The Evolution of e-Learning
Remember the time when e-Learning was just a thing we used to talk about fascinatingly after reading a paragraph about it in some book? Right from those times till the past decade or so, you would have discerned the pace of transformation the industry has undergone – primarily over the last 5 years or so. While there are plenty of Learning “trends” that have flourished and waned over the past, there are some that have taken root. From strides made in instructional design methodologies to richer content combinations in e-Learning modules, such as virtual reality, the e-Learning industry has grown at a tremendous pace. Since the ascent of e-learning over the past two decades, our attitudes, as well as the quality of e-learning offerings and functionality, have continuously changed and evolved.
e-Learning is described as the use of the Internet and additional digital technologies to teach people without geographical barriers. E-Learning has evolved in various ways in the education, business, and training sectors, and it has diverse interpretations for various sectors. At the institution level, e-Learning relates to a learning process that uses both software-based and online learning tools, whereas, in business, training, and higher education sectors, e-Learning entirely refers to online learning.
COVID-19 has adversely affected the traditional way of doing business globally. The education and training sectors are not an exemption. Though online collaboration platforms have made it adaptable to some extent, the sudden shift to the virtual world has not been all that easy. Globally, industry leaders have been facing new hurdles every day in coping up with this big transition. The traditional methods of in-person training and teaching have become temporarily incapacitated, and innovators of e-Learning have taken the stage.
For corporate executives, ensuring business continuance, acquiescence, and sustaining productivity while workers are working remotely, is a major concern. In these dire times, everyone is trying their best to offer training that would keep productivity intact and inspirit endurance- be it educational institutes or corporate organizations. However, offering training that gives optimal output nevertheless prevails to be a provocation. That being said, people are indeed migrating to e-Learning making sure that the process of learning is unhampered.
- The early rise
When home computers were on a rise in the early ’90s, the notion of virtual training came up. Students realized the advantages of the online environment and espoused it. Online courses reduced training costs and made learning easily accessible.
- The boom
At the curve of the millennium, there was a technology rise. People started talking about concepts like Learning Management Systems (LMS), educational games, active development, etc. There have been continuous efforts to deliver Software-as-a-Service offerings that ensure cost-effective solutions. Learners could now access the online content anytime and anywhere, irrespective of the devices they possessed.
- The hook
Rapid e-Learning tools soon became famous in the business due to the ease of development offered by them. Mobile training became the buzzword. Virtual reality and Augmented reality were presented. Wearable technologies took e-Learning training to the subsequent level.
The classrooms could now be turned into anything with ease. The use of AR and VR technologies kept learners hooked to the online learning experience.
- The Popularity
e-Learning is here for good. With the boom in technology and connectivity, more possibilities for online training are opening up every day. Cloud-based learning is becoming more popular. Both AR and VR are here, and embracing them as part of e-Learning offerings will allow organizations to create immersive learning experiences. Learning designers understand the benefits of including gamification in their design and development strategy. The future of e-Learning is promising. Adapting to this trend and encouraging newer training methods will result in a highly engaged workforce, increased productivity, and increased profits.
- Pause or Fast Forward?
Where businesses had just started implementing the strategies for 2020, a jolt of COVID-19 has brought everything to a pause. Those of us who were waiting for the future of e-Learning to make itself visible, so we can fully embrace it, are already missing out on something big: The future is already here. All we need is to adapt our e-Learning approaches to embrace that future now, or we’ll soon be left way behind! E-learning is here to stay, and we should encompass it as it evolves. The future of e-Learning is radiant and set to expand along with advancing technologies. It will be thrilling to see what the subsequent years will have in store for e-Learning.