How Big Is The eLearning Market And The Role Of Mobile Apps?
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The Evolution Of The eLearning Market And The Benefits That Mobile Apps Offer

The earlier model of education was pretty straightforward, with students sitting in a classroom and a teacher leading the process. Since the launch of the internet, some of the most important developments have happened in education.

The surge in eLearning or electronic learning techniques, thanks to the internet, allowed us to extend the scope of education beyond the physical confines of a classroom.

While the term “eLearning” was first used in 1999, the principle behind it has a well-documented history. Evidence suggests that early forms of eLearning existed even in the 19th century.

Below is a brief timeline that depicts the evolution of eLearning.

An eLearning Timeline

  • 1840: Isaac Pitman taught his students shorthand via correspondence
  • 1924: The first testing machine was invented allowing students to test themselves
  • 1954: BF Skinner, a Harvard professor, invented the "teaching machine," which enabled schools to administer programmed instruction to their students
  • 1960: The first computer-based training program was introduced to the world, known as PLATO-Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations
  • 1970: eLearning started to become more interactive
  • Late 20th century: The first MAC in the 1980's enabled individuals to have computers in their homes making eLearning easier. In the 90's, people were able to attend without the constraints of geography and time
  • 21st century: Businesses began using eLearning to train their employees. Mobile phones dramatically enhanced the learning capacity

eLearning Market

The computer revolution in the late 20th century and the emergence of smartphones have radically changed the learning landscape. It has turned the old learning techniques on its head and uncovered new paths of learning and personal growth.

Now, users can access a huge amount of data via the internet, anytime and anywhere – transcending the barriers of time and space. Individuals are granted access to programs by different schools and institutions that enable them to earn online degrees and expand their skill set. The exponential increase in these stats indicates that the eLearning market size is currently growing at an unprecedented rate.

According to Orbis research, the global eLearning market worldwide is set to surpass USD 275 billion value by 2022. The market size was estimated over USD 165.21 billion in 2015 and is predicted to grow at over 7.5% CAGR during the 2015-22 period. The major factors promoting the eLearning market includes:

  • Low cost
  • Easy accessibility
  • A shift towards flexible education solutions
  • Increased effectiveness by animated learning
  • Increased internet penetration: Statistics show that the number of internet users ranges around 3.2 billion, which makes 43 percent of the global population
  • A surge in the number of smartphones: currently owned by 36 percent of the world’s population

Despite the obvious advantages, there are also certain factors that hinder the expansion of the eLearning market size. E-training and online education apps require a constant connection to the internet to function effectively.

Areas with limited or slow internet access render a threat to the growth of the eLearning market. Also, the development of this technology requires expertise, and people with no prior knowledge of the technology feel reluctant to make the transition from the conventional form of learning to online learning.

The eLearning market can be segregated into different segments as depicted below:

1. eLearning Market: By Application

The eLearning market by application can be categorized into education and corporates. Corporates, furthermore, include enterprises and small & Medium size businesses (SMBs).

Trends like gamification have recorded a high rate of engagement by learners, along with better understanding of concepts. McDonald partnering with the City and Guilds Kineo was a recent implementation of this trend, when the company started providing the till training on how to use the cash register.

Besides, students have also shown willingness to adopt digital learning technologies and practices. An increasing number of students are making use of educational videos, apps, software, and online courses offered by Coursera Inc., EdX Inc., and many other platforms.

Statistics show that 49 percent of students worldwide have taken an online course in the past year which indicates an increase over the results recorded for previous years. Despite this growth, a greater number of students (74 percent) worldwide are still unaware of the massive open online courses.

2. eLearning Market: By Provider

Based on the provider, the market can be segregated into contents and services. The content providers in the market are predicted to increase, owing to the rising demand for eLearning content. Technological advancements like the introduction of cloud computing and online tools will further propel the eLearning market growth.

3. eLearning Market: By Technology

eLearning makes use of many technologies, some of which have been developed specifically for it, while others complement the learning process. Communication technologies like email and instant messaging are widely used in eLearning.

Apart from this, we see a plethora of other tools that any internet user would use. eLearning also makes good use of database and Content Management System (CMS) technologies. The two work together, as the database stores your data and the CMS provides a User Interface for you to add, update and delete data.

Software such as Flash and PowerPoint helps you create high-quality and graphically rich content. There are other online services available that provide a rich experience and remove a lot of complexity from the eLearning process.

4. eLearning Market: By Region

The Global Market Insight divided regions into different segments based on geography:

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • Latin America
  • MEA: which includes GCC and South Africa

With its extensive corporate training program, the US eLearning market is expected to lead the global industry. The penetration of mobile technology in the Asia Pacific region will propel the market in this region. Several countries in the region, such as India and Pakistan, have taken initiatives to improve the literacy rates of the general population.

The Role Of Mobile Apps

The advent of mobile apps has made learning more engaging and interesting. Now, you can find a mobile application for almost any work, from shopping to banking to education. With the help of mobile apps, you can start eLearning literally anytime and anywhere. The fact that most of them can work in offline mode has made them more retentive and appealing to the public.

Several educational institutes and mobile app development companies develop eLearning apps. The mobile app market is huge and growing faster with no end in sight. The number of available apps has hit new heights, consequently; the revenue generated by the global mobile app industry has skyrocketed. The total number of app downloads in 2017 stands at 178 billion worldwide.

Given the fact that apps are used more than once during a day, usage for learning will be even higher. The worldwide mobile revenue generation during 2016 was a whopping USD 88.3 billion. Estimates are that in 2020, mobile apps will generate 188.9 billion US dollars in revenues via app stores downloads and in-app advertisements.

Hybrid monetization models, in-app ads and in-app purchases are gaining popularity and are set to be key drivers of mobile app industry growth over the coming years.

Further increase in the usage of mobile apps for learning is projected, and this will become a significant part of the corporate training in the coming years. The flexibility of mobile app learning viz-a-viz personalization and connection with learners through notifications will continue to establish their value in the future.

Market trends show that the much-discussed mobile app revolution has just begun. New monetization models like sponsorships and crowdfunding will complement revenue generation, while the old popular models including direct sales, in-app ads, in-app purchases, and subscriptions will continue to generate higher and higher revenue in the foreseeable future.

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