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.

It’s very much known that on Jan 1, 2020 Adobe Flash will become obsolete and all the browsers will stop supporting content created using Flash. As about half the elearning content today is consumed on mobile devices and major portion of learning budget is targeted for mobile learning, HTML5 is the obvious choice for development of elearning courses as it supports all desktop platforms and mobile devices, allowing fully leveraged mobility, and ease of access.

In our previous post, we talked about why HTML5 is the obvious choice for modern day elearning content. Here, we will talk about migration/conversion of Flash content to HTML5, scope of enhancing the courses, and making them more effective for modern elearning using various rapid authoring tools.

Here are the steps to convert Flash Content to HTML5

Flash to HTML5 - The Impact on eLearning and Online Courses - Part 2

Approaches to Convert Flash Content to HTML5

There are various approaches we can take to convert Flash content to HTML5. Depending on the requirement, one of the approaches is followed.

If the elearning course does not have a lot of media elements we republish the source files using updated authoring tools that give a HTML5 compatible output, which means the courses are platform and device independent.

There might be a situation where we don’t have the source files of the Flash courses anymore, in this case we record the Flash courses in the form of a .mp4 video, import them into one of the rapid authoring tools and publish them as HTML5 courses.

Conversion of Flash content to HTML5 gives us an opportunity to enhance the legacy courses. Flash courses have been used for years and they have been based on learning strategies of many years back. Maybe it’s time not just to convert the Flash courses to HTML5 but also to overhaul your learning strategy. Maybe it’s time to add interactive elements, an effective instructional design strategy, social learning aspects, and micro learning to your learning strategy. This is the right time to recreate that powerful learning content which is equipped with all enhancements and is at par with modern learning techniques. If this is the case you can revamp the courses or recreate them from scratch using the latest authoring tools.

This is the right time to recreate a powerful learning content equipped with all the enhancements that are at par with modern learning techniques. You can revamp the courses or recreate them from scratch with a revised instructional design strategy, and media elements using the latest authoring tools

It’s a good practice to evaluate the worthiness of the entire exercise before embarking on the conversion process.  Maybe it’s wiser to build HTML courses from scratch and retire the existing Flash based courses, or save a portion, and enhance the rest with interactivity. Complexity level rises with the level of enhancement and it needs a careful analysis of factors like, the size of the curriculum, volume of media, animations in the course, the objective of the course, and more.

Depending on the current state of the elearning content and the learning strategy of the organization we decide what level of enhancement elements to be used for the new HTML courses. Organizations that have an inhouse expertise pass it on to the responsible teams for the migration or conversion. What should organizations without in-house skills do? Whom do they consult? 

If the volume of content is huge it’s worthwhile to outsource the conversion project to an experienced vendor with a track record in elearning and content technology. Impelsys has been in the edtech industry for over a decade now and we have expertise in Flash to HTML5 conversion of elearning courses. If you want to know more about our services, contact us at corpmarketing@impelsys.com

The world of work is now going through the most disruptive changes after the industrial revolution. The dynamism of the global economy, which runs on evolving technologies, is creating new opportunities and has been able to provide work for more people than before. However, the same dynamism is also posing a challenge, while there is  limitless new opportunities, there will also be massive dislocation of jobs. In modern economy the industries are continually going through changes in the use of technologies and work processes involved, the pace of innovation and automation is sweeping through our workplaces leaving the skills required for modern industries irrelevant in no time.

Skills and capabilities required for jobs in the age of technology are changing swiftly, occupations are undergoing a fundamental transformation as entire industries align with the growing power of technology. Automation will displace jobs where there is redundancy while others which require critical thinking will grow rapidly. In this scenario, broader skill set and elementary competencies that indicate an individual’s ability to adapt to changing markets and economic circumstances will be in demand

This transformation in industries leading to a dislocation of jobs will leave a talent shortage in many new fields and simultaneously unemployment will creep in as some of the traditional skills are rendered irrelevant. How do we tackle this? There is a lot of talk about reforming the education system, but then it’s not a cakewalk to reform a system which has existed for decades, and how long till it starts to reap the fruit. While the basic education system undergoes the reform, a more urgent solution to the challenge would be that the businesses and individuals see learning as a lifelong activity. That re-training and upskilling of employees be proactively taken up by companies.

Jobs like data analyst will be most sought after in an artificial intelligence driven industries, and the demand will also rise for jobs like specialized sales, new types of human resources, organizational development specialists, engineering specialties and government relations specialists, we will see decline in redundant manual jobs with the rise of automation and even pink collar jobs like customer support will be replaced by smart bots.

The role of enterprises, educators and individuals in a highly demanding future of work will be crucial in building a society where there is a balance of employment among the populations. Students should be exposed to the world of business and industries early on. There needs to be a strong tie up between the academia and the business world. The youth needs to be taught to be future-ready and broad disciplines of education and specialised knowledge with some transferable skills should be taught to them in school. Awareness of discipline should remain as the foundation on which new knowledge is acquired. Future-ready students should be able to apply their knowledge in new and changing circumstances.

Critical Thinking – it’s not what we learn, but how we learn.

Critical thinking, creative thinking, learning to learn and self-regulation must be taught as subjects in basic education, which will empower them to effectively apply multiple specialized skills across a range of industries and professions, building a strong transferable skill base for the self, while they navigate through complex careers. The pace at which information technology changes internally, workers will need to learn new skills to be able to stay relevant within the organization or while hopping jobs, to learn a new skill every few years requires a person to not to lose the learning ability and passion for new skills, critical thinking should be applied across range of skills.

