7 Focus Points For eLearning Professionals In 2020

The new decade is just around the corner, and the countdown for new eLearning trends coming into the picture has already started.

  • A report from Research and Markets suggests that the global eLearning industry is expected to grow from $176.12 billion in 2017 to reach $398.15 billion by 2026 with a CAGR of 9.5%.
  • In 2017, approximately 77% of American companies used online learning [1].
  • According to a survey conducted by Towards Maturity in the year 2011, 72% of the 600 companies that were surveyed said that learning technology such as mobile learning, eLearning, etc. helped their business adapt more quickly to the change—an increase of 11% in last year [2].
  • In 2016, the self-paced eLearning product market amounted to 46.67 billion U.S. dollars and is projected to decrease to 33.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2021.
  • A report from Edgepoint Learning shows that 39% of millennials want to see more virtual education in the workforce by 2025 [3].

It’s evident from this growing number that one needs to know the industry trends to stay ahead of the competitors and enhance their existing offerings. So let’s have a look at these major game-changing drifts:

1. LXPs Will Play A Crucial Role

The next-level Learning Management Systems (i.e, Learning Experience Platforms) have already created a hype in terms of offering a customized, social, online learning experience for users. These AI-powered learning mediums are expected to be adopted in an extensive manner especially by large enterprises. World-renowned industry analyst Josh Bersin researched more than 20 different vendors and concluded that the LXP market has passed the $350 million mark.

2. Learner Analysis And Reporting Will Be A Popular Functionality

Student behavior is an important facet when it comes to eLearning. It’s important for companies to find out which courses are popular, what is the completion rate, who are proactive learners, where the learners are facing troubles, etc. Learner analytics finds out the answers to these questions and improves training. LMS platforms embedded with Experience API (xAPI), which registers learner activity and stores the data, will be on high demand from the start of next year.

3. User-Generated Content Will Be Prevalent

As per a report from Towards Maturity, the year 2017 witnessed a 38% rise in User-Generated Content [4]. With this huge leap, it’s evident that companies are inclining toward a more democratic approach to learning and knowledge sharing. In addition to this, the same report states that usage of bespoke content from external suppliers has decreased from 64% in 2014 to 52% in 2017 [4]. This fact clearly indicates that businesses will prefer User-Generated Content to be shared in eLearning solutions rather than sourcing them from elsewhere.

4. Video Content Will Thrive

Videos have become the most popular element on the internet today. Data from Insivia suggests that the video content uploaded in an average month is higher than the number of videos created by all 3 major US TV networks combined in 30 years [6]. Hence, we’re predicting that this integrative and engaging content format will be a fundamental part of workplace learning in 2020. Be it live streaming, video assignments, expert tips or practice demos, videos will be able to create an immersive simulating learning experience.

5. AR, VR, And MR Will Be Adopted

Visual learning has become common today. Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and mixed reality are slowly paving their way into eLearning platforms. Several Fortune 500 companies, such as Boeing, UPS, and Walmart, have already introduced VR into worker education programs on a massive scale [7]. Although embedding these modes of technology is quite expensive, they produce enhanced learning experience and performance support.

6. Work-Life Skills Will Be The Highlight

Companies like Towards Maturity, Deloitte, and LinkedIn Learning are focusing on concepts such as problem-solving, communication skills, collaboration, and leadership management for digital learning. These are commonly referred to as work-life skills that empower people to succeed across different roles and adapt to changes. These work-life skills will continue to be a highlight for the coming year in the eLearning world, especially by companies who wish to retain staff and ensure future success.

7. Effective Mobile Learning Will Be Encouraged

Data shows that 600 million people worldwide subscribe to mobile learning applications. The market for mobile learning products and services is projected to grow by $70 billion by the year 2020. These figures clearly showcase why the eLearning industry prefers mobile learning which assures on-demand and enormous potential. Moreover, it’s very easy to create a piece of content that functions across all smart devices automatically.

To sum these trends up, in the coming year, eLearning is expected to become sophisticated and effective. Be it workforce training or online learning for students, traditional means of classroom teaching will slowly fade away. It’s important to become proactive and learn about these changes in order to be well-positioned in this cut-throat competitive market. However, it will be interesting to witness these new industry developments at the dawn of 2020.

With the turn of the century artificial intelligence has emerged out of the realm of science fiction and has found various practical applications in the real world, like self driving cars, FDA approved AI software for detection of eye diseases, sorting resumes, adding to your smartphone camera’s creativity, and even the Pentagon taking note of the possibility of artificial intelligence arms race, that’s after beating humans in chess and Jeopardy! (a language based game). AI can master problem solving that involves logic, mathematics and algorithm, it builds on the existing knowledge and learns to identify solutions, AI finds solutions to complex problems which would be daunting for unaided humans. Can AI also replicate humans in the sphere of creativity, can AI acquire creative strength as it evolves, or is creativity reserved solely for highly evolved sentient beings like humans?

Paradox

The arguments are ample on both sides. Through machine learning AI can recognize faces, interpret languages, write compelling ad copies and email subjects and beat humans in chess. Would you call this creative work? What about evoking human emotions through stories based on experiences and emotions, can robot writers do that? Machines can understand and reproduce patterns of storyline with different possible twists, but do they understand the depth of the story, unless the information is fed to it by humans? Machines can answer complex problems but can they ask questions?

In 2016 a Japanese AI software made an attempt to co-write a novella with human writers and almost won the Hoshi Shinichi Literary Award. The story was titled “The Day a Computer Writes a Novel”. “I was surprised at the work because it was a well-structured novel,” said science fiction writer and award judge Satoshi Hase. Jacob Brogan, an editor at the Washington Post was but cautious before getting impressed about a robot writing a story, the part that the novel was being co authored by humans wasn’t an excitement for him. Upon close examination of the event we get to know that the AI in question only remixed a novella already written by humans, the book’s components were broken into words, sentences, and basic structure before being fed to the machine.

Computers work on logic and math and theoretically there is no limit to how much they can learn, if they can learn to play chess they can be taught to learn what sort of writing humans like to read, and eventually may produce a best seller, they might even learn to paint. While a human writer is inspired by real life experiences and emotions, a robot is not capable of the same (as of now). We always have the writer of the story in the back our mind and unconsciously relate to his experiences or thoughts while moving through the story, how can we imagine the same for a robot?

The question is how would humans respond to this artificial creativity… Is there something more than raw creativity that humans find innately alluring… something that emerges from human experiences and emotions and can be connected to our lives rather than a robot’s life. Do we always need a human touch to a piece of art… it’s a paradox.

The Sophisticated Evil

Elon Musk’s  non-profit OpenAI has developed and recently released GPT-2, a large language model that can generate realistic paragraphs of text. GPT-2 can generate coherent text when given a snippet of input. The tool’s stunning efficient made it vulnerable to misuse and hence was released in stages and with caution. In its release blog OpenAI states that humans find GPT-2’s output convincing but also the programme can be fine-tuned for misuse. Fake news is on the top of the list of possible misuse which contains impersonating others online, automating the production of abusive or fake content for social media, and automating the creation of spam and phishing content. In 2016, Microsoft’s chatbot Tay, supposed to emulate a teenage girl online, within few hours of its release was fine tuned by somebody which resulted in the chatbot calling feminism a disease, approving of Hitler’s actions, abusing Barack Obama and spewing more hateful tweets.

Note: Elon Musk advises mankind to be extremely cautious about artificial intelligence, he has called AI humanity’s ‘biggest existential threat’ and compared it to ‘summoning the demon.’

Applications with Limited Creativity

While human’s creativity may not remain unrivalled in future, machine learning so far is best at understanding stories with a typical format like, quarterly reports of companies, weather or sports snippets. Salesforce’s Einstein Copy Insights uses machine learning to enable marketers to identify optimal words for email subject lines, text messages, social media copy and similar text. It also notifies users about under-performing marketing emails and offers recommendations for improvement. Google Search uses natural language processing to better understand how different words relate to each other in a search query. Microsoft is developing software to generate text for ads and Wall Street Journal is using ai to enhance its news coverage.

Heliograf is Washington Post’s robo reporter which churned out 300 reports during the Rio Olympics in 2016 and it helped the post cover House, Senate and gubernatorial races for all 50 states on election day. Currently this type of tools can be used to automate a bulk of news writing in some segments which constitute a large section of news, saving time for journalists or resources for publishers. The Associated Press has used bots to cover financial stories and USA Today has used video software to create short videos. Google’s Perspective API has been used by the New York Times and Disqus to moderate comment section on their news articles and blogs

Scholarly Writing

The most interesting use of artificial intelligence in content creation happened in scholarly publishing recently. Springer Nature published its first AI generated research book titled ‘Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research’. The pdf file, which is free for download mentions that the book is ‘cross-corpora auto-summarization of current texts from Springer Nature’s content platform “SpringerLink”, organized by means of a similarity-based clustering routine in coherent chapters and sections’. It automatically condenses a large set of papers into a reasonably short book. Henning Schoenenberger, Director Product Data & Metadata Management at Springer Nature, points out that this method allows for readers to speed up the literature digestion process of a given field of research instead of reading through hundreds of published articles. The book was presented at the recently concluded Frankfurt Book Fair 2019, here’s a video if you know Deutsch!

When asked if there’s a scalable business model in machine-generated book publishing Henning Schoenenberger said, ‘I do expect that machine-generated content will become a scalable business model at some point. However, as with many technological innovations, we also acknowledge that machine-generated research texts may become an entirely new kind of content with specific features not yet fully foreseeable but we assume that in future there will be a wide range of options to create content – from entirely human-created content, a variety of blended man-machine text generation to entirely machine-generated text.’

Here’s a video of a song created by text predictor mixing words from Bob Dylan and restaurant reviews in New York. It says ‘if you wanna travel underneath the worst bar in the West, knock on this establishment again’. Quite Impressive!

Frankfurt Book Fair 2019, as we know is the confluence of culture and content. From the past 70 years, this grand event has brought together authors, publishers, professional visitors, and readers all under one roof. It manages to captivate people from all over the world over and over again. 

 

This year starting from 16th October till 20th October it’s expected to be a grand spectacle again and we’re all set to welcome publishing houses, associations, and societies at our exhibition booth J47, Hall 4.2. The number of exhibitors at the event is expected to be over 7500. There will also be 109+ countries participating along with 2,85,000 visitors, and above 10,000 journalists and bloggers. As usual, there would be multiple highlights such as business conferences, a book fest, arts event, gourmet gallery, literary gala, reading marquee, campus weekend, cosplay, and many more.

 

For Impelsys, it is a special earmarked event as we reach the 10th anniversary at this exhibition. If you’re wondering what’s in our agenda then we’ll be making some major announcements about iPC Scholar and some of our recent initiatives as a part of our Innovation Lab, which are:

  • An AI/ML layer on iPC Scholar which will offer enhanced services to publishers such as product bundling, product enrichment, virtual tutor, and other perks.
  • Metadata tagger which will enhance the content metadata, categorize, and granulate it via a knowledge graph.
  • MCQ/QA generator which will automatically create MCQs from the text of the article or a chapter of the book.
  • Audience segmentation which will separate casual learning from professional learners, a novice from an expert, a consumer from a decision-maker, and will work in many other ways to aid the recommendation engine to take the right path.

With this initiative, we aim towards bringing a plethora of emerging and disruptive technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data Analytics, Natural Language Processing, IT Infrastructure, and Cloud Computing services. 

 

Our attendees at the event will include:

 

To schedule an appointment with our expert panel click here. We wholeheartedly believe the fact that companies need to utilize revolutionary technologies to gain an edge in the industry today. That’s where our set of disruptive technological solutions would aid them in going forward. 

 

We’re excited to connect and network with everyone associated in the publishing industry and hope to create an impact with our Impelsys Innovation Lab. 

 

Make sure to visit our booth J47, Hall 4.2 to get thorough insights or email us at corpmarketing@implesys.com for further details.

Few weeks from now, the world’s biggest gathering  of the publishing and related industries will take place at Frankfurt, Germany. Frankfurt Book Fair, by statistics and impact is undoubtedly the world’s biggest book fair, it takes place in October usually and this year the dates are 16 to 20 October. Taking place on the Frankfurt Trade Fair grounds, Frankfurt Book Fair is the most significant marketing event in the print and digital content industry that facilitates great number of international sales of rights and licences.

Publishing professionals, writers, creative professionals and fans come from all over the world to network, hold discussions, negotiate, make decisions, and to be in awe of the grandeur of the fair and celebrate. Close to 7,500 exhibitors showcase their latest offerings at the fair, exhibitors mainly constitute of publishers, agents, booksellers, service providers, professional and trade associations, institutions, software and multimedia suppliers and they come from over 100 countries across the world. About 285,000 visitors visited Frankfurter Buchmesse in 2018.

Norway is 2019 the Guest of Honour of Frankfurter Buchmesse this year. Norwegians read more than any other European nationality, and the country has produced three winners of the Nobel Prize for Literature. The guest country will present its literature and culture at the fair in Frankfurt, as well as in many other locations throughout Germany. 

Frankfurter Buchmesse is the world’s most important trading place for printed and digital content, but it is also an incredible social and cultural experience that offers a wide range of exciting events. Some interesting and informative events at the messe this year are…

Cosplay – Gourmet Gallery – Frankfurt Audio – Frankfurt Kids – Frankfurt EDU – BOOKFEST

Click here to know more about the highlight events at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019

While these are some of the highlight events at the fair, there are some 2243 odd other events (as of now) listed in the website, now imagine the magnitude of the event and the impact it would have around the world. . Impelsys has two speaking sessions this time as well, below is the information about the sessions. The sessions are informative and free to attend, you could also visit our booth at J47, Hall 4.2 to know about Impelsys Innovations Lab and the release of iPC Scholar version 2.0.

Impelsys Innovations Lab is a recently launched initiative where we will be working on various emerging and disruptive technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Big Data Analytics, Natural Language Processing (NLP), IT Infrastructure, and Cloud Computing Services. Also at FBF 2019, iPC Scholar, Impelsys’ flagship content delivery platform for eBooks, journals, videos and courses, will be released with feature updates, it will have advanced support for content and learning delivery.

