Experiences
Personalized learning is a new trend that uses learners' data and preferences to tailor their learning experiences to meet their individual needs.
Every learner has their own unique expectations and demands for learning. Therefore, learning platforms invest in data analysis tools that influence the learner's choice of content and the formats in which the platform delivers it.
E-learning platforms are not the first to implement personalized learning. For decades, companies have used this learning method to minimize employee training time and the cost of training by allowing them to focus on job-specific learning areas. The employer, in turn, received more value from the employee as their job performance improved, raising the company's bottom line.
Modern e-learning platforms essentially have better tools to personalize learning and roll it out in real time. The best self-learning platforms allow learners to learn and develop their required skills at their own pace and time. Through an LMS, employers can choose to integrate things like immersive learning and game-based learning into the material to further personalize the process.
7. Artificial Intelligence
Of all the latest developments and trends on this list, AI (Artificial Intelligence) is possibly the most disruptive to the e-learning industry. AI will play a critical role in shaping the future of e-learning. This is because most other anticipated trends, including a focus on neurodiversity and personalization, largely depend on the capabilities of AI.
An easy way to identify an AI-powered learning management platform is to look out for its solutions to human-related learning challenges. Some of the most notable solutions include speech recognition, automated translations, decision-making, chatbots, and course curation tools.
At the moment, some LMS platforms are integrating AI into their platforms for the following:
Improving accessibility for learners
There is a need to make learning content adaptive and accessible to various devices and screen sizes. However, LMS platforms do not need to create wholly fresh course content for each platform. Instead, AI can be used to optimize existing content for various devices and even for differently-abled learners.
Chatbots and Messenger
You probably already know about ChatGPT and how effectively it responds to questions on virtually any topic. The top e-learning platforms streamline learning, social learning, and Q&A sessions with AI-powered chatbots and messengers like ChatGPT. Although these platforms are revolutionary, it’s important to recognize that chat tools can only look backwards as they depend on data and information that already exists.
Virtual Assistants (VA's)
Also known as intelligent virtual assistants (IVA), AI-powered virtual assistants can provide personalized responses to learners. They use learner data such as course content, prior conversations, geolocation, age, and other modular databases to derive contexts.
Grading and Exams/Assessments
AI does much more than check whether a student's answer is correct. It also checks to ensure the answers to assessments are free of plagiarism and can provide real-time feedback that helps the student learn from their mistakes. As a result, AI grades exams and assessments fast, efficiently, and accurately
Although AI is revolutionizing the e-learning industry, it’s still met with some hesitation as the technology is not fully advanced and it is not immune to bias. When it comes to grading, machines need to collect and analyze vast amounts of data before they are fully capable of assessing exams.
e-learning will only continue to grow and evolve in 2023 as its adoption increases. While there are already numerous LMS platforms in the market, the best platforms evolve with market demands to provide learners with the tools and features they need to learn and excel.
One such platform is YesLMS. As a cloud-based learning management system built for everyone, this platform is constantly improving to provide the features and tools each learner needs to optimize their learning experiences. In addition, the platform is open and on a mission to revolutionize learning by eliminating any barriers to e-learning.
YesLMS is built with usability and scalability in mind, making the platform easy to use and innovate. The platform offers complete accessibility features which set it apart from other LMSs.
If you or your company is looking for an LMS built with a focus on accessibility and ensures learners have equal access to training, education, and professional development resources, YesLMS may be just what you need. Go to YesLMS.com or fill out a contact form to request more information about the platform.