Forecast for eLearning
Over the past few years, some of the biggest players in the tech industry have invested in online learning, or eLearning. This investment, in turn, will continue to drive technological development. Three areas you can expect to notice this development of the eLearning market are video-based training, mobile learning, and increased personalization.
One can gain an idea of the growing scope of the eLearning market by looking at recent developments within the industry. Software giant Adobe, which already had a presence in the eLearning market with its content creation software Captivate, recently released Captivate Prime. Expanding on Captivate’s existing content creation tools, Captivate Prime added delivery and administrative functionality to the mix. In another example, two of the most well-know entities in the learning management software (LMS) segment, the for-profit company Blackboard and the open-source platform Moodle, announced an expansion of their already established partnership. Perhaps the most significant news in eLearning involves the chain of events that began with LinkedIn acquiring the online video training website Lynda.com for $1.5 billion, and culminated with Microsoft purchasing LinkedIn for $26 billion.
eLearning is big business. What are some of the trends?
One trend in eLearning involves the incorporation of video, and this practice will continue to grow. While informal online video-based learning has been taking place for as long as there have been online videos, the goal of formal eLearning approaches is to incorporate video-based content in structured training frameworks.
Another trend in online learning involves compatibility with mobile devices. Mobile learning, or mLearning, has been a buzzword for a number of years, and a study by RnRMarketResearch.com predicts that this segment of the online learning market should grow to $37.60 billion by 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 36.3%. A related trend takes advantage of mobile-enabled virtual reality (VR) systems.
A final burgeoning practice in eLearning involves the incorporation of “Big Data” to provide increased personalization. Just as Netflix builds your queue of recommended movies based on your past viewing history, so too are eLearning systems taking advantage of user feedback and data to provide more tailored experiences. In one obvious example, the acquisition of Lynda.com by LinkedIn points to just such an instance where existing user data could be harnessed to provide relevant suggestions for online learning.
Using recent history as an indicator, it seems likely that major companies will continue to invest in eLearning technologies, either with an eye toward becoming solution providers, or for their own corporate training needs. It also seems likely that, moving forward, a stereotypical eLearning situation will involve a learner engaging through a mobile device with some form of video-based content that has been recommended (or mandated) for them based on their personal data.
Printing Industries of America (Booth 3802) has been offering eLearning solutions for the printing industry for more than a decade. Stop by the PIA booth for a demonstration of its iLearning education system.