Online courses are becoming an increasingly popular way to study. We take a look at the biggest elearning trends right now.
This shouldn’t come as a shock to you, but the popularity of online classes is on the rise. Everywhere you look, an esteemed and reputable university now offers eLearning classes.
Yes, even Ivy Leaguers like Harvard offer online courses.
So, why kind of classes can you take online? Pretty much anything you can think of.
Do you want to learn about linear models and matrix algebra? Harvard’s got a class on that.
What about litigation and trial presentation technology? UCLA’s got you covered.
It almost doesn’t seem possible. Don’t most people need to see matrix algebra in action to understand it? How do you learn about trial litigation technology without a hands-on professor?
It’s all possible because of the latest eLearning trends. If you’re interested in online classes, we’re giving you the hottest trends that will keep your brain active in more ways than one.
Let’s face it: videos are everywhere. They’re a part of marketing, entertainment, and yes, learning.
One of the reasons Khan Academy has become so successful is because of their video tutorials. Schools across the U.S. now use Khan Academy to enrich their classrooms.
There are seven types of learners:
- Visual / Spatial
- Aural / Auditory-Musical
- Verbal / Linguistic
- Physical / Kinesthetic
- Logical / Mathematical
- Social / Interpersonal
- Solitary / Intrapersonal
Video learning encompasses them all. No matter what kind of learner you are, you can benefit from video.
These require a little bit of equipment to pull off. Students need special VR/AR headsets and teachers need 3D software.
But, the possibilities are endless. You can teach students from all over the world at the same time what life could be like on Mars. You can teach advanced math concepts or dissect a frog without harming an animal to do so.
VR/AR is a combination of a lot of disciplines on our list. The two biggest being video and AI.
Everyone’s talking about AI these days. Machines are now doing the physical labor of humans. They’re reshaping how we do business.
They’re also teaching us differently. Without the need for a human to learn information, then pass it on to the student, AI allows for a more direct path.
As subjects or disciplines get updated, a few clicks and the “teacher” has this new information. There will still be a need for teachers, but in many ways, AI is making their jobs easier.
Micro-learning isn’t a biology class you take online. It’s actually a way of teaching. It delivers content to students in short, specific bursts.
Some of the benefits of micro-learning are:
- Better engagement
- Better understanding
- Better retention
- Smoother transition to a career where the learned content applies
The reason for the success of micro-learning is simple. The average attention span is now eight seconds. That means that you need to grab a student’s attention and be able to hold it quickly.
Micro-learning allows that. For example, if you’re taking a science-based course like bloodborne pathogens training for a certification, you may be better off learning in shorter, specific bursts than in long classroom lectures.
Wearable devices are making a splash in corporate training. As the name suggests, these are smart devices an employee or student wears to learn on the go.
This works in both an office setting and in a career that requires on-the-job training. These devices can potentially take simulation exercises and situations to the next level. But, as you can imagine, both the device, software, and programming can get pricey.
If AI scares you a little, machine learning may terrify you. But, don’t worry, the machines won’t take over the world.
Machine learning is a field of artificial intelligence. Computers aren’t programmed to teach but instead learn from data. Depending on who you ask, you may get a slightly different definition.
But, the result is the same. Computers will learn to interpret data and apply it to new settings.
This is an eLearning trend on the horizon, much like AI. But, in some fields, it’s already arrived. The biggest benefit ML has is its ability to give online students specific resources to fill in the gaps.
So, how does the computer know exactly what a learner needs? Most due to the last trend below.
You probably had no trouble following us — until now. It’s understandable. xAPI isn’t a household name…yet. It will be soon.
xAPI is Experienced API or application programming interface. For the last few years, experts have touted it as the next big thing in eLearning. It looks like their predictions are close to fruition.
In simple terms, xAPI is a specification for learning technology that makes it possible to track how people experience knowledge, skills, and abilities. Sounds impossible, right? It may even sound confusing.
In the past, learning was easy to track. A student gets a grade. That grade indicates how much they’ve learned in the class.
The problem is that a student’s grade isn’t necessarily indicative of what they learned. xAPI allows it to go far beyond classroom learning.
It tracks the experience by collecting different data. It stores and retrieves the data, then communicates with different technologies across several platforms.
In other words, xAPI will track a student’s real-world activities, use of support tools, participation in online communities, and discussions. It will also track an individual’s performance assessment and actual class results. The possibilities are endless.
It will create a bigger picture of how someone learns. This may not even be a trend. It could be what the future of eLearning holds all together.
If you’re thinking about taking college courses online, you now know what you can expect. eLearning trends are making getting a higher education easier for those who want to finish their degree — or even start one.
These exciting trends make it possible for anyone with an Internet connection to log on and get a higher education. With these tools, the future really does open up for you. So, what are you waiting for?
If you don’t think you have the time or you’re brain is just too busy for online classes, check out our four tips for an actionable, healthy mind.