According to a study by Research and Markets, the global eLearning industry is on track to hit an impressive $350 billion valuation by 2025. Furthermore, as mobile phones become more powerful and accessible, users seem to prefer them over traditional computers for accessing online content. This shift in preference is confirmed by Admissionsly.com, which reports that 67% of online learners use their smartphones to access course materials. Additionally, we are beginning to see the rise of progressive technologies such as extended reality and artificial intelligence, which open doors to augmenting existing online learning platforms.
How can educators and institutions adapt to this evolving landscape effectively? In this article, we dive into the three most significant eLearning trends expected to shape eLearning in 2023.
Integrating AR, VR, and mobile learning
Interactive technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) can provide an immersive learning experience for students and help them understand complex concepts better.
VR fully immerses the learner in a simulated environment in a headset, whereas AR seamlessly overlays digital information into the real world. Both technologies can be creatively implemented online and in physical classrooms for various learning needs.
Bernard Marr, a best-selling author and futurist, describes some real-world examples for extended reality for eLearning. For instance, extended reality can enable students to visualize distant stars and solar systems as interactive 3D elements right in front of them! Innovative apps, like Froggipedia, can demonstrate a frog’s biology and internal organs using AR technology without harming a specimen.
Another example is Microsoft Hololens mixed reality headset, which enables medical students to gain an in-depth, visual understanding of human physiology and various medical conditions. This level of interactive detail was never available in education before the advent of such technologies.
Even classic educational apps are beginning to adopt VR and AR to improve learners’ experiences and make learning more fun. Platforms such as Mondly by Pearson, an interactive language learning app, have integrated AR and VR components to help learners simulate a realistic experience while practicing a new language.
Educators can tap into the potential of Moodle’s certified integrations, such as Near-Life, to create immersive virtual reality learning scenarios. Near-Life not only facilitates content gamification, with features like quizzes and unlockable achievements, but also maintains learner engagement through diverse scoring mechanisms.
This level of interactivity is further augmented with Moodle plugins like the Wavefront Renderer, which offers students the capability to visualize 3D models in real-world environments via their smartphones, without the need for extra devices. By leveraging these advanced features, both students and institutions can explore new dimensions of LMS capabilities and make the eLearning process more exciting.
Another aspect that demands significant attention is mobile-optimized learning. According to Global Industry Analysts, the mobile learning market is expected to soar to an impressive $388 billion by 2030! It’s crucial for educators to make sure that educational resources in their Learning Management Systems (LMS) are both accessible and compatible with mobile devices. This step is essential in providing seamless and effective hybrid learning experiences.
Using Artificial Intelligence to enhance learning experiences
Artificial Intelligence is a remarkable technology, possessing the capability to establish intricate relationships amidst vast amounts of data. We are currently observing an influx of AI tools designed to handle tasks traditionally undertaken manually by humans, and online education is no exception.
We all like to learn in a variety of ways. Through facilitating personalized learning, AI has the potential to help a greater number of students excel in their studies while simultaneously enhancing the efficacy of educators. For instance, AI-powered Learning Management Systems (LMS) can monitor learner engagement with course content and provide tailored real-time communication and recommendations. Personalized learning can help learners feel empowered and in control of their education.
AI systems lend efficient support to educators by automating mundane tasks and delivering adaptive assessments for learners. Moreover, AI has the capacity to sift through colossal amounts of educational data, providing practical insights for educational institutions and teachers. It’s capable of discerning patterns, tendencies, and relationships in students’ performance, involvement, and actions. These data-driven insights assist educators and administrators in making well-informed decisions to refine their teaching strategies and boost learning results.
Recent research has shown that bringing AI into learning platforms increased student engagement, improved collaborative learning performances, and made students happier with eLearning.
To learn more about leveraging the power of AI with Moodle, stay tuned for our dedicated article coming out in July.
Microlearning is a new approach to online education that aims to manage learner fatigue, cognitive overload, and shortening attention spans. This trend involves delivering concise and easily digestible information through short videos, games, images, quizzes, tests, and infographics, which learners can access at their convenience.
Education Corner claims that among surveyed students, 94% preferred microlearning to traditional learning. Furthermore, students who microlearn are 17% more efficient in implementing what they’ve learned in other contexts.
Microlearning brings several key benefits for both learners and institutions, including:
- Accelerated course development and delivery: In his book ‘3-Minute e-Learning‘, learning expert Ray Jimenez emphasizes that microlearning can reduce institutional development costs by up to 50%, while potentially boosting delivery speed by an impressive 300%!
- Enhanced learner engagement: As of 2023, the average person’s attention span is around 47 seconds. As such, shorter content may be more effective than traditional, long-form eLearning materials in sustaining interest and engagement.
- Ease of updating and modifying content: When content is segmented into bite-sized course files, revising an individual section becomes a simpler process.
- Convenience and accessibility: Microlearning content is quick and easy to consume since each part doesn’t require a substantial time commitment. This makes it easier for learners to engage with the material during a commute, at home, or on their phone, thus adding a layer of convenience to eLearning
Microlearning doesn’t require much time for effective information delivery, freeing up the learner’s mental bandwidth for a more engaging learning experience.
As explained in the article by our Moodle Premium Certified Partner, Titus Learning, Moodle LMS, serves as an ideal host for all microlearning content that a user might need, accessible round-the-clock from any internet-connected device. For educators, it’s a platform that supports the creation, publishing, and sharing of content in various forms. When constructing text-based microlearning content, they can focus on crafting succinct, clear, and easily comprehensible material. Quality images and video content, created and edited offline can be smoothly integrated to clarify and enhance the learning materials, always keeping accessibility in mind.
Additionally, Moodle is the tool educators turn to for facilitating learner interaction and instant feedback, useful elements of successful microlearning. With quizzes and H5P activities, teachers can gauge learners’ grasp of a topic instantly.
Moodle also supports gamified learning activities, promoting interactive learning and better retention of information. Through forums, educators can foster discussion and peer-to-peer learning. Collaborative resources such as wikis or glossaries provide opportunities for reflection.
With Moodle’s access restriction and activity completion features, teachers can create conditional learning paths where learners can either direct their own progress or be given guidance while maintaining a sense of independence.
Notifications of new content, along with reminders of tasks due ensure learners are kept up-to-date and engaged.
Finally, Moodle’s varied and robust reports allow educators to evaluate the effectiveness of their microlearning items, bringing continuous improvement to the learning provisions.
In 2023, educators and institutions need to embrace emerging technologies, prioritize mobile-first learning experiences, explore the potential of AI-driven personalization, and introduce microlearning to keep up with the latest trends. Choosing a versatile and adaptable learning management system like Moodle can help them stay ahead of the curve, allowing them to be at the forefront of adopting innovative features that meet their learners’ needs more effectively.