The eLearning industry was no stranger to change in 2014. We saw the emergence of new technology developments, evolving training paradigms, and an increase in eLearning service providers. What developments will have the most impact in 2015? In this article, we provide our top 3 eLearning predictions for 2015.
1. Video becomes the dominant content format
Video is fast becoming the preferred content type for both content developers and trainees. There are so many reasons why video is exploding on the eLearning market:
- Widespread video recording and editing tools: New video creation and editing products and services offer people with any level of video expertise the opportunity to easily produce their own content. Every smartphone is now capable of recording production-quality video. Editing tools like iMovie, Camtasia, and even YouTube's built-in editor are hitting the mass market. Additionally, even the style of video has diversified. Animated video is rising in popularity and easier than ever to produce, and even PowerPoint slides can be easily saved as video. For additional tips on video creation, see our article at eLearning industry here.
- Learners love video: We live in a time of Netflix, Hulu, TED talks, and YouTube. Video is simply everywhere, and learners know what to expect from this format. Several of the most successful eLearning content sites, like Lynda.com and CreativeLive, are fully based on video.
- Video bandwidth and storage costs continue to drop: From a technology standpoint, video hosting and consumption is very affordable. Numerous video host companies continue to put competitive price pressure on these services.
- Multi-device video compatibility: Because video is a common technology standard in daily life, the services for displaying and tracking video content engagement on smartphones, tablets, computers, and even televisions are much more established than the ecosystem around SCORM and other eLearning standards.
- Interactive video options: A historical criticism of video for eLearning is the lack of interactivity. Now content developers can intersperse videos with quizzes and other content formats to build a multimedia course, as well as add branching and interactive overlays within a video itself. Closed captioning and interactive transcripts are also supported by many video hosts.
2. Continuing shift from ILT to on-demand
For the first time in 2014, organizations delivered more training via eLearning than in classroom scenarios. Within eLearning, the on-demand modality continues to dominate and grew to nearly a quarter of all corporate training, whereas the use of virtual instructor-led training actually shrank overall (source: Chief Learning Officer).
The factors driving adoption of eLearning and on-demand training will continue to accelerate in 2015, including:
- Increased focus on measuring training return on investment (ROI)
- Learner preference for on-demand, always available, mobile-accessible, bite-size learning, driven to some extent by demographic changes
- Improved learning technologies
- Increased need to upskill and reskill trainees via agile, just-in-time learning
- Increased globalization of business, leading to the need for scalable training solutions across time zones and languages
- Cutbacks in travel budgets for learning & development
3. A renewed focus on data
Historically, content developers have been hampered by lack of data on learner interactions, and overall ability to link learning activities to business goals. The Experience API (xAPI) is creating a renewed focus on collecting and analyzing data of all kinds. Although xAPI is still early in terms of adoption, training organizations are seeing the general business value of using learning data to improve content and tying to other data sources around the company.
We're excited to see what the future holds for the eLearning industry. These 3 trends show promise of continued innovation that will benefit both eLearning developers and learners. What do you think of our forecast for 2015? Do you have any predictions you'd like to share? Let us know by leaving a comment below!