E-learning is not a new trend and it definitely isn’t going anywhere any time soon. From education to business, its implications are far-reaching and nowadays anyone can engage with online content to enhance their skills. That doesn’t mean that every type of online education is the same, and it definitely doesn’t mean that there aren’t popular trends each year as e-learning continues to grow. We have compiled a list of the five trends to remember when creating your online courses:
Gamification is applying the typical rules of games, creating competition and enforcing rules, to things outside of games - in this case - online education. When developing your courses or even searching for an LMS vendor, keep in mind the importance of gamification. It is helpful to keep learners engaged with your content and spark a little bit of competition to keep users coming back to continue learning more. This is used as a motivation tactic and can be enticing even to those students that are not typically competitive.
Mobile is the future. Even Google thinks so with their latest push to evaluate the mobile-friendliness of websites before it even takes into consideration how the desktop version of the site performs. That being said, it is now more than ever important to ensure that people have access to their course content while they are on their phone. People are learning in the doctor’s office waiting room, via podcasts in the car, and when they are laying in bed at night. With access to smartphones at an all time high, and data plans that ensure you can engage with whatever content you would like at any point in time - your content for online learning definitely needs to be accessible on mobile devices. Not only accessible, enhanced.
While not to be taken to the extreme, video-based learning is making its way to the top of the list. Not only can you show students what they need to know, how to complete a project, or exactly the steps you wish for them to complete - now you can talk directly to them, which is engaging in and of itself. Watching a video to learn a new concept can do wonders for the people that do not learn through other methods, such as reading. Adding some videos to your content is a great way to improve retention and keep students coming back for more.
Resources not Courses.
Just because LMS platforms cater to creating courses does not mean this is the only thing that you should provide your users with. Think about how each person learns differently, and what you can do to cater to those differences. Courses should be made up of plenty of differing resources where students are able to get the information they need to be successful to your standards. It’s not just about getting the information out there, as much as it is important to ensure that the information you are presenting is able to be consumed by those that learn differently. Providing external links to other resources to dive more deeply into the important concepts is not only smart, it’s recommended.
Today more than ever, learning is autonomous. Because we do not need to gather in a classroom to teach kids, and textbooks are expensive and no longer necessary for education - it is important to create content and make it available for the self-directed learner. Users are no longer waiting on their teachers to get to the lesson of the week and instead can determine when and where they would like to learn. It is up to the course creators to develop courses that are able to be consumed without much oversight. While it may still be important to recognize that even though students learn at their own pace, there is a point of no return where users need to be at “this” point in order to pass the class by deadlines - students that learn faster should not be punished for doing so.
There you have it - five of the top tips to keep in mind while creating your courses and the associated content. While this list is by no means exhaustive of what you should pay attention to, it’s a pretty good start! These tips will help keep learners engaged and learning through the content you provide so you are able to focus on creating more streamlined content to continue the cycle of learning. Learning is an ever-evolving subject, so don’t stop here - keep diving into more resources and suggestions from other people on what makes their courses a success.