Speaking Sessions at FBF 2019 from Impelsys’ Leadership Team

New frontiers in Publishing and Education – Winning in the digital era Effective Knowledge Management and Digital Transformation strategies with iPC Scholar
Day 1: 16th October 2019 

11:00 – 11:30 am

Venue: Education Stage, Hall 4.2, C94

Speaker: Kotesh Govindaraju – EVP and Head of Americas – Impelsys Inc.

Day 1: 16th October 2019 

03:30 – 4:00 pm

Venue: Academic and Business Information Stage, Hall 4.2, N101

Speaker: Stefan Kend – EVP and Head of EMEA & APAC – Impelsys Inc.

Frankfurter Buchmesse is the most important international event for the publishing industry, as well as a key trendsetter for society and a major cultural festival. The platform it provides for business opportunities, networking, education and entertainment for industry professionals and culture fans is exhaustive and unrivalled. Nowhere else would we meet more number of professionals from the media and publishing industry than at Frankfurt Book Fair. Professionals use this opportunity to expand their network and open up new business opportunities, to market their products or hunt for the right suppliers. It’s the biggest gathering of the publishing world, a global melting pot of everything that happens in the industry, a place to be for publishing professionals and literature fans from around the world.

Artificial intelligence, the most touted technology event of the current century is steadily touching all the industries that rely on technology. We have self driving cars, chess playing computers and content recommendation engines, which are all based on a machine’s ability to process information and get human desired insights. An umbrella term used to denote technologies like machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing, artificial intelligence, or AI is basically intelligence acquired by machines over time, feeding on data and learning to mimic human like behavior. Publishing is one field where ai can be leveraged to automate various workflows and used in different ways to gain better marketing insights and launch campaigns for wider and more accurate targeting.

In digital marketing a simpler form of AI, like automation tools used for email campaigns, has been used for over a decade now. This is a basic use of data by automation tools which reduces human efforts and gives some insight like open rates and the action taken by the recipient. Artificial intelligence however can be  a game changer for content marketing, it gives far deeper insights with greater automation and can work through a great pile of data, helping in increasing conversions and achieving other goals. Some of the fronts where artificial intelligence can be leveraged by content marketers is

  • Finding the right audience
  • Content personalization
  • Customer segmentation based on behavior and intent
  • Identifying keywords and content topics
  • And in some cases, even content creation

Personalization

Has it ever occurred to you that you do a Google search for something and you see a related ad on your browser every now and then? Sounds creepy but the same ad might even play on your Spotify (not if you have a premium account), this is in fact not so thrilling but a basic use of artificial intelligence. It happens because we leave our digital footprints whenever we interact online, companies are trying to find the right audience for their services and they are trying to make a precise recommendation. Google does this all the time, their algorithms use machine learning to learn about our online behavior, use predictive analysis and recommend content to us that we might be interested in. 

Marketers can use AI tools to target the right audience who are most likely to consume and react with the content, they can get insights on how the content is consumed and based on that create campaign strategies to target a specific audience. AI can also help in content personalization by indicating how many readers are interested in what type of content and recommending changes in the content to target a particular audience.

Customer Segmentation

Thus, AI tools can help content marketers by suggesting what mix of content should they create for a particular audience for maximum results. They can also tell us exactly who interacts more with our content, along with what other type of content they prefer and other parameters like what platforms they use, their demographics, personality traits and geography. This helps in segmenting the audience in clusters for more precise marketing campaigns. Besides, they can be used for other marketing related activities like lead prioritization, sales strategy, and retargeting

Content Creation

Artificial intelligence has many use cases for content marketers, it helps us find the right audience and create the right content, but the task of content creation, which is the bulk of the entire activity, still needs human effort and is a major task. Would you ever rely on a computer application to write content for you? Most of us don’t even want to imagine this but AI is more powerful than we want to imagine. Heliograf is Washington Post’s robo reporter which churned out 300 reports during the Rio Olympics in 2016 and it helped the post cover House, Senate and gubernatorial races for all 50 states on election day. The Associated Press has used bots to cover financial stories and USA Today has used video software to create short videos.

The most interesting use of artificial intelligence in content creation happened in scholarly publishing recently. Springer Nature published its first AI generated research book titled ‘Lithium-Ion Batteries: A Machine-Generated Summary of Current Research’. The pdf file, which is free for download mentions that the book is ‘cross-corpora auto-summarization of current texts from Springer Nature’s content platform “SpringerLink”, organized by means of a similarity-based clustering routine in coherent chapters and sections’. It automatically condenses a  large set of papers into a reasonably short book. This method allows for readers to speed up the literature digestion process of a given field of research instead of reading through hundreds of published articles.

The Future and the Incredible Possibilities

Springer’s book is just the beginning, a day might come when machines create content to entice human emotions and this might freak us out, as the least we expect from machines is to stir our emotions. But that’s a different story, as we have already seen its capability, AI tools in the near future could create marketing content that requires minimal human intervention and saves on time and resources.

