The coming year looks like a big one for the elearning sector.
Several features and technologies are finally advancing past the awkward adolescent stage into fully mature, ready-to-be-adopted functionality.
Based on our experience working with hundreds of LMS software vendors, and interacting with thousands of LMS software buyers, we’ve identified seven technologies as emerging LMS trends for 2014.
With even elite universities like Georgetown and MIT seeing the writing on the wall, Massive Open Online Courses are set to explode in 2014. As tuition rises and government funding for universities sinks, more education centers will seek to expand their reach beyond “meatspace” and into a cyberspace where they can educate thousands globally and simultaneously.
2. Tin Can API
Though introduced in 2012 and seeing some adoption in 2013, the Tin Can API will grow exponentially in 2014. It is, at its core, a learning experience tracker. It means you can track learning activities that previously were hard to include in a typical LMS or eLearning program. For instance, someone completing a training phone call can track the result even if it’s not tied to or done within an LMS. This majorly expands the sphere of trackable training and allows organizations to measure results of a whole new host of offline learning activities.
3. Personal Learning Environments
These allow learners to personalize their own educational space and store materials within the software, often integrating with other Web 2.0 channels like blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, and social networks. Like a Google Reader or Pinterest board just for storing/organizing training materials.
Ding, ding, ding! You’re the winner of a virtual trophy for being the fastest person in your training class to answer this question correctly. As LMSs look for more ways to differentiate themselves, and gamification gets into the mainstream and sheds its ungainly reputation as simply “elearning with badges,” expect to see much more adoption in 2014. Academic settings and elearning programs with children are especially well positioned to grow this.
5. Talent Management Integration
TM solutions tell you where employees lack knowledge or need more development. LMS systems offer a way to fill those knowledge gaps and train them. These two were made for each other like PB&J. We’ve already seen some big integration here with products like Cornerstone’s CSB and Saba’s unified LMS/talent management solution, but expect many more vendors in 2014 to take this approach.
6. Mobile Learning
If 2013 was the year LMS providers realized they needed to add mobile functionality and belatedly started offering HTML5 mobile-accessible websites, 2014 will be the year they finally start focusing on actual native apps instead of browser “apps.” In a recent survey on the E-Learning 24/7 blog, 88% of respondents thought they needed or said they absolutely needed their LMS to have mobile learning capabilities for tablet devices.
7. Social Learning
According to a Bersin & Associates report, nearly half of large organizations are purchasing social platforms at the departmental level to learn about them and to test their effectiveness. Social learning is one of those buzzwords that was overhyped initially, but is finally coming into its own.
What does your crystal ball say?
What other prognostications do you have for online learning in 2014? Add them in the comments below!
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