It’s hard to believe that, even just a few short years ago, people were skeptical about the longevity and stickiness of eLearning. However, the numbers don’t lie. Market research firm Global Industry Analysts had projected that eLearning would reach $107 billion in revenue by the year 2015, and it did.  Now, Research and Markets forecasts predict the eLearning industry will grow even more, to a staggering $325 billion by 2025.

Why Is It So Popular?

The meteoric growth of eLearning platforms has revolutionized the modern approach to education and training by embodying efficiency, flexibility, and accessibility for all. Studying online provides a way for anyone to learn on-demand, without being tied to a specific course schedule. Some of the main advantages include a flexible learning environment, lower costs, wider course topic selection, and more freedom to personalize the learning experience. Join our webinar with Verbit next week to learn more.

New Trends Emerging

As a technology-driven industry, the field of eLearning is always evolving. With technology at its core, online learning is typically on the cutting edge of new advancements that fundamentally change how people learn for the better.

Let’s take a look at some of the top trends that are shaping the future of eLearning:

Video-Based Learning

According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, video will generate 80% of worldwide internet consumption by 2019, up from 67% in 2014. While entertainment content surely accounts for a large portion, online education is a key contributor in its own right.

Videos have been on the rise in higher education for a number of years now. By presenting educational content in a more engaging way than the tradtional lecture-driven format, videos help boost student engagement and comprehension of material. They are also essential for providing equal access for all learners, particularly students with a hearing impairment as well as those who aren’t native speakers of the language of instruction.

While videos on their own are advantageous, adding captions has been shown to further improve academic results. For example, a study conducted by the University of Northern Illinois found that exposure to closed-captions increased students’ recall and understanding of video-based information, as those students scored significantly higher on the subsequent assessment when compared with their peers. In addition, a study at San Francisco State University found that students who used captioned video achieved a full GPA point increase compared to students who did not.

Mobile Learning

As of November 2018, 48.2% of all global web traffic is being generated through mobile devices, with no signs of slowing down. The implications here are clear. Creating courses that are not optimized for mobile is simply not an option. For eLearning to remain true to its core promises of convenience and flexibility, it’s crucial for users to have the option to learn anytime, anywhere, and on the device of their choice.

Microlearning

Microlearning refers to, as its name suggests, small learning units and short-term learning activities. It is an eLearning strategy that focuses on providing learners with content in bite-sized and easily digestible learning nuggets. By zeroing in on a very specific subject, it allows learners to master a particular skill or topic before moving on to something else, an approach that has been shown to boost comprehension.

Typically, microlearning units are offered on all types of devices, including mobile phones and tablets, allowing learners to access the material without necessarily being tethered to a computer at a desk. This fits into the flexible nature of eLearning, as these bite-sized educational experiences can be experienced anywhere. This is particularly meaningful for people on-the-go, who can still access learning materials while in transit or in other noise-prohibitive environments. As such, captioned video is essential for a successful microlearning strategy.

Interactive Experiences

It’s been said that, in order for students to learn, they must actually “do” something. Passively absorbing the material simply doesn’t cut it. Engaging activities are not only critical for deeper comprehension, but they also help maximize enjoyment in the learning process.

Gamification has become an increasingly popular approach in eLearning, due to the wide range of advantages it offers for learners. By challenging learners with various activities, it offers them the chance to achieve a particular reward, sparking an intrinsic sense of excitement and satisfaction. This leads to more motivation to persist and makes the learning experience more powerful and memorable, ultimately leading to better results.

Aside from game learning, interactive audiovisual experiences are also becoming more prevalent as another tool to help students get more out of their educational experiences. For example, providing interactive video captions and transcripts as an accompaniment to lectures allows learners to search for specific terms, link to other related materials, and form deeper connections with the material as they go along.

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence

When people hear the term AI, they tend to picture a dehumanized world, devoid of personal, human touch. The reality, in fact, paints a much brighter and more optimistic picture. Applying AI to eLearning technologies allows these intelligent systems to adapt to user preferences and abilities to create a more personalized experience.

AI also brings a number of benefits when it comes to transcription and captioning, both of which go hand in hand with a successful eLearning strategy. When applied to speech-to-text technology, AI brings about equal access, greater comprehension, higher student engagement, all while boosting SEO.

It’s official: eLearning is the future. It presents countless opportunities to revolutionize the field of education with new and innovative technologies that subvert traditional  approaches. By embracing the digital reality – from sophisticated online platforms to leveraging AI and related technologies, eLearning is leading the way when it comes to maximizing technology and all that it is capable of achieving.

Verbit & Kaltura on Digital Literacy & the Future of Video

With videos increasing in popularity in the classroom, captioning has never been more critical to offering an inclusive and accessible learning experience. Make sure your campus is prepared. Register for the webinar to see how to put a successful video hosting and captioning strategy in place to support all students with equal access. Learn about current data on video trends in the classroom, how to use both videos and captions to increase student engagement, and tips on implementing a successful UDL approach.