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The Future of e-Learning

By ILX Team | 17 October 2017

The value of the e-learning market is expected to reach about $331 billion by 2025. A lot of research and development goes into e-learning solutions. So what will the market look like by then, and what new features will we promote? These are three areas that we predict will receive a lot of attention in the coming years.

  1. Gamification

Gamification is still just a buzzword for many. Despite that, 79% of responders to a TalentLMS survey said they’d be more productive if their university/institution or work was more game-like. Deloitte, IBM and Xerox all use gamified platforms for learning.

If this trend continues, how will e-learning platforms become more gamified? Right now, a lot of them just assign points to correct answers. Michael Fergusson, CEO of Ayogo Health, says gamification has to go beyond “layering points and badges on top of your program”. It seems like most e-learning platforms right now treat game mechanics as an afterthought.

Future e-learning apps will probably put more time into developing game mechanics. They can go deeper with things like leaderboards, for example. A leaderboard with a lot of filters can show where you rank globally, by location or within your own company. It gives added meaning and competition to your score. Since a lot of companies treat gamifying as a box-ticking exercise, ideas like this might seem too ambitious. In the future, will they still feel that way?

  1. Interactivity

E-learning apps have a lot of interactive features beyond game mechanics. Video is one way, and it’s popular for delivering information. One problem with video, unlike face-to-face tutorials, is that you can’t ask the instructor to slow down or speed up. Since there isn’t a perfect playback speed for everyone, maybe future e-learning apps will take a page from YouTube and let users adjust it. They could go further and show some example video speeds to users, then survey them to find their ideal playback speed.

While adjustable playback speed would solve one problem, e-learning courses still aren’t as collaborative as classroom courses. That’s a big interactivity gap, but it could be bridged. We offer full tutor support with our e-learning courses, but what about interacting with a wide community of peers?

Future e-learning apps could allow the user to select snippets of text or video that they’re struggling with. The user could then share the snippets on social media and attach their own questions. While face-to-face questions get more immediate responses, this method opens the question to a wider base of people.

  1. Immersion

These predictions have so far been grounded and achievable. But to make e-learning more immersive, we have to get a little fanciful. The goal of these apps is to teach users best practice, and not just the theory. The ideal e-learning solution doesn’t just help people pass the exam. It should also make it easy to transition their knowledge into the real world.

To make best practice more tangible, e-learning apps could emulate real world software, like LiquidPlanner or Wrike. Let’s say you’re learning how to create a project plan. Instead of asking what goes into it, an app could embed project planning software. Rather than answer a question, you’d get tested on how well you use actual industry-standard software.

For even deeper immersion, future e-learning apps could use virtual reality headsets. It seems like every blog predicting the future has to include a bit about VR. However, it could make face-to-face interactions easier for virtual classroom courses. VR could also simulate real world scenarios, like stakeholder meetings. While e-learning should prepare you for the final exam, even if it’s written, making the theory more applicable would help the knowledge stick.

While e-learning has a bright future, you can earn accredited best practice certificates online today. You can even study offline on your phone with the free ILX Player App for Android and iOS. See our full list of courses here and be sure to contact us if you have any questions.

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