There have been countless eLearning trends that came and went ever since the advent of eLearning. Some, on the other hand, have been found to be evergreen, and with time, have become modern day essentials. This article discusses those timeless trends.
eLearning has had, and continues to have trends come and go during its relatively short lifetime, with certain trends disappearing into oblivion, while some trends sticking for good, and being followed to this day. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 timeless eLearning trends that stuck, and have become more of eLearning essentials than trends. Let’s go.
Gamification tops the list of eternal eLearning trends because it is a sure-shot way to build learner engagement. Gamified eLearning courses have evolved to include more elements in them than simply game dynamics and rules like leaderboards, points, rewards and achievements. Although all these points are what makes gamification so great as a learner engagement and motivation tool, the gamified courses of today utilize augmentations, animations and compelling storylines. Gamification has not only stood the test of time as an eLearning trend, it has improved with it. Which is why gamification is the way to go, and one of the most beneficial trends in eLearning ever.
- Personalized Learning
Corporate organizations have now understood that each individual learner/employee is different, and have different professional and personal goals, according to which they should be provided training through eLearning. They should have the freedom to choose their own learning paths, which makes their learning more focused and targeted. By giving the learners the power to choose what modules to complete and which to skip, personalized learning empowers its users. Personalized learning also appeals more to learners, as everyone wants something that is designed based on their personal choices. Personalized learning is thus a trend that stuck, and is being used more and more by corporate organizations that wish to improve their employee learning and development.
Talking about learner autonomy and freedom, nothing gives learners more freedom than mLearning. After all, employees have a lot on their plate, even without having to take out the time during office hours to complete eLearning courses. When they’re forced to complete courses during office hours, it leads to a backlog of actual work, as well as discontent. When employees feel resentment towards eLearning courses, and treat them only as a tiring convention that must be done, no learning can take place. mLearning allows employees to complete their eLearning courses on their smartphones, whenever they want to, wherever they want to. This solves all the above mentioned problems. This is the reason mLearning has transformed from an eLearning trend to an absolute necessity in the modern world, as a smartphone is something that every modern-day employee has, and regularly engages with.
- APIs (Application Programming Interfaces)
It was SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model) that started the trend of APIs within eLearning by allowing training and course content to be shared with other SCORM compliant systems. SCORM was succeeded by xAPI, also known as Tin Can API as well as Experience API. Basically these programs have built-in instructions for applications to talk to each other, so that the content is compatible and platform-independent. xAPI or Tin Can was considered an improvement over SCORM because it enables learners to collect data online and offline, while helping track learner progress and use content through a multitude of software suites, in addition to certain other features. APIs too have become an essential nowadays, but it wasn’t long before they were considered just a new-fangled trend.
- Flash to HTML5 Conversion
Flash is dead. This is a brutal truth. But, Flash didn’t die all of a sudden. It wasn’t long before Flash was the gold standard of eLearning courses, but that was before eLearning professionals realized the magic of HTML5. HTML5 allowed audio, video, 2D/3D graphics and animation to play without a plug-in. In addition, it gave hardware access, offline storage, and supported cloud-based applications. But the clincher was the fact that any eLearning course made on it was automatically responsive! This hastened Flash’s imminent doom. So what about all those Flash courses that were created? Would those become useless? Fortunately, no. It was found that Flash courses could be converted to HTML5 courses, and thus began the trend of Flash to HTML5 conversion, which is a big thing, even today.
You never know which eLearning trend might be here to stay, so never knock one until you’ve tried it.
Will continue my critical comment. mLearning is another hype word, but JIT and microlearning certainly merits its place in the eLearning world, agree. But it cannot be used for any topic, nor any course. That is just ‘utopia’.
My personal number 1 is Personalized Learning, since decades. That is the most important topic you mention, and it is more neglected in eLearning than in classroom learning or blended learning. I have been searching for tools to have a more personalized learning experience for my students (now for my trainees), and Captivate as eLearning authoring tool has made that possible.
A way to communicate learning to a management system will always be there. Agree.
Please, Flash is not dead, it is very much alive because it is still the standard application to develop games. Adobe has renamed it to Animate CC.
What will die soon is the Flash PLAYER needed to play SWF’s in a web browser. That plugin already disappeared on mobile browsers, but will now disappear definitely from desktop browsers as well. And HTML5 is still not ready to replace everything possible with the old SWF output. Who cares?
In most instances Gamification is just a hype feature which is often used to cover up badly designed eLearning courses. Sorry, it is just another name for scoring in formal education, where many teachers try to get rid of it to make personal development of students/trainees the first priority. I have a long career as professor.
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