Top 8 Elearning trends in 2021

Alex Mospanyuk

Online learning has certainly developed over the last few decades. Originally it first became introduced by the University of Phoenix in 1989, it has evolved into the new norm for education. Remote and virtual training is easier to implement and with the very best learning e-platforms allowing for anyone to create their own online courses and teach the masses.

Online learning content, however, was very similar to face-to-face content, containing many long-winded lectures and textbooks, along with assignments to test students on their knowledge. All that really was unique about that was that they were online, and students could go through the content at their own pace.

It’s safe to say that this has all changed and become much more interactive. Now no longer long lectures, the e-learning industry is quickly evolving, become personalized, more engaging, and unique to each user.

Entering 2021, and there is no slowing down. Here are the top 8 eLearning trends of 2021.

7 Content Trends that Make E-learning More Fun

1) AR and VR
2) Big Data and Personalised Learning
3) Microlearning
4) Learner-Driven Content
5) Social Learning
6) Storytelling
7) Content Development for Continuous Learning
8) Gamification

1. VR and AR     

Innovations in technology have allowed us to create more engaging solutions within the e-learning industry. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have origins within the gaming industry, but it has now expanded into eLearning and other industries as well.

AR and VR allow you to turn any space and environment you are currently in, into an interactive, immersive experience. The tech in itself has proven to be very effective in the corporate learning space. It can help employers save time and budget, allowing for employees to be able to develop new skills in the comfort of their homes or offices.

AR  and VR will continue to develop, progress, and become more accessible. In the next decade, don’t be surprised if you see it used in just about every learning e-learning platform out there.

2. Big data and personalized learning                   

Big data has become commonly used within the e-learning industry. Advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and data collection in real-time help trainers that are developing courses understand how their learners are progressing and what they could potentially be struggling with. Big data and personalized learning allow them to curate and adjust the content based on the data reporting, not on assumptions. It also helps with content curation for each learner and allows them to learn and study at their own pace.

Standard, one size fits all learning modules and pathways are in the past. At Archy Learning, we can’t wait to see how big data and personalized learning experiences especially on e-learning platforms, will become even more specific and personalized to each user.

3. Microlearning

Along with the human’s brain shrinking attention span, most likely caused by the rise of tech devices, we’re always in a hurry. With full-time jobs and other responsibilities, it is difficult to fit in full courses that last for hours and take up an entire section of our day or week. We want to upskill, but timing is difficult.

That’s where microlearning has come in. It’s proven to be not only incredibly effective for our attention and retention rates but is much more time-efficient as well. Lectures are broken down into 5-10 minute bite-sized pieces that we can not only fit into our schedule but mentally handle much more so than a 3-hour lecture.

Microlearning makes the entire process more convenient, and more accessible overall.

4. Learner-driven content

The “adaptive learning” model is definitely a positive next step forward in comparison to instructor-led training or teaching. Besides collecting surveys and written feedback to update and change content, adaptive learning uses big data and creates more personalized learner-driven experiences.   

5. Social learning

Online learning quickly jumped onto the scene in the ’90s and as it grew, a major flaw was realized: learner isolation. The majority of online learners learned on their own and at their own pace, and though the freedom that online learning has created for students is great, as humans, we are social creatures, and we need community.

There are many great platforms that have integrated community-based solutions for online learning, such as Coursera, which has discussion forums in each course. Students can communicate and interact with each other, providing accountability and encouragement which in return helps increase completion rates for the courses overall. Lecturers can also help facilitate these online forums, contributing to online discussion. This creates a real-life virtual classroom experience, and also allows for students to learn from anywhere in the world.

6. Storytelling

Storytelling has proven to be a memorable learning trend development, and more and more educators are getting behind it. An example of this is De-Mystifying Mindfulness, a course on Coursera.

It’s not unusual for lecturers to use cartoon-like characters to depict even the most complex concepts that they teach. De-Mystifying Mindfulness, one of the most popular courses on Coursera, relies on that storytelling approach. It creates a journey or a questlike experience for users and helps raise engagement levels overall.

7. Content developed for continuous learning

Continuous learning is one of the most important things to maintain in life. So many skillsets are becoming irrelevant nowadays, with technology and automation taking over the day-to-day tasks and automating them. This is especially true in business. Many different skill sets need to constantly be refined and upskilled in order to keep up with the new developments.

8. Gamification

We have saved our personal favorite for last. Gamification and game-based learning has been on the scene for years, and even growing up, it’s safe to say you have played games in the classroom that helped reinforce lessons, and making boring things fun. E-learning platforms have now incorporated gamified elements such as badges, leaderboards, and points to help engage users and guide them down the learning pathway.

Archy Learning has partnered with Gamify to even allow for mini-games to be inserted in between lessons, to help reinforce learnings as well as allowing for fun competition amongst the players.

Summary

E-learning is constantly evolving, with new trends and more fun interactive ways coming into play, and adding to the online experience. Gamification, AR, and VR allow for immersive, interactive engagement, where big data and microlearning create a more personalized, and simpler learning pathway. Any user can create their own learning pathway using gamification and video-based learning, and with LMS’s (learning management systems) like Archy Learning, you can start for free today!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, feel free to comment below, and let’s chat!

Alex Mospanyuk

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