Looking ahead this year, business owners worldwide are definitely in board rooms steering up plans designed to ensure they have a successful 2014, and the world of online education is no different. The industry has a projected monetary growth of approximately 10 percent between 2012 and 2015, so educators and education startups should take notice of this year’s projected learning trends and leverage them for positive growth professionally and financially.
Learning on the go
As more and more professional educators and even students experience the “long nights, shorter days” phenomenon, the need to immediately assimilate information is definitely going to be a huge factor in how we learn. Therefore, students and employees will seek instant gratification when it comes to studying for a test or professional certification. To meet their needs, educators must design tutorials or teaching materials that are mobile friendly and can be downloaded on tablets, phones, and the variety of smart devices available on the market.
Learning at the speed of need
Imagine this scenario; a student or an employee has to take a test in approximately an hour and they haven't studied the materials for the test – or they did study, but left the materials at home. Instead of running home at the speed of light, they bring out a smart device and go through your 20-minute tutorial on that particular course for a quick catch-up. The moral of the story is that in 2014, the shorter the reading material, the faster a student assimilates information. Also educators and startups should get their tutorials and teaching materials on multiple online educational management systems and platforms to get the exposure they desire.
Gamification, which was to be the major buzzword in online education for 2012 and 2013, is also expected to be a major e-learning trend in 2014. In this context, gamification simply means applying the principles that make individuals spend hours playing video games to online education. The use of educative apps on both mobile and web operating systems has already caught on – and with Google's release of the Google Play Store for Education, we can expect more tech houses such as Apple to release stand-alone stores and platforms to drive online education. With this competition, we can expect to see revolutionary ideas being applied to learning management systems.
Yes, I know that videos are already being used in online education circles, but most of their use comes in the form of video instructions for training staff. But the need for shorter and more direct teaching materials will cause a rise in the use of informative videos as teaching tools because they can engage students more, and they can cross language borders with their visual component.