Design thinking, system knowledge and creativity should be inculcated in young learners which will form the basis of their lifelong learning. If it takes 10,000 hours to take a new skill and master it, we can’t do it so often, but what we can do is pivot around the central idea of creative thinking and agile learning, and grow new branches of skills on a strong stem of wisdom.

Role of digital learning

The amount of learning that is required for future proofing young learners and training them lifelong for various skills will be overwhelming. Traditional way of classroom learning alone will not be able to cater to this. Digital learning has been widely used by institutions and enterprises in learning and training already, the flexibility provided by elearning needs to complement all the learning required to keep the modern economy sustain its growth. Elearning can be accessed by a great number of learners at once, and it can be taken in one’s own choice of time and place. Besides, elearning adds other features which make learning and training more impactful. Interactive content is fun and comprehensible, elearning can also be personalized and collaborative. Simulation is one great way of learning which is used in many industries, AR and VR enable learners engage with various scenarios and get a life like experience.

Besides acquiring knowledge and industrial skills, the workers of the future need also to understand the value of common prosperity, sustainability and well-being. We need to understand that the resources on Earth are not limitless, sustainability should be placed above short-term gain. When the societies are volatile and economies uncertain people need to collaborate and learn to defeat the challenges. As the economy progresses and might of scientific knowledge accompanies complexity, learning needs to evolve radically.

Multi Tenancy

Software is the brain of all the modern industries. Organizations today need a variety of software to perform all their operations uninterruptedly. In the sea of digital products and services the decision to pick the best software tool is not an easy one to make. In the last decade we have seen rapid movement of software from on-premise to the cloud, this form of software delivery is known as SaaS. SaaS takes advantage of the economies of scale enabled by multiple number of customers using the service delivered from same underlying software machine, this form of product delivery is termed as multi tenancy.

Cloud computing has been around for over a decade but the competitive advantage it holds for businesses has lately been manifested. Majority of big businesses have now invested in cloud computing and big data as they recognize the huge advantages they will have in future. SaaS or Software-as-a-Service is a form of cloud computing in which cloud hosted computer applications are delivered over the internet. This form of computing eliminates the complexity of managing expensive hardware and software at premise, above and beyond the internal resources. And the cost advantage of the cloud infrastructure being shared by users across the world is significant.

Multi tenancy is a form of SaaS delivery in which multiple users share a common instance of a software hosted in cloud. It allows required customization for individual customers such as branding via UI tweaks and color etc. In single tenancy model, each customer runs their own copy of the system, with their own copies of the processes. The more customers you have, the more copies of the processes you need to manage. Single tenancy also  puts a limitation on finegraining the application, that is its ability to be delivered in a microservice architecture, as more number of microservices need to be maintained and updated for every individual instance of software

Whereas multi tenant architecture is highly efficient, horizontally scalable distributed system, it can support more customers on fewer nodes, and fewer nodes means reduced cost. It also supports microservice architecture as an entire batch of users can be provided with updates in one go. The security apprehensions rising out of the fact that great number of clients are hosted in a single hardware is overcome by strong security measures, each tenant’s data is isolated and remains invisible to other tenants. This way customers do not share or see each other’s data. High risk industries like banking mostly use multi tenancy architecture to maintain customer accounts and database, which is a strong evidence that multi tenancy is safe for end users. Besides SaaS systems have become parts of our daily lives in form of Facebook, Twitter etc.

Phil Wainewright, founder of ASPNEWS.com and a thought leader in cloud computing compares changes in IT landscape to be brought by cloud computing to that of automobile revolution in early 1900s.  If early motorists had only ever wanted to drive on their own private land automobile innovation would have peaked with the golf buggy. Private clouds and single-tenant SaaS applications are just as limited, and that’s why multi-tenancy matters. “Multi-tenancy matters because it’s the ideal architecture to make the most of the public cloud environment, a multi-tenant application runs on a shared platform that is constantly being fine-tuned to succeed better at those interactions. Multi-tenancy benefits enormously from the magic of something I call collective scrutiny and innovation. When hundreds or even thousands of other businesses are using exactly the same operational infrastructure, all of them benefit from each of the different ways in which they’re challenging and stretching that shared infrastructure.”

Vendors of multi tenant software benefit immensely from the architecture, as they need to maintain and make updates only at one central application to share it with all the users, whereas in single tenancy architecture, the provider has to touch multiple instances of the software in order to make updates, which is cumbersome and resource intensive. In multi tenancy an entire group of users share resources like servers, heating, cooling, security and more. All these benefits converted into reduced cost are passed down to the users, which means multi tenant services are cheaper. The opportunity to save money takes many forms and becomes greater as the application scales up. This reduces the cost of doing business for the vendor and savings can be passed onto customers.

Multitenancy as an approach for product delivery for vendors needs to be adapted at the time of the conception and design, bringing it in at a later stage will create chaos as the shift from single tenancy architecture to multi tenancy after the  first instance of product delivery entails risky production data migrations, systemic changes to every single service and data entity, and potential backwards incompatibility with older clients

Multitenancy as a true architecture for SaaS brings the highest level of efficiency in SaaS as it fully leverages the cloud environment. For organizations adapting multitenancy it allows for more efficient use of IT resources. It requires less upfront infrastructure procurement and saves resources dedicated to ongoing management and upgrades. iPC Scholar, the flagship digital content delivery and elearning platform from Impelsys is a true multi tenant SaaS platform with microservice architecture. It supports content in formats like ebooks, journals, videos, courses, and other, making it a one-stop solution for all things digital content delivery and online learning.