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This article is a review of the top trends in eLearning, including their advantages and disadvantages.
Key trends in eLearning
eLearning brings a new era in the education industry. It provides the individual with the flexibility to learn, based on his/her own time, pace and availability. The value of the eLearning market was estimated at $ 2.5 billion in 2013, $ 7.8 billion in 2016, and according to many forecasts it is projected to reach $ 15.72 billion by 2021. This shows the tremendous potential that the eLearning market brings. As the eLearning industry is growing among the new generation, let's review its advantages and disadvantages:
The flexibility is one of the key advantages of eLearning. The online training method allows e-learners to cope with their busy schedules. It gives them the opportunity to complete the eLearning courses in small modules / sections as per their convenience.
This is a very important advantage of eLearning considering the increasingly busy everyday life. The eLearning method provides the freedom to access the content from any location - in the park, on the bus, in the subway as opposed to the traditional “classroom setting” only.
- Cost effectiveness:
eLearning is much more cost effective since it does not necessitate fees for trainers and training equipment. eLearning is much less expensive choice than traditional training as it saves travel costs.
- Monitoring of results:
The result after completing each section and module is instantly visible due to statistical capability of the eLearning system. This enables e-learners to self-evaluate and improve their score. The instructor can track their performance and results much easier than in the traditional offline training.
Disadvantages of eLearning:
eLearning will never be able to substitute the “real touch” factor of having a human instructor. Even though eLearning is useful in many ways, computers can not perform all tasks because of:
- Possible lack of focus:
E-learners who lack concentration or motivation can quickly fall behind during an online course. It is difficult for e-learners to meet certain deadlines or goals without a fixed schedule or established routine.
- Lack of social and cultural interaction:
Since the interaction among e-learners in minimal, this could be a challenge for many of them
- The e-learners may feel disconnected:
Without proper interaction with the outside world, these is a possibility that e-learners feel disconnected.
Despite some of its disadvantages, currently there are many effective e-learning platforms on the market such as Udemy, Udacity, Teachable, etc. The engagement and active participation of e-learners is key the success of the e-learning platforms. They can be effective only if they present the content in an engaging and attractive way by using:
- Forum discussions
A powerful discussion forum dedicated to the e-course would be probably the first step to make the eLearning process interactive and much more engaging. While there is an option to just leave comments sections in the article, bear in mind that scrolling and searching will be unpleasant and difficult for e-learners.
- Interactive quizzes
Questions asked after each session such as a module assessment and final evaluation test after each topic are always interesting.
- Pay special attention to the visual presentation and design
The use of interactive online learning and multimedia enables learners to remain focused on the task and engaged with the topic.
What are the current trends in e-learning?
Many business sectors go through changes and transformation and eLearning is no exception. It constantly evolves and therefore, it is essential to identify the current trends in e-learning:
- Mobile Learning
Over the past few years, the popularity of mLearning or mobile learning is growing. It is flexible, the courses offered through mobile devices are "responsive"; e-learning can work seamlessly on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Another key advantage of mLearning is that you can learn from any location whenever you want.
A course that lasts 60 minutes can be divided into smaller modules. It is much easier and convenient to create such courses and maintain them.
- Gamification (from English: represents the application of game-design elements and principles in non-game context).
The gamification approach incorporates game elements to boost engagement of e-learners. This is a technique that transforms learning into play. Thanks to that you can achieve a strong impact and deeper involvement into the learning process.
- Interactive videos
Video based learning will continue to gain popularity. The interactive video method will transform the "one-way" video approach and turn it into a rich interactive experience used in formal learning.
- Social training
Although formal training remains relevant in response to specific learning outcomes, social learning programs will also increase. There, learners can communicate, discuss, collaborate, and exchange feedback and views on solving problems.