Over the past decade, eLearning has been transformed from an emerging digital tool to a ubiquitous learning mechanism. Digital learning software and educational platforms are now commonplace anywhere that formal learning takes place.
This includes schools, colleges and universities as well as language schools, training companies and even the workplace. Thanks to the growth of eLearning and the virtual campus, it’s also now easier for individuals to access quality educational experiences than it has ever been before.
Like any digital industry, the world of eLearning and educational platforms is moving forwards as quickly as the technology it relies on. This means that there are a near constant stream of updates and developments.
In order to ensure that your organisation is making the most of these developments, it’s important to ensure you’re keeping up with what they are.
What was the big news in eLearning and educational platforms in 2017?
In recent years there have been some very exciting developments on the virtual campus. Educational platforms such as Learning management systems (LMS) and learning content management systems (LCMS) have taken great leaps forward, all to the benefit of the education industry.
One of the most significant developments of 2017 has to have been the growth of the virtual campus. In the past, some online courses haven’t been able to compete with traditional classroom based courses in one key respect: the social element.
There is an awful lot to be gained from sharing educational experiences with course mates, whether that’s in terms of formal team projects, or just having someone to practice and go over learning material with.
The virtual classroom and virtual campus have been able to solve this problem, as it’s now almost easier for students to communicate and collaborate online than it is offline.
What can we expect for the year ahead?
With another year ahead, it’s natural to want to speculate about what it might bring to the table in terms of educational platforms such as learning management systems (LMS) and learning content management systems (LCMS).
Below are four predictions for key areas to look out for in the next three quarters of the year:
Some crossover between digital spheres can be a very positive thing. This is illustrated really well in the case of the ‘gamification’ of eLearning. Online games are hugely popular, as is online learning. Scientific researchers have shown that people learn better if they are enjoying the process.
It follows, then, that combining online games with online courses will have a very beneficial effect. Look out for online courses with game-style assessments, rewards and revision exercises.
#2. Social learning
As LMS and LCMS technology becomes more developed, the virtual campus and virtual classroom are developing, too. Within these digital learning spaces, it’s becoming easier and easier for learners to communicate and work together.
In Voluxion, learners can access a range of different community types, whether private groups of named students, or a public group. In both of these group types, they can utilise instant chat features or even step into a virtual classroom environments to practice their writing, speaking and listening skills in a more face-to-face manner.
This kind of collaboration is called social learning, and it has been shown to be hugely effective when used as part of the learning process within online courses.
#3. Adaptive learning
The gap between online courses and face to face traditional classroom learning is rapidly closing. In the past, some of the ways that classroom learning still had benefits over online learning were to do with communication and personalised experiences.
The growth of LMS and LCMS analytics is making personalised online learning far more effective. eLearning analytics can now enable course leaders to automatically personalise the online course experience for their students based on their ability level, preferences and assessment scores.
#4. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in the Virtual Classroom
At first thought, virtual reality and augmented reality may seem like something that’s better suited to video games than educational platforms. However, this technology can be just as effective when used within a virtual classroom as it can be on a games console.
Virtual reality and augmented reality can be extremely effective when integrated with virtual classroom LMS and LCMS technology as it allows learners to feel as if they are ‘stepping in’ to a learning experience. It could be particularly valuable with the online language learning sphere to allow students to role play conversations and interactions in the language they are learning.
How can you make sure your eLearning provision and virtual campus are completely up to date?
If you’re excited about the possibilities these eLearning growth areas could have for your organisation, you’ll want to ensure you’re doing everything you can to keep up with them.
Investing in a cloud based educational platform such as an LMS or LCMS will enable you to do this. The great thing about cloud based software is that you don’t buy a particular version of it that could quickly go out of date. Instead, you buy access to the software that will be updated as each new digital development is incorporated.
Want to talk more about how to update your virtual campus provision for the rest of 2018? Contact us for personalised advice with no obligation.
You may also like: