eLearning is evolving rapidly. New technologies and social realities predetermine the ways in which the sector is going to change. Developments over the course of 2020 and 2021 have fueled growth and led to few transformative LMS trends.
The eLearning market is anticipated to keep on growing, reaching a projected volume of 243 billion dollars by 2022. And just to put things in perspective, the industry has grown over 900 percent since 2000.
This rapid growth is predetermining for the introduction of new technologies and solutions in the field. When it comes to this evolution, an important question has to be answered. How will eLearning change in 2021 and beyond? What will the top LMS trends be? Will some LMS industry trends from 2020 be maintained or are we in for complete change?
Based on current developments and forecasts, here are the key learning management system trends that are likely to dominate the eLearning field until the end of 2021 and even during the coming years.
Big Data Analysis, Even Bigger Growth
Big data has been around for some time and it impacted developments in more than one industry. Through technologies allowing the exploration of large volumes of data, marketers and product developers have been gathering the intelligence required to fine-tune their efforts in the future.
Big data analysis and utilization isn’t something new on the learning management system landscape. In fact, it has consistently ranked among the top trends over the past few years. Chances are that its importance will remain high over the course of 2021.
Through the examination of large volumes of data, eLearning companies can uncover patterns, trends and preferences that are widely valid among a target audience. Through the use of such complex analytical technologies, eLearning service providers can come up with highly accurate predictive models and statistical algorithms. Later on, these get put to good use to enhance product-related outcomes.
When big data is analyzed consistently and accurately, eLearning companies get the chance to provide more personalized and relevant experiences to their clients. Such essential information makes both the entry into a new niche and its domination fairly simple tasks due to detailed and intimate knowledge of customer wants and needs.
The term microlearning refers to two things – eLearning solutions that focus on one very specific, niche skill or opportunities characterized by brevity and short-term learning activities.
Microlearning has been gathering some steam and it will potentially dominate the realm of eLearning in 2021.
Gone are the days of multi-unit, complex courses, workshops and feature-packed platforms. Ok, that statement is a bit of an over-exaggeration but narrower and more focused eLearning is seeing quite a lot of adoption and popularity.
The new microlearning opportunities are highly targeted. They allow someone to acquire niche knowledge or a very specific skill within a very short period of time. When done, they can move on to another learning opportunity.
Microlearning opportunities come with several benefits for product developers. They’re much faster, easier and more affordable to deliver. In addition, having numerous microlearning units gives customers more flexibility and a chance to pick and choose. In a sense, they will be creating a customized learning experience. Needless to say, tailoring and personalization in the world of LMS are both powerful driving forces for growth and reputation establishment.
New Technologies Augmenting LMS and the eLearning Experience
Augmented and virtual reality need to be added among the top LMS features today.
These technologies have been around for some time but they’ve been considered more or less experimental in the past years. Now, they’re making it to mainstream learning opportunities, diversifying skill acquisition and boosting interactivity.
Augmented reality is one of the simplest technologies to adopt. It allows the layering of additional information on real-world views and depictions of events or elements. Virtual reality creates a whole new world for a learner to enjoy and immerse themselves in while benefiting from the educational content.
Visual and multimedia-based learning experiences are being employed more often due to the fact that they increase information retention rates and help for the creation of a more enjoyable experience. Previously, these technologies were difficult and costly to implement. Customers also lacked the hardware needed to make the most of such multimedia. Today, both AR and VR are more readily accessible and the time has come for their mainstream adoption in the world of eLearning.
Changes in LMS Functionality
Apart from changes in personalization level, LMS trends will also encompass the scope of functionalities that learners have access to.
Don’t expect a complete, radical transformation. Rather, systems will build upon existing foundations to offer more flexibility, more user-friendliness and additional chances aimed at tailoring the experience.
Expanded LMS platforms will potentially benefit from brand new communication tools, content delivery systems (applicable to an array of formats) and even artificial intelligence that will interact with the customer in a specific way to ensure the most relevant experience.
Imagine layers upon layers of functionalities. Needless to say, an individual user isn’t going to benefit from all of those. Picking and choosing, however, can drive more people to the experience and result in a distinctive product for every single client involved.
Here’s one final trend worth mentioning and it’s pretty much in line with the other predictions pertaining to the future of LMS.
Learning environments are becoming more open and receptive than ever before. Input from learners themselves can be utilized effectively to fine-tune functionalities and enhance the product in a way developers wouldn’t have conceived on their own.
User-generated content has become the norm in various digital realms. It will have its prominent place in eLearning, as well.
People will always be more open to engaging with eLearning platforms and environments that are two-directional and that feature content or modules generated by their peers.
Such opportunities give developers chances to take products in completely unexpected directions. And while user-generated content may be difficult to integrate sometimes, it is yet another possibility for better tailoring and more relevant product creation.
As you can see, the future of learning management systems looks exciting. There will be new analytics, new formats and sources of input to create more tailored and relevant possibilities. Through the introduction of such trends, the end customer can rely on a product that addresses individual needs in the most adequate ways possible. Developers, on the other hand, benefit from insight and social elements that would have been considered unfathomable just a decade or so ago.