Traditional eLearning methods are all dead. They had their time and now time has come to move on to the next online learning methods. Traditional e-learning includes
- Pre-recorded audio-video material
- Providing standard text in pdf or html format to everyone
- Standardised online questions (MCQs or descriptive type)
Almost all the major online education companies provide study material in these formats only.
Why is Traditional eLearning Dead
At least now, traditional method of eLearning are inefficient (once upon a time, they were great). Learners are looking for more customised solution. The learning packets have to be smaller and to the point. The traditional model required produce one standard product to be consumed by everyone.
Evidence for this philosophy is that according to a recent report by Deloitte, the eLearning market is set to drop from $46.6 billion last year to $33.4 billion by 2021 due to “lack of innovation”.
Learning is a Continuous Process
Studies have shown that learners lose up to 90% of their learning within the first week. So the solution is continuously reinforcing the learning at regular intervals. The traditional eLearning relies heavily on information dumps. Learning has to be different from buying grocery from superstore. Now problem is that we have been doing grocery shopping of learning for ages and changing behaviour is not easy.
- Learning has to be Bitesized- Attention span of learners have come down. So elearning material has to be adjusted accordingly. This applies especially if the material is technical or theoretical.
- Learning Needs To Be Mobile- If you are still delivering the product which is primarily consumed on PC, you are living in previous decade. It does not matter who is your target audience. Your solution should be easily consumed on all kind of devises. Ideally it should work best on mobile.
- It Needs To Be Social- Your product needs to have some element of social interaction. By social, I mean that learners and instructors should be able to communicate among themselves, without being able to write emails.
Differentiated and Individualised Learning
One of the major problems with traditional eLearning is that it is not able to adjust learning based on a particular student’s requirements. With advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), this is very much possible. The AI based solutions can be used for learning, testing and feedback to students from kindergarten to college level. The solution should give them the challenges they are ready for, and subsequently identify gaps in knowledge.
Reaching to More Learners
AI tools can help in increasing your target audience, to learners who speak different languages or who might have visual or hearing impairments. Translations and speech to text and vice-versa conversions should be very much part of AI toolkit.
Tutoring and support outside the classroom
This has been the biggest roadblock for traditional eLearning solutions. When learners struggle at home with their homework or test preparations. Tutoring and studying programs should be so advanced with the help of AI, that they are available when needed and able to respond to a range of learning styles.
In the End
More and more Edutech companies are realising that their old solutions are no longer effective. Everyday new exciting technologies appear on horizon to offer more effective solution. Some of the new fields where work is being done are AI mentors for learners, smart content and personality development for educators.
It is a great time to be in eLearning. So many interesting applications have come in the market in last few years and even more in pipeline. It is high time to move from traditional approach and adopt new tools.