4 Technologies That Are Transforming eLearning
- GSK Vaccines launched a custom project as part of their global onboarding event to introduce new hires to the business structure via a simulation game – a mix of live role-play and digital eLearning elements, including news-style videos and an online player dashboard.
- New hires at Toyota Motor Europe get an interactive video onboarding tour consisting of quizzes and videos to see the customer value chain from beginning to end.
- Tesco’s annual mandatory compliance campaign – Learning Leap – combines mini eLearning modules with microlearning quizzes and a gamified leaderboard to drive participation.
There are countless examples like these, which underscore the importance of technology in eLearning content development today. Gone are those static screens with long winding text. eLearning is evolving at a rapid pace, part of which is driven by emerging technologies, the gig economy, and automation, rapidly changing the nature of work and resulting in a “skills gap.” To top it, the disruption of face-to-face learning due to the pandemic pushed eLearning content development to new highs.
Consider this – eLearning industry growth is projected to increase from $101 billion in 2019 to $370 billion by 2026. And the growing need for students and employees to keep up with changes serves well for the eLearning industry. It’s a win-win for all as effective eLearning content can contribute measurably to a well-trained staff who can steer an enterprise to measurable growth.
So, How Is Technology Shaping the Industry?
In 2020, 90% of companies used eLearning as a training tool, according to Corporate E-learning – Global Market Outlook (2017-2026) report. It’s only going to pick up the pace with the introduction of new gadgets, innovative tools for trainers, and cutting-edge equipment that have enabled new eLearning experiences. Here are just a few emerging technologies that have taken the eLearning world by storm.
1. Virtual Reality (VR) – It comes with the promise of enhanced engagement, improved retention, and experiential learning. For instance, American Airlines’ VR training solution allows its cabin crew to explore the aircraft at their own pace and includes several passenger scenarios and practical guidance on performing tasks when airborne. Or take the example of the construction equipment rental company, United Rentals, which leveraged VR training solutions in its classroom. The trainer asks everyone questions based on real-life job scenarios, such as safety concerns. This allows the entire group to learn and participate in the VR experience even when they are not wearing the headset.
2. Augmented Reality (AR) – AR goes one step above VR by offering a composite view, making the learning process more interesting and easier to grasp. Plus, its promise of affordability makes it prime for adaptation even by small and mid-size companies. You don’t have to look far than Pokemon Go to realize the power of AR and its use is widespread.
For example, Deakin University in Australia uses an AR app to teach students to perform ECG procedures. The app features a 3D model of a heart with normal and abnormal cardiogram patterns and blood flow simulation with built-in testing modules to check what students have learned. While German industrial giant Bosch has its own AR platform, displaying wiring and block diagrams that help service technicians and consumers repair cars.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) – AI tools are increasingly used to spot the difficult topics for students, identify students who need additional help, and produce personalized content plans at the click of a button. Many online learning platforms use AI to deliver tailored content to students without any human involvement. Many of these platforms also use spaced repetition learning systems and AI-powered chatbots to help with queries.
Perhaps the most famous example is IBM, whose corporate training platform leverages AI to recommend content based on the employee’s role, experience, and prior training. The popular foreign language-learning app Duolingo uses the Second Language Acquisition AI model to analyze a history of errors made by learners of a second language to predict the mistakes that they are likely to make at arbitrary points in the future for personalized learning.
4. Analytics or Big Data – Big Data helps eLearning experts understand how the users digest the information, which learning aspects appeal to them, and which learning interactions should be fine-tuned. Based on these patterns, eLearning experts can predict where learners may excel or struggle.
Australian superannuation fund UniSuper built an xAPI data model to gather data on training effectiveness, success rates, responses, participation rates, completion statistics, and employee confidence across several operational risks. The resulting interactive scenarios helped the company to increase users’ self-confidence scores, leading to better compliance.
Similarly, City & Guilds’ TechBac program for 14–19-year-olds uses big data to integrate data from multiple systems, websites, and apps and displays it to learners and their tutors on its Skills Zone portal. Learners can visualize their work on the City & Guilds Skills Wheel and export this data to their own tailored CV, customizing the information they present to potential employers.
Challenging the Status Quo
Learning has always been a teacher/student interaction model in which knowledge flows from one person to another. While this is still the status quo, the latest technologies like neural networks and machine learning challenge this model.
Now, developers can build applications that can automatically collect, sort, and organize the information, leading to on-demand learning and tutoring systems. And leveraging the engaging properties of gamification makes learning a more fun experience.
Contact us today to see how we can create interactive learning experiences for you!