Technologies Which Have Caused A Paradigm Shift In The eLearning Sector
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Discussing The Paradigm Shift In The eLearning Sector

eLearning has taken on many shapes and forms over the last decade or so. From simple PowerPoint presentations used by teachers to Augmented/ Virtual Reality, eLearning has truly come a long way. eLearning simply isn’t for schoolchildren anymore. Whether it's office-goers looking to enhance their career or companies looking to train their workforce via interactive means, eLearning has spread to virtually every industry and is used by people of all ages for their own purposes. This has been made possible by tying the eLearning sector to the latest technology trends and ever improving content delivery methods.

However, some technologies have had a greater hand in defining the success of the eLearning sector and are likely to continue to contribute to its future success.

Let’s have a look at these technologies and see what influence they can exert onto the future of eLearning.

1. Microlearning

The days of rote learning unending textbooks are numbered. Through microlearning, eLearning providers are able to deliver targeted and object-based “lessons” which can be easily understood by its target audience. Microlearning can be via any medium, ranging from short video clips, quizzes, and infographics to small nugget-sized texts. Microlearning can be provided via almost any device, including smartphones.

2. Visual And Interactive Content

Sometimes, reading about a topic isn’t enough to understand it. With visual content, companies can greatly ease the learning process and enable people to apply their learning in an effective manner.

Blogs, videos, podcasts have now been further enhanced with interactive content, which allows the student, so to speak, to verify if they indeed understand the coursework. Games and quizzes have proven themselves to be a boon for both children and adults utilizing eLearning.

3. Chatbots And Artificial Intelligence (AI)

It is becoming increasingly common to see chatbots, intelligent assistants, etc. powered by AI integrated into eLearning platforms. While they are not going to teach students by themselves anytime soon, these bots and assistants come in handy when it comes to determining a student’s course load, what they should study and help users plan out their study schedule. All eLearning apps can track users data and AI can be used to gain valuable insights about the user’s behaviour. These insights can be used to formulate better study material and techniques for users.

4. Adaptive Learning And Big Data

One of eLearning’s biggest strengths is the ability for eLearning platforms to offer customized activities for learners and accommodate their learning preferences via user feedback. Big Data is one of the key components behind the success of adaptive learning. eLearning platforms can collect and analyse all user’s steps and can learn to judge when a user makes mistakes or doesn’t apply their knowledge correctly. This allows eLearning companies to make adjustments to coursework to remedy these situations.

5. Mobility In Learning

A huge factor in making eLearning approachable to the masses is mobile hardware. With the ability to access learning and training material at any place and at any time, the value of eLearning platforms has gone up considerably in people’s eyes. Whether it's dedicated training for workers at an offshore platform or mobile apps for children in rural areas, eLearning’s value has increased exponentially with mobility.

Challenges Ahead

1. The Perception Battle

Although eLearning has covered a lot of ground in the recent past when it comes to user acceptance, there are still many people with the notion that it may not be as effective as traditional teaching methods. Therefore marketing eLearning as a supplement to traditional learning rather than its replacement may yield benefits.

2. Visibility

eLearning has become increasingly common over the last few years, but the majority of people are still unaware of online courses. According to studies, over 70% of students have no idea about open online courses. eLearning providers must come up with innovative ways to market their services.

3. Network Limitations

Although a lot of content provided by eLearning platforms can be accessed offline, there’s no denying the fact that for eLearning platforms to function well, proper internet connectivity is required. The alternative would be to make apps with huge file sizes which would contain a vast amount of content. This would in turn limit mobility or be limited to very specific mobile devices.

Conclusion

eLearning, much like its users has a bright future that is not even close to fulfilling its potential. With the considerable impact already made by eLearning, this is a great sign of things to come. With faster and more reliable networks, advancements in mobile hardware and AI as well as the incorporation of technologies like AR/VR have ensured that eLearning will be part of mainstream education in the not so distant future.

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