Tech giants like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple are investing heavily in AI, these companies know that the future in AI is revolutionary and they all want the biggest share of the pie. In content marketing artificial marketing finds one of the most suitable applications, we will see a lot of improvements in machine learning and growing applications in content marketing. In the age of hyper awareness and personalized services it’s indispensable to understand your audience and their choices. On top of that building a strong customer relationship is key to business success. The amount of customer information available and possibilities around it is colossal, for humans alone to manage it will be nearly impossible, artificial intelligence is key to innovations and indispensable to remain competitive in a super competitive markets.

AI uses computer algorithms to replicate the human ability to learn and make predictions. Masayoshi Son, the founder of tech giant SoftBank and the richest man in Japan, says he is devoting 97% of his “time and brain” to the scientific field of artificial intelligence. It may seem the companies he’s investing in operate in disparate industries like agriculture, transport, satellites, payments, computer chips, and ecommerce, but one common theme among all of them is artificial intelligence.

Academic publishing is right now poised to substantially leverage technologies led by artificial intelligence. With all the possible applications of AI the industry is heavily invested in R&D in finding out how publishers can improve what they do and how they get it to customers. As data is at the heart of publishing most of the scientific publishers are turning into data driven companies, Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific and medical information is transforming itself into a tech company, achieved by building advanced analytics systems, utilizing big data and machine learning on top of the huge amount of data collated and published by the company in its 140-year history.

Artificial intelligence based applications are being developed to assist authors and publishers, AI applications, with minimal human intervention can be used in tasks like text analysis, detecting plagiarism on new manuscripts, detecting false statistical results, finding new peer reviewers, content search, semantic search etc. AI can bring efficiency in the processes by reducing human intervention which also leads to reduced human bias. Further, the possibility in future of the entire process of peer review being automated without any need for human interaction can’t be ruled out entirely, or may be humans can’t be entirely replaced by machines for peer reviewing but AI could speed up the process, that’s a question for now.

With rising momentum in the open access movement one stinging issue in traditional publishing industry has been the allegation of keeping high profit margins. It’s not to be forgotten that profits are also made in other spheres of scientific research which might not be as visible, and the said profit provides publishers with the means to invest in new products, services and tools for the benefit of the research community.

In traditional publishing processing the articles, producing journals and the overall survival of the organization needs monetary profit. Despite the zeal manifested in open access, traditional publishing will continue to offer value and prestige to researchers and scientists who need to publish. Traditional publishing offers high grade editorial services and the competitive environment in it calls for higher quality and rigorous reviewing of the published paper.

While larger organizations may be investing their money in innovations that only their size can sustain financially, smaller publishers can opt the digital way to minimize the cost of production and delivery. Powered by digital technologies online publishing helps publishers by eliminating the costs associated with producing and distributing a printed journal. Integration of AI into the online publishing platforms creates a highly advanced and streamlined publishing environment with least human interaction required.

Publishers can leverage digital publishing platforms like iPC Scholar which provide swift and economical publishing while offering more value in terms of services. iPC Scholar allows digital publishing of content in various forms like journals, ebooks, videos and even learning courses. It allows publishers to diversify their content offering, adding to sources of revenue. Actionable analytics provided in the platform give great insights on current business and product performances which can be leveraged to offer tailored services to targeted consumers.

Having faced many challenges in the recent years academic publishing now needs to come of age, driven by data and intelligence the industry can fuel its own growth and reformation led  by technologies like artificial intelligence. What we are seeing today is just the beginning, AI is a new born baby (just learning to debate us humans), which in theory will grow up to become artificial superintelligence or technological singularity, of which the limits are hard to predict. This explosion of intelligence is a long way, but meanwhile the growth in AI will have steadily growing influence in every aspect of our lives, and all the industries. Academic publishing, the industry responsible for communication of global scientific developments, including AI itself, will be at the centre of this development.

Elearning Trends 2019

In the January 2018 edition of this newsletter we mentioned that elearning industry will cross 200 bn USD in couple of years, one year down and we have predictions that it will cross 375 bn USD by 2025. No doubt it’s growing up to be a massive industry as it’s been seen in the world of education as a catalyst of the necessary changes in the way learning is provided. Elearning also helps mitigate costs of infrastructure and daily travel required for traditional classroom learning, whereas it’s becoming a real asset for third world economies helping deprived youth access online education (In Africa 50 million children remain out of school, and most of those who attend school are not acquiring the basic skills necessary for success later in life)

Riding on a dynamic phenomenon like digital technology, elearning industry undergoes vital changes every year, new trends take form or the existing technologies get refined and find wider use. In order to provide the best possible learning experience to users, providers of elearning need to acquaint themselves with the evolving trends and know which one of them will add value to their efforts. Like every year we have curated a list of trends and technologies that will have impact on online learning industry in 2019, they might be familiar terms but the refinement and evolution within them is what makes them worthy of note.

Lifelong Learning

I’m still learning – Michelangelo at 87

‘Lifelong learning’ is no more just an old phrase but a hard fact of life, and a research indicated truth of 21st century. To stay as a part of competent workforce in the tech driven century, continuous renewal and upgradation of skill is becoming necessary. Every profession provides a learning opportunity, adding to our skill set, employability and self-sustainability. It’s only with a continuous pursuit of skill and knowledge that we remain an active participant in the workforce and society in the fast changing world. As learning is becoming lifelong for more people around the world, online learning will rise in significance, as it’s not feasible to provide all the learning and impact it might have in traditional setting.

Personalized Learning

Personalized learning has been a top trend for many years, but each year the technologies get refined and is being rapidly endorsed or tested by education departments worldwide. Personalized learning identifies who the learners are, what they need to know, and what they’re interested in, hence becoming an effective method of imparting education. Artificial intelligence, with rapid evolution and refinement has been able to  cater to the personalized needs of a learner more precisely. Personalized learning is expected to make further strides in coming years and being increasingly recognized as a promising strategy to close achievement gaps, increase student engagement, and prepare students as they become self-directed, lifelong learners by meeting their individual needs.

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence, an umbrella term for a group of technologies, is said to bring about the fourth industrial revolution. AI in education has a broad range of use cases and game changing applications. The technology can be used in automation of content creation, assessment, fostering a better learning environment to analyzing individual learning path to advising a career route. Also, researchers around the world have been closing in on a specific goal – tracking a user’s face to determine their response to what they’re viewing or experiencing. It would be wonderful as the system might be able to determine many things that are difficult to measure, such as engagement, stress levels, and fatigue. These deep learning AI solutions involve software that goes far beyond the measurement of and response to individual systems. These emerging solutions also involve many layers of student assessment, and increased automation in teaching process. AI powered chatbots have become smarter, students can ask them questions on topics and the chatbots return with relevant answers with articles, infographics, and videos.

Having been around for some time, AI in education space has garnered significant interest across the world. In China tech startups have received encouragement via policy and financial support from their government in the development and use of artificial intelligence across sectors. Numerous Chinese edtech companies have recently announced successful development and further funding of their AI-powered education products. Great money is being invested in development of artificial intelligence applications in education, some of the largest edtech funding rounds in 2018 were directed toward the development of AI as a tool to enhance learning.

Learning with Games

Game based learning has always been a trend. With its proven effectiveness gamified learning will remain focus of education providers in years to come, organizations are increasingly looking at investing in game based learning. When a learner is involved in the process, the memorization is deeper, and people in our generation are enthralled by games. Games have a remarkable ability to engage long-term memory. The competitive elements in games help to provide motivation to students who might not find that motivation in traditional learning. Finding new ways to grab the attention of learners and engaging them in the learning process is a task; activities, rewards, surprises and humour in gamified learning help learners to maintain their interest. Gamified learning also helps in self motivation and adds to our creativity, problem solving skills, decision making and critical thinking.

Other Trends

Trends like collaborative learning and social learning will be prominent in coming years. Interaction with peers is essential in education, students also learn from each other while teacher acts as facilitator. Learning platforms need to provide ways to collaborate and share among fellow learners, debate on a topic and get constructive social feedbacks. Tools and widgets for social sharing, discussion forums, online chat options, blogs, news feed and user groups can be part of the platform.

Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality is a set of another big things in the world of technology, and they will have various applications in education. VR finds its application mostly in safety trainings in organizations whereas AR and  Mixed Reality are used in teaching subjects like science and math, the added layer of graphics enhances comprehension of complex scenarios and inculcates engaging learning.

Microlearning as a subset of it, markedly supplements elearning. In the age of short attention spans and while juggling through multiple tasks microlearning comes handy for quick bites of learning in short intervals of time. On-the-go learning will rise on demand, it allows for better retention and is also a convenient performance support tool, as a quick reminder or to recap the lessons learnt, to provide extended information which could have been missed in the formal training courseware or in many other ways.

These will be some of the trends to remain on top in 2019, it’s not about inventing a new term but the evolution in technologies that empower and enhance learning. It’s the information age and there is no definite amount of knowledge or skill for an individual to learn, there’s no end to new knowledge. The learning methodologies of the industrial age will have to give ways to the learning methodologies of the information age. Tech enhanced methodologies like elearning will keep growing and evolving until they become the norm. Various technologies, led by artificial intelligence or machine intelligence will form the bedrock of imparting the required education in future.

RCNi Decision Support Tool

Impelsys Inc., a market pioneer in digital publishing and healthcare solutions has teamed up with RCNi, the leading provider of innovative information solutions for the whole nursing team, to launch a new interactive point-of-care tool called RCNi Decision Support.

Decision Support will help nurses make evidence-based decisions when assessing and treating patients and includes over 100 peer-reviewed topics across 24 specialities. The tool will support nurses by guiding through the process with the relevant information at each step and help in nurses’ critical thinking.

