E-learning has become a very popular topic these past couple of years, and it’s not tough to see why. While many industries were ravaged by COVID, the edtech industry prevailed and experienced unprecedented growth and technological advancement. We saw a huge number of different products and ideas in such a short amount of time – it’s exciting to think what the future of elearning might hold!
Companies, educational institutions, organizations, and even many individuals – all are increasingly choosing to adopt online education. Naturally, with such interest, the industry will keep coming up with new technological developments and concepts. So, let’s take this opportunity to talk about our expectations for this year and what we believe the elearning trends for 2022 will be!
The term “metaverse” represents an online, virtual reality network focused on social connection. It’s a very broad term in the sense that it doesn’t refer to any one specific kind of technology or use! The concept has had significant traction in the last few months since Facebook revealed their change of name to Meta and since the announcements of their own metaverse project.
Facebook envisions their metaverse as a newer, more immersive internet where people will use virtual and augmented reality devices to interact or engage in new online experiences and spaces. To give a specific example, Meta’s new virtual reality social platform Horizon Worlds is a virtual space which users can access through a VR set. Individuals are represented with their avatars through which they communicate with other users, attend events, play games, etc.
But how does all this translate to elearning?
The classroom is a space like any other and can also be translated into the virtual world! Metaverse in education opens up a world of possibilities for learning and development. By creating an online space in which educators and learners can interact in real time, we can replicate the feeling of interactive learning while also incorporating a more immersive study approach!
By using virtual and augmented reality as well as other immersive technologies, students can learn faster, retain more information, and have a more hands-on learning experience. For example, school children can study biology through simulations of the human body, or history by virtually visiting places like Ancient Egypt or digitized museums. In fact, some schools such as The Optima Classical Academy (a charter school in Florida in the US) or the Metaverse School are already offering a metaverse educational experience.
Metaverse in the business sector
The use cases for the metaverse aren’t limited to educational integration – businesses can also use the metaverse to train employees by immersing them in realistic simulations. Thus, employees would be able to practice new skills and technical procedures in an entirely risk-free environment!
This kind of training is getting more and more attractive for employers, given the current global pandemic which has seen a large number of the workforce shifting to home office. Additionally, the amount of people choosing to work online is growing exponentially, thus opening up the global talent pool for businesses. A metaverse training environment is ideal for recruits who could be halfway across the world!
Remember sitting for hours with your nose buried inside your textbook, but not actually remembering much of it later on? How is anyone supposed to retain so much information in one sitting?! Besides, neither school children nor adults can effectively focus their attention for so long and for so hard on one single thing! This is where the concept of microlearning comes in – bite-sized content intended to facilitate knowledge consumption and retention.
Educational facilities who understand this will start implementing microlearning practices in their teaching. For 2022 we foresee shorter learning videos, mini tutoring sessions, and more frequent check-ins. After all, quality over quantity, right?
Corporate microlearning is the next big thing!
There is an even bigger argument for implementing microlearning in the corporate environment. Employees generally have a pretty busy workday and don’t have too much time to dedicate to in-depth professional development. In fact, gaining new skills on top of working full-time can be incredibly stressful! On the other hand, foregoing additional training is a non-option for many if they want to get ahead in their career.
By using microlearning, employees only need to take a few minutes of time out of their workday and go through small, focused, and individually-tailored assignments. What’s great about it is that the learning material can be accessed on any device and at any time that suits the employee best! Furthermore, microlearning has shown to maximize productivity and improve performance, making it a win-win for both the employer and the employee!
The final case we have to make is that – creating microlearning content and publishing it is just so easy! It’s cost-effective and its performance can be easily tracked, making adjustments much easier to execute! That’s why we have no doubts that microlearning will be a big part of the elearning trends for 2022.
Everything today is about big data and analytics – and edtech is no exception. The more information we have, the better the insights which drive the changes. Data analytics and data visualization techniques are already being used in every field conceivable with the aim of more efficient and higher quality decision-making. In that way, the edtech trends too go where the data analysis takes them! And where is that?
Administrators can track data such as:
- Course completion rates and course popularity
- Learner progress, strengths, and weaknesses
- Surveys and other feedback forms
- Learner engagement
Subsequently, companies or schools can then use this kind of information to create customized learning paths for individual students and trainees! Personalized learning has proven to be one of the greatest benefits of edtech, and we have already seen how data analysis has been a big driver behind it. In 2022 we will see an even larger dependence on big data analytics in the edtech sector!
We’ve already talked about how Artificial Intelligence is already impacting the edtech sector, as well as the benefits and challenges associated with it. As mentioned, we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible versus what is currently the state of the art of AI in education. But this just means that research will keep going into edtech AI development, and we are absolutely going to be seeing new tech as well as increased implementation of AI in elearning in 2022!
The biggest advantage AI can offer is – again – personalized education. In combination with data analysis, AI and machine learning tools can analyze information about learners strengths, weaknesses, proficiency, and interests. Subsequently, AI can design courses specifically tailored to learners’ needs and levels, making learning more fun and effective. We are also seeing more and more sophisticated AI tutors, which in addition to answering questions, can also direct learners to resources or suggest content based on the individual’s progress!
Yet another use for AI is in creating intelligent assistants and voice-enabled bots to simplify content search or receive suggestions about learning events, online courses, or webinars. This application is relatively simple to implement and use, and will be increasingly used by corporations and educational institutions in 2022.
Games are addictive, as we all very well know. Years ago, edtech researchers found a way to combine this fun activity with learning – and thus gamification was born! Since then, the concept has grown into a phenomenon! Game-based learning is massively popular – according to reports, the gamification industry will exceed 32 billion US dollars by 2025!
Gamification in the context of learning simply means making educational activities more like games in order to make studying more interesting and captivating. Users can engage in friendly competitions with classmates or coworkers, and can even earn points, badges, and rewards! This edtech trend has been proven to make it easier for learners to acquire and practice new skills and knowledge and hence improve training outcomes, increase motivation, and help with knowledge retention.
Based on the upward trajectory gamification has taken since its nascence, you can be sure that it’s not a passing fad. Organizations will definitely be spending more and more on creating a gamified learning experience for their learners in 2022!
Elearning trends 2022 – A Recap
Elearning IS the future of education, there’s no doubt about that! Just think about all the ways the technologies mentioned have already had an impact on our lives! As technology evolves and becomes more sophisticated and accessible, we will see ever more engaging, personalized, and effective edtech products. All the elearning trends for 2022 discussed here – the metaverse, microlearning, big data, AI, gamification – are here to stay in the long run. If you or your organization want to get with the times – do it now. Online learning is evolving quicker than ever, and you don’t want to be left behind!
Our in-house developers have lots of experience developing elearning products for our clients, and we are deeply passionate about the subject! Contact Redvike today if you need help designing your own edtech app or software product!