Trends in the eLearning sector
In the eLearning and Learning Management System (LMS) market 2023 and beyond, we can see a number of educational trends in 2023 trying to shape the future of education for all of us. The global LMS market is set to nearly triple over the next 7 years to $40.95 billion in 2029. This article will explore the trends and directions set to disrupt long-established learning traditions and rules. Here are a few learning trends in 2023, at various stages of maturity, that appear to be gaining traction in the market.
Learning trends for 2023
One new trend that has become more popular and looks set to continue to grow in use in organizations is the idea of microlearning. Microlearning was developed to combat the problems of student fatigue, cognitive overload and increasingly limited attention spans.
Indeed, some studies have found that the human attention span decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds in the year 2000. Microlearning is simply categorized as learning that provides short chunks of information that the end user can consume at their leisure, and these can take the form of videos, games, images, quizzes, tests and infographics, usually with a very specific learning outcome or a soccer goal.
A recent research report found that many experts consider microlearning to be any learning that lasts less than 13 minutes, with segments between 2 and 5 minutes most favorable. Another common frustration that microlearning tries to address is requiring end users to sift through vast amounts of information throughout a course just to find one key piece of information. Benefits of microlearning include:
- Mobile device
While microlearning can be delivered via conventional devices such as computers and tablets, due to the brief nature of the information delivered, it can be an ideal format for mobile devices, allowing end users to benefit from learning ‘on the go’.
- Rapid development
Due to the smaller size and length of content, microlearning allows organizations to iterate and deliver material to their target audience very quickly. This allows them to provide more relevant content that meets the immediate needs of students. It also means that end users experience less waiting time for content and can start training on new topics quickly.
- Increased engagement and retention
Small blocks of content delivered through microlearning keep end users from feeling overwhelmed and can increase retention. Learning is perceived as manageable and focused.
2. Virtual reality/augmented reality
As technology has matured, so have the application of some learning advances. In particular, games have made a significant contribution to the teaching of technology. Video game revenue is expected to reach $221 billion in 2023. Some of these advances have translated into virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) learning. The virtual reality market was valued at USD 21.83 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% between 2022 and 2030.
Virtual reality refers to the creation of a 3D simulated environment that allows end users to interact with a virtual environment that replicates reality. Augmented reality is slightly different in that it simply supplements your current vision. An example would be the use of smart glasses, where additional images and information can be added to your vision to give you a more detailed view of your current environment. We have all seen this from movies such as Matrix and Avatar how far this type of technology could take us, and headsets like the Oculus Meta Quest are trying to support these technologies. Most good LMS providers now support these technologies. The benefits of VR and AR for end users are as follows:
- Increased engagement
The immersive nature of VR and AR forces the end user into the environment. For example, Microsoft HoloLens has developed a way for medical students to learn about the human body by allowing students to flow through the bloodstream and even walk inside the components of the human body. Immersive learning increases excitement among end users and creates a desire to engage with a course or learning plan.
- Support for SEND teaching
SEND stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. By leveraging VR and AR, organizations can develop personalized learning environments that adapt to students’ specific learning contexts and meet their individual needs.
- Social skills and cooperation
VR and AR also allows end users to learn with their colleagues in pairs or as a team. This type of collaborative learning can also promote team building while bringing the whole group to the topic at hand.
Regardless of our age, we all love games, right? They support two concepts that organizations want to incorporate into their learning strategies: participation and fun. Gamification is the application of game design elements and game principles in non-game contexts. According to Gartner, gamification is “the use of game mechanics and experiential design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.”
Some examples of gamification elements might be badges, where symbols are used to symbolize achievements. Points can also show progress towards certain goals and are commonly used in the context of reward cards and video games. For organizations with multiple teams, leaderboards can be used to promote competition and show which team or individual is the furthest.
Education gamification market to grow from $93 million in 2015 to nearly $1.5 billion by 2020. The benefits of gamification in education for organizations include::
- Creating positive study habits
We have all heard of people addicted to video games. With the adoption of gamification in learning, end users tend to experience the same or similar feelings. When our brain wants to reward us, it releases dopamine into our body, so when we win a game or achieve something, even in learning, we tend to feel good. This is an attractive result for organizations trying to promote learning.
- Immediate feedback
When end users are exposed to gamification within an educational context, they are likely to receive some form of feedback, in the form of the aforementioned leaderboards or point system. This encourages end users to continue positive reinforcement. In this context, a “Pavlov’s dog” response (press the button, get the treat) develops.
These 2023 learning trends and more are sure to have a big impact on deciding which direction the eLearning and LMS market will take. Have you found success with these or other new trends?