Impelsys was already a partner over the last few years in the provision of the RCNi Learning, an interactive online and mobile resource for nurses to meet continuing professional development requirements. The RCNi Decision Support tool was a strong and successful development over the last year.

Helen Sumner, RCNi Head of Product Development – ‘RCNi is thrilled to launch the RCNi Decision Support tool and has been a highly successful engagement with Impelsys to develop this innovative and invaluable point-of-care tool.’

Stefan Kend, EVP for EMEA/APAC, Impelsys Inc. – ‘It’s a real pleasure to partner with RCNi and deliver such an important tool for nurses. We are pleased it will provide an interactive support tool that will benefit all in delivering better patient outcomes.

About Impelsys

Impelsys is a leading provider of technology solutions and services for education providers, publishers and enterprises – managing content and learning delivery on their flagship platform – iPublishCentral Suite, the World’s Most Comprehensive Read-to-Learn Solution. Impelsys also provides courseware development and content engineering services across digital product development lifecycle, helping clients build new digital products ranging from ebooks to simulations to online courseware.

To learn more about Impelsys please write to corpmarketing@impelsys.com or visit www.impelsys.com.

About RCNi

Founded in 1987, RCNi is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Royal College of Nursing. RCNi produces eleven nursing publications including Nursing Standard, the UK’s best-selling nursing journal, and a range of specialist journals, providing health professionals with the latest developments impacting nursing, including changes in policy, practice and research. RCNi offers a range of digital products including RCNi Decision Support, designed to support decision making and standardise care across organisations, RCNi Learning, an interactive online resource of CPD training modules, and the RCNi Portfolio, an online store and tracking system to help you with revalidation.  RCNi also hosts the annual RCNi Nurse Awards, celebrating excellence in nursing, and the Nursing and Careers Jobs Fair, the largest recruitment events for nurses in the UK.

Personalized Learning

World of education has been seeing numerous changes with the advent of edtech, elearning, assessment tools, knowledge enhancing ancillaries, online forums and social media, which are collectively changing the way learning is delivered and consumed. Personalized or adaptive learning is seen as a disruptive development, although having been present in some form for a long time in modern world, personalized learning in the time of artificial intelligence can take an entirely new route, the effect being diverse and the efficacy being amplified by powerful machine learning technologies.

While adaptive learning technology is an aspect of high-caliber learning management systems or lms like iPublishCentral Scholar, its implementation in classrooms and elearning is a part of the overall learning strategy of the concerned institution/ department/ class. The practice may not work well for all subjects, age groups, learning strategies etc, however it extends the application of ‘differentiated instruction’ as an education philosophy for effective teaching, so that all students within a classroom can learn effectively, regardless of differences in prior knowledge.

Audrey Watters, an education writer and independent scholar says in an article that personalized learning depending on how you define it, dates back to Rousseau, or it dates back further still to Alexander the Great’s personal tutor, Aristotle. She further cites a timeline of numerous other instances until modern computers to Gates’ Foundation, which she claims denote the existence of some form of personalized learning

Sidney Pressey, a psychology professor at Ohio State University from 1921 to 1959 assembled a prototype out of typewriter parts and demo-ed it at the 1924 meeting of the American Psychological Association. Pressey’s machine had a window with a question and four answers. The student pressed the key to their chosen answer. The machine recorded the answer and would advance automatically to the next question, calculating the number of correct responses along the way. Alternately, a lever in the back could change its operation slightly, and the machine would not move on to the next question until the test-taker got it right, tabulating the number of tries on each question.

Jumping back to the present, the results of the latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called “the nation’s report card,” are cause for concern. Only 37 percent of American fourth-graders have the reading skills they need — and that number is not improving. Mark Johnson, North Carolina’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, says that “the underpinnings of our education system were designed in the early 20th century with early-20th-century tools to meet the needs of an industrial society, we require teachers to convey standard information from standard textbooks at a standard pace”

The problem with the traditional method of classroom education is that it doesn’t accommodate the fact that every learner has different aptitude and pace of learning. Adaptive learning is a working concept realized with technology which analyses learner’s skill level through advanced machine learning and creates a self learning environment for each student. Phil Regier, university dean for educational initiatives and CEO of EdPlus at Arizona State University, at the recently concluded ASU+GSV Conference, described personalized learning as “an ability to use technology to give right lessons to right students at the right time. And that technology now allows us to do that for thousands of students at the same time”

Artificial intelligence takes adaptive learning to next level, with the help of AI adaptive learning platforms can build scientifically generated profiles of each learner, big data with its all pervasive power in information helps build a pedagogical profile for students. The goal of achieving a certain learning outcome can be reached through a personalized path. Artificial intelligence assisted adaptive learning platforms can be leagues ahead of Pressey’s machine, students can work at their own pace and advance when they have mastered a concept.

