In recent years, education has evolved to incorporate more innovative technologies in the classroom. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this digital transformation, as educators have been forced to think outside of the classroom-sized box to ensure continuity of education while quarantines keep students out of schools. With it, the growth of edtech innovation, as well as access to online courses and digital content has exploded. Institutions of every size and type are now experimenting with various ways to teach and learn on the internet.
As students’ exposure to technology-enabled learning rises, so will their expectations, as they seek more flexible alternatives to traditional on-campus learning models. In turn, this means that the demand for online learning will continue to increase. According to reports, the global digital education market is expected to grow from USD 8,487 million in 2019 to around USD 33,197 million by 2024.
APAC is leading the surge towards digital education
With the mobile usage and internet penetration into the region increasing year-on-year, students in the Asia-Pacific region are wiring up at a faster pace than anywhere else, and the demand for online learning is surging. And it’s not just individual educators and students — key industry stakeholders have realised the significance of effective integration between connected devices in the eLearning process. As a result of these trends, the APAC region is expected to lead the surge towards digital education and learning management system (LMS) adoption. According to a report, the APAC region is expected to be the fastest-growing regional segment for the LMS market in the coming years, with the highest CAGR of over 19.75% during the years 2019-2027.
Neither is this tech disruption limited to schools and universities — corporate organisations have also started employing the LMS for employee training, skill development and succession planning, as well as helping to onboard new hires. Take TAFE Queensland, for example, which harnessed D2L’s Brightspace platform to create engaging online training resources to train 15,000 volunteers for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
As the LMS market, along with the edtech industry, continues to grow across the APAC region, the online learning market is expected to witness more innovations and trends in the coming years.
Let us look at some of the online learning trends to look out for in 2020:
1) Improving engagement and productivity via gamification
Games empower learners, enrich learning experiences and boost learner engagement in the course material. The global gamification market is predicted to be worth around $30.7 billion by 2025 — with APAC once again being the leading region. At Kaplan Financial, they helped their learners stay focused and develop effective studying habits by gamifying their courses. 71% of their learners reported that gamification had had a positive impact on their learning experience, and data displayed a clear correlation between high gamification scores and strong assignment marks.
2) Cost-effective remote learning with online tutoring
The global tutoring market is growing at 13.7% CAGR, and Asia is emerging as one of the most lucrative markets for online education. Advancements in technologies, including the incorporation of artificial intelligence, are now making it increasingly possible for students to seek and receive virtual tutoring assistance at the point of need. Providing lecturers using professional development in technology is essentially the first step before upgrading to a higher functioning LMS. While online tutoring helps students learn from anywhere anytime in an organised manner, it is also helpful in the corporate world. Online training can help save on the cost of running development programmes while managing to provide useful data to monitor the progress, track adoption levels, and more.
3) Immersive learning with virtual reality (VR)
VR technology has become commonplace in the gaming experiential industries — and as VR technology has become more accessible and affordable more educational institutions are starting to pay attention. Innovative post-secondary institutions are now turning to VR, integrated with mobile learning to create digital learning scenes for immersive learning opportunities and to enhance students’ understanding of complicated subject matter.
4) Learning on-the-go with mobile learning
The smartphone has reshaped our entire lifestyles, putting the world quite literally at our fingertips. Students are increasingly accessing online learning on mobile devices. Increasing computing power and rich features on these devices make for a dynamic and holistic learning experience — that is powerfully portable, enabling them to learn wherever, whenever. Broad availability of mobile devices globally also facilitates the delivery of learning experiences to nations and individuals that typically would be denied the benefit of post-secondary education.
5) Video-based learning allows learners to learn at their own pace
It’s now easier than ever for lecturers to deliver video-based classes and content. Students find video-based learning more engaging, and, unlike in a traditional classroom, they can repeat unfamiliar points as often as they require, and go as fast or slow as they need — allowing them to learn at their own pace. Video analytics help lecturers better understand how students are interacting with the content, with data on what videos students are watching or rewatching most, at what point their attention tapers off and they stop watching, and so on.
Digital education will only grow from here
With the need to upskill and re-skill among the adult working population surging, the growing awareness about online training and promising support from the government, the global online learning market has received a massive boost. Furthermore, with COVID-19, educators and learners worldwide are adapting to non-traditional, remote models of education. We will see the global market for education technology grow over the next few years — as well as more innovative solutions within the education space that leverage technology.
If you want to find out more about the new trends in online education, D2L is here to help. Why not register for one of our webinars? You’ll hear from education and edtech experts, D2L staff and partners, and organisations like yours that are transforming how the world learns.
This article first appeared in Tech Collective.