eLearning: A Long Way To Go

eLearning: A Long Way To Go
Summary: There's been a continuous and appreciable advancement in the eLearning domain, in terms of principles and standards, and technology. However, the question arises: is eLearning up to date? Can we say that eLearning uses cutting-edge technology?

Technologies For eLearning: Present Trends

eLearning has a long way to go, not in terms of the principles, standards, or the taxonomies it relies on but rather in terms of its adoption of advancements on the technological front. This may sound weird because "eLearning"—the word meaning "electronic learning"—is actually a blend of the learning principles and the latest technologies that support newer concepts such as CBT (computer-based training), WBT (web-based training), mobile learning, etc. However, the term "latest" is an attribute to be debated over, and it is an open question whether the prevailing technological advancements are being implemented in eLearning.

Since the advent of the internet, smartphones, and several other technologies, every domain has undergone drastic changes, either in their existence or in their modus operandi. For instance, the banking sector functioned entirely on the system of ledger and receipts. With the adoption of the latest technologies, such as internet banking, mobile technology, or even cutting-edge blockchain technology, the banking sector is going through, and will undergo, enormous changes and will take a leap toward technological advancement. Similarly, every sector adopted the latest advancements, resulting in optimal resource usage, improved efficiency, and greater customer satisfaction.

However, the education domain is still in its early stage, where people still use books and other stationery materials for making notes and attend offline classes for training; both are inevitable and crucial to a learner. However, the adoption of the latest technology in this sector is minimal, though it offers vast and irresistible benefits. Some of the technologies that prevail in the market are either not yet implemented in the eLearning industry or are in their early stages.

Technologies For eLearning Adoption

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

This technology needs no introduction these days. Every company, whether an IT firm or a manufacturing organization, adopted AI into their processes due to its primary advantage of minimal errors, reduced human efforts and interactions, and lower capital requirement in the long run. In several companies, AI has become a backbone or a framework over which other processes are built.

However, the wave of AI is yet to touch the shores of the education domain as every education place, whether a training center, a workshop, or a classroom, relies mostly on the conventional teaching/training methods of book and paper, and offline classes. These training centers/classes are starting to adopt the internet as the mode and video/conference calls as the channel of training. There is still a long way to go for eLearning to add the AI feather to its cap.

2. Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR)

You might have watched 3D movies or experienced Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality through the latest games and play stations. While the entire world perceives this newer technology through an entertainment lens, several eLearning companies recognize it as a game changer in the Learning and Development domain.

A few firms attempted to embed and use this technology to train employees and the workforce. However, such attempts met with a major roadblock: the development cost (i.e., the cost incurred for developing the courses in VR or AR format). In the near future, VR and AR will become a general concept and the development cost may possibly reduce.

3. Simulation

Simulation courses have been in the market for a while now. They are used in software and IT-related training courses. They are mostly adopted to train the workforce on software or an application that will be utilized in the workplace. However, the major purpose of a simulation is to present a real-life experience in a virtually simulated manner.

For instance, a firefighter cannot be trained by deploying directly to an emergency. Nor will there be the possibility to recreate an artificial emergency without any cost implications. To overcome both hindrances, the firefighter will be presented with a simulation where they can learn and practice for a real-life emergency. Though it may sound promising, developing such a realistic simulation requires a quite heavy investment of capital and time.

4. Mobile Learning

It may sound quite weird that eLearning is yet to adopt and add mobile learning into its spectrum, but the reality is that several firms still rely on the conventional form of eLearning, in other words, computer-based and instructor/facilitator-based learning. A comforting thing is that nowadays, several organizations are switching to mobile learning, either due to its popularity or its advantages. Either reason stands to benefit the firm as well as the learner.

Final Note

The abovementioned points are as per the current eLearning trends and they may change with time. It's better to stay up to date with the trends and the learner's needs and requirements to create a successful and effective learning experience for the learners.