Dr. Liz City is lecturer on education and director of the Doctor of Education Leadership Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, in a video here she talks about how we can change the learning environment in US so that we don’t have the same industrial model schools from 125 years back, and how we can reimagine school as a place that provides amazing learning opportunities that meets the needs of different individuals.

Adaptive learning, enabled by artificial intelligence – ability to predict the next most appropriate output based on information from the past events, ability of total recall – builds a huge system based on big data to know students’ exact weaknesses and helps them to improve. AI-powered learning tools can transform into lifelong companions for individuals to gather knowledge about new subjects, beyond formal learning and measure their knowledge in the form of assessments and shape their learning experience in real time. It helps create individualized education plans, casting off the shackles of its ‘industrial model’ of schooling.

Elearning Trends 2018

The global elearning market is a continually shifting landscape, facts like increase in the number of edtech startups every year, geographical expansion of the market and predictions that the elearning industry will cross USD 200 bn mark in a couple of years point towards the mass acceptance of online learning in modern education systems. Year 2017 saw an increasing number of local colleges embracing online learning to complement their learning programmes, and there were other prevailing trends and technologies that shaped the future of the industry. The trends predicted to move the parts and gears of the industry for 2018 broadly follow those from the previous year. Also there is an inclination towards some new concepts that might have an impact on the industry.

Bite-sized Learning

Microlearning is not new for 2018, the practice was there in the education industry for many years and was popularized and given a new form by enabling technologies in last couple of years. However, the trend finds top spot in the current year as well, the reason being the acceptance of its impact in online learning programs as a powerful aid in imparting short but meaningful bites of lessons. Elearning providers worldwide have embraced the utility of microlearning and now most of them are providing 3-15 minutes long bites of lessons that learners can access and learn during the short breaks of their usual routine, at work, at home or while on commute. Almost all of the microlearning lessons are accessed on mobile devices.

Mobility

Mobility, though on the list for more than a year now, still has a swathe of unexplored territories in online learning world. With almost everyone of us carrying a smartphone, anything that reaches and is accessible on our devices has a bigger possibility of consumption than on a PC. Elearning providers when designing courses have to think mobile first, as most of the modern learners love to do things on-the-go. Microlearning lessons, elearning games and video lessons, which are becoming significant contributors to any elearning program are best consumed on mobile devices.

Games that Teach Lessons

Gamification is not a new word for the industry, however it remains trending more than before, the reason being its wide acceptance by the industry and the multiple benefits that come with games as lessons. We all love to play little games on our devices and feel accomplished when the score is rising or a level is crossed, the same behavior is exploited by gamified elearning lessons. Besides, gamified lessons are proven to engage the learners more than plain text or mundane lectures, they are not stressful, and they can be adapted for any subject or skill. We will see a rise in gamification of learning in future with elearning providers offering more and more of the service.

Varied Sources of Content

Content generation for elearning does not have to be necessarily done by course authors and trainers only. User interaction with the courses generates ample amount of content that could lead to new insights, SMEs can have their own interpretations and ideas which could lead to better comprehension of concepts. User generated content is taking form as a new trend in the industry. Platform providers have to offer tools that accumulate and optimize user content. This practice will have benefits for enterprise learning wherein stakeholders can provide quick insights leading to better collaboration and exchange of ideas.

Artificial Intelligence as a Game Changer

Artificial Intelligence has been disrupting industries by numbers, education is one industry that has a broad range of use cases and game changing applications from AI. The technology can be used in automation of content creation, assessment, fostering a better learning environment to analyzing individual learning path to advising a career route. Microsoft’s VP, Anthony Salcito sees a lot of potential in. “It’s not about taking data sets, consolidating them and then having everyone use charts and graphs to decide a path. It’s actually having the data in an underlying way orchestrate the right activities, the right experiences and the connections that you need to make to content, to students, to the environment. And that’s true both on the classroom side, but also on the back end.”

He says it’s less about data and more about experience, so based on the learner’s aspiration in terms of career, his schedule, what classes and tests he’s taking, and who his peer groups are — his learning environment can change, and using data fuel the experiences that are unique to him based on his own conditions.

Elearning can gain immensely from Artificial Intelligence, it can augment and complement the efforts from instructors, help them in identifying loopholes in their training methods via feedback and through other data sets help the organization in building a holistic and appropriate learning environment for every individual learner.

With the shape changing nature of elearning industry it’s hard to keep up with every trend and upgrade the existing system. However it’s essential to review the programs and keep an eye on how things evolve, some parts of the evolution become integrated into the industry making it imminent to embrace them. Apart from the above mentioned trends many other concepts take form every season. E.g., online learning mainly consists of interaction with machines, but this doesn’t mean human interaction is not possible. Programs can include a human touch with video lessons, webinars and live discussions among instructors and group of learners. So, more of ‘Human Touch’, which caters to the innate emotional needs of learners will advance as a trend in future. Besides, adaptive learning, interactive videos and social learning are essential parts of any successful elearning programme.