In the 21st century we witness things that were science fiction plots in the 20th century. Self piloted cars, social media, artificial intelligence, big data analysis, cryptocurrency and mobile banking. These are just some examples of the future we live in today. We are always on our phones or on our computers. Too much information is bombarding us from every side.
The global COVID-19 epidemic transformed our lives even further. Plagued with uncertainty about the future, unable to determine the likelihood of contracting the virus and enduring the quarantine, we transferred all our activities online, including learning.
A growing demand for new formats of learning purported the development of new instruments and exacerbated already ongoing digitalisation.
Universities equip their libraries with electronic devices and enrich their collections not only with paperbacks, but also with electronic books. There are multitudes of publicly accessible online courses, open universities and educational apps. Educators from around the world post their lectures and seminars on online platforms like Coursera or EdX. People can access courses from Harvard, Stanford or MIT for free.
In this article we will analyse learning trends and anti-trends and focus on changes in E-learning. In the end we will list best practices for following trends.
For a comprehensive and detailed analysis of:
- Market trends
- Trends and anti-trends in learning
- Trends in E-learning
- Ideal environment for creating compelling E-learning courses
Trends in learning
Some researchers and influencers believe that digital technologies finally allowed education to begin a long awaited evolution. Because demand for intensive development versus extensive development arose in the last century.
Before digitalistion it was about:
- Extensively creating more schools and universities with limited capacities
- Forcing young people to move from small villages and towns to big cities to study
Now the market switched to:
- Intensively creating accessible platforms with unlimited capacities
- Allowing everyone access to education via the Internet
Another growing concern is a shortening lifecycle of data/information. Science is evolving constantly, breakthroughs happen every day across a large variety of fields. Therefore, digitalisation is welcomed by educational institutions to enable continuous update of curriculum and learning programmes.
Fast redundancy is also applicable to skills and abilities. Today qualified professionals continue to study throughout their career. So MBAs and business schools must step up their game and constantly syncronise their courses with changes in respective markets, disciplines and fields of study.
Anti-trends in learning
There are several outdated techniques and approaches to education, which are considered almost bad manners in the modern world. Let's analyse them one by one:
What is out:
- Boring lectures, where students participate passively.
- Confusing visualisation – too much information or unstructured, indecipherable, hard to understand schemes and infographics.
- Rigid curriculum that never changes.
- Repetitive, monotonous, unmemorable presentation of information.
- Standard approach to all students/pupils, no individuality, no personalisation.
- Absence of critical thinking.
- Low quality pseudo educational courses.
- Straightforward path school-uni-work and only one specialisation for life.
- Denial of technology and its benefits for the learning process.
- Lack of education for adults or postgrad education.
- Low quality of broadcasting, low quality of transmission, technical difficulties.
- Lack of interactive elements.
- Outdated tech. equipment.
- Lack of educational data mining and learning analytics.
- Routine tasks performed manually.
- Learning online = learning by yourself.
Want to know more about anti-trends in learning? Check out our ebook
Trends in E-learning
- Social learning – an exchange of information and experience and collaboration among students and between students and third parties. Social learning includes joint content creation across social media platforms and via social networks. It's not about forcing others to study, but about motivating them.
- Blended learning – courses that incorporate elements of online and offline education. For example, students listen to online lectures and attend offline seminars.
- Individualistic/personalised approach. It allows students to pick and choose:
- Courses they wish to study
- A timetable that suits them
- Whether they want to work and study or just study
- Ordinary videos
- Screen casts
- TedEd type videos
- Interactive videos
- Augmented reality content
- Virtual reality content
- Mixed reality content
- Extended reality content
- Gamificated content
- Social network chats and groups
- Communication via messengers
- Build a personal learning curve for each student
- Create better education products
- Better target audience with advertising
Following those rules and guidelines educators and institutions create well-conceived, well-designed, well-presented courses and programmes. Then those products are reviewed by Quality Matters and awarded certificates, which corroborate the quality of content.
Want to know more about contemporary trends in E-learning? What about trends in E-learning that will become everyday life in 5 years time?
Check out our ebook, where we explore those subjects in great detail.
What hasn't changed during the transition from offline to online learning?
Online learning retains the golden standards and basic principles of offline learning. Such as:
- Systematic approach. Knowledge is transmitted from the tutor/teacher/lecturer/educator to pupils/students/audiences. Systematic approach is typically used in schools, colleges, universities, online/offline courses and foreign language learning.
- Emotional connection between the educator and the students.
- "Do no harm" principle
The ideology remains the same in every format of education – motivate, not force.
How to make your subjects/disciplines/courses compelling
Online learning can be as boring as analogue. Everything depends on the quality of content and the skill of the speaker/presenter/lecturer. You can easily spot the difference if you randomly select courses on various platforms, like Stepik, Quizlet or E.Queo. And if you want to study foreign languages, you can compare and contrast courses in Duolingo, Skyeng or Busuu.
Notice which elements make courses stand out, engage the audience and motivate them to learn. Incorporate those elements into your own curriculum and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
To incorporate trends into your educational product you have to overcome several obstacles:
- Make sure every student has a necessary equipment: laptop, smartphone
- Make sure every student has access to the internet
- Form your own system of rules, regulations and guidelines, marking systems and standards
- Get students excited about online education
- Learn to make compelling HD videos
- Create personalised content and courses
- Avoid the common problems with video content:
- Talking head
- Wrong format: you need a screen cast, but make a movie and vice versa
- Low quality of sound and/or image
- Lack of experience
- Fear of the camera
- Find the right technical equipment and universal solutions
The last point is really important. You cannot purchase expensive gadgets for every course you want to create. With a universal technological solution you eliminate most of the roadblocks.
Imagine a single solution for online primary, secondary, tertiary, corporate and lifelong education courses. A solution that allows you to teach both hard and soft skills across a wide range of disciplines. From natural to social sciences and from school modules to corporate webinars. Social and environmental causes that are important in today's political landscape. And also disciplines that are essential for underground education:
- Banking and finance
- Sales and commerce
- Healthcare and wellness
- Foreign languages
What does this solution look like?
Find out from our ebook