The Changing Face of eLearning

For many, there’s always a desire to want to learn more, to improve, and to develop. Technology has certainly helped, and the changes that have occurred over the last decade have been astounding. Truth is, as learning professionals, we’ve only just begun to understand what the future holds!

Until such time when we’re all like Neo in The Matrix, laying down in a high-tech dentist’s chair and strapping on a wild array of electrodes and downloading fifth-degree black belt Kung Fu skills directly into our brains, we’ll need to go about our learning the old-fashioned way. Or at least, the new-fashioned way. Let’s see…

Knowing your audience

As we’ve covered recently, millennials are going only knowing a world with the internet, and their smart phones have become an extension of their (increasingly busy) bodies. That’s not a bad thing by any means, but the knock-on effects for learning designers is that everything needs to be considered in terms of mobile, as every type of formal and informal training will take place when and where the learner decides.

Colleges, universities, technical schools, professional training, even an MBA; in 20 years, the trend will continue towards microdegrees – even nanodegrees! Employees in any sector will be able to determine the specific skills or knowledge that they need, and carry out the training on that exact topic – just as we would install an app!

The ability to change

Learning will be comprehensive. It will come with a badge, icon, or certification of achievement. It will be mobile-focused and offer a unique user experience, not limited to special learning needs and styles. What’s best, they can be earned in a very short period of time and for a small fragment of the cost to be paid in comparison to what students pay for traditional degree. Most importantly, this training will be recognised across the workforce. Looks like versatility is the new eLearning trend!
At Clarity International, we’ve helped clients to develop their learning programs in a way that supports microlearning, social and collaborative learning, and gamification of all styles. This all may seem a bit gimmicky or “buzz wordy”, but the results speak volumes, and there’s mountains of research to back it up.

AR versus VR

At Clarity International, we’re passionate about the way that new technologies and training design can allow for more effective learning retention, improve employee engagement in the learning process.

Looking forward, the role of AR and VR within the training sphere will continue to expand. But, which of these titans will come out victorious? Currently, VR is ahead in the battle, but indications are that AR will likely win the war; evidence of this can already be seen in Apple’s iOS 11 ARKit.

Concerning AR’s impact on the training and educational scene, the reason is simple; the AR learning environment is more embedded in reality than the VR learning environment. Also, developing and designing AR instructional programs is a lot cheaper than VR learning programs.

A whole new world

Having the ability to access pertinent information, instruction, and data where and when it’s required, overlaid on the world around us will allow us to see how to assemble and repair a complex piece of equipment, learn about a place or object, visualise internal workings and mechanics, navigate our environment, and enjoy a multitude of other uses, limited only by our imagination.

Going forward, learning designers can safely expect rising requests from their clients to create instruction within Augmented Reality elements. AR is synonymous to authentic, experiential and transformative learning experiences that have proven track records of improving cognitive achievement. It further opens the opportunity to move further outside of the classroom or away from the PC and locate areas of interest introducing a variation on the technique of “Spaced Learning”.

Only the strong…

The only certainty about the future from here on out is that it won’t resemble the past and survival will require people who can navigate a rapidly changing maze of policies, procedures, products, and services at high speed. This is as true of eLearning as it is with employee engagement and sales tools.

Trends don’t pop-up out of nowhere. It is the continuous innovation that brings about new methods that work better than the others. As professionals, we need to keep a close eye on every development in the training and development space and other areas.

Side by side

It can be difficult to take the first step, but connecting the dots with newer techniques can help place your learning offering ahead of the curve and put you in an even stronger starting position going forward.

You can find out more about our work in Digital Learning by checking out some of the work we’ve done with AmdocsNHS, and BT in our Case Studies.