E-learning has seen a substantial increase in its popularity. Traditional classroom-based instruction has had to change and shift online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Until now, when everything is back to normal, the ed-tech sector still evolves in leaps and bounds.
The e-learning market (projected to reach 457 billion by 2026) is expanding quickly, which will lead to increased competition in the education field as well. New e-learning solutions have set a new standard for the whole education industry. What was sufficient for an education business to grow a decade ago will no longer be sufficient to compete in the new digital edge.
In this article, we will walk the business owners in the education field through a brief introduction to e-learning. We also provide some insights and recommendations to develop an effective and successful e-learning platform.
WHAT IS E-LEARNING
E-learning, which stands for electronic learning, refers to any form of education, training, and learning organized online. The range of e-learning is broad. It can vary from a 20-minute smartphone course to an extended, distance-learning university degree, and anything in between. However, there are 2 common forms of E-learning as displayed below:
- Online training: Online training is education that takes place 100 percent over the internet.
- Blended learning: To provide a more engaging learning environment, blended learning mixes conventional classroom-based learning with online learning.
After the Covid 19 pandemic, we can see that e-learning offers many benefits to individuals, companies, and educational institutions during the lockdown time. Some of them are:
- Flexibility: With e-learning, users can learn at a time that is convenient for them because it fits their schedule and demands, whether that’s a spare 10 minutes while they’re at home or 30 minutes during their commute.
- Time and Cost: Direct training is known to be pricey because of including a lot of expenditures such as the cost of the course, the time spent away from work, and the expense to go to the course. With e-learning, parts of these extra expenses are decreased because you can enroll in a course whenever and wherever you want.
- Easy administration: E-learning enables users to keep track of all their learning in one spot. It eliminates the need for tons of paperwork and physical training records, helps to save time, and protects the environment
Although e-learning is not totally new, it has emerged strongly during the pandemic time. As the demand of end learners has shifted from offline to online, education businesses should make e-learning a serious orientation in their business development plan.
TOP 5 E-LEARNING TRENDS TO INTEGRATE INTO YOUR EDTECH PRODUCTS
The E-learning sector offers students more flexibility and personalization over how they choose to learn. Students decide how they will take a course, how they will be assessed, and how fast they should finish it. Due to the wide variety of learning styles, e-learning platforms must offer users variable types of content so they can choose from them.
In addition, companies can take into account technology add-ons, which will help track user interactions with the platform, predicting their further activities. Therefore, you can analyze data and propose valuable functions for end users.
Online group education
Students can have more fun, learn more quickly, and benefit greatly from each class by interacting and participating in conversations together.
As a result, it is undeniable that group discussion and group education is a vital parts of both traditional classroom and E-learning. Group learning is a powerful technique that effectively converts traditional learning into a digital format, persuading more learners to use E-learning.
You can consider various ways to implement group education online such as peer-to-peer discussion, text-based advice, or interaction with actual lectures.
Virtual reality technology (VR)
Users can experience a more immersive world with VR. The actual examples that would typically be provided in traditional classes like exhibitions are not available to students using online learning solutions. However, with the use of virtual reality (VR), students may view objects from a variety of angles and gain a deeper knowledge of how they work.
User-generated content (UGC) has been on the increase in the e-learning sector for a while and hasn’t lost its significance. this feature engages users and gives them the chance to share information from their perspective. Therefore, if you can create an extension that enables users to share their learning resources and expertise, your e-learning platform can become a social learning platform. Then it can attract more users to come and join the community on your platform.
80% of students think that e-learning with a gaming component makes them more productive, which will lead to increased student engagement in the learning process and boost retention. Consequently, while creating your gamification process, you can think about elements of competition and collaboration in your e-learning platform.
BEST-SUITED FRAMEWORKS FOR E-LEARNING DEVELOPMENT
Hereunder are the two most popular frameworks that successful education businesses use to develop their product:
The 5Cs Framework is one of the practice procedures that have been established particularly for e-learning. It was developed by skilled educators who have worked on tens of thousands of online learning initiatives.
The 5Cs include:
- Capture: Begin with a precise strategy, performance-focused objectives, and personalized user profiles.
- Conceptualize: Create design concepts based on the objectives and proceed with a prototype.
- Create: Construct the solution (testing as you go)
- Cultivate: Use learning analytics to enhance and refine the solution.
- Commercialize: Consider and plan how your project will produce a clear return on investment.
So why should you use the 5Cs Framework? Because it is easy to use. The main point of the process is the end users and measurable performance improvements, that consequently lead to a high return on investment (ROI). However, since it puts a priority on ROI and end-users, it may be difficult for inexperienced businesses to come up with design concepts that satisfy particular requirements.
Read more: How software consultant benefits your business.
Another methodology is ADDIE, which is Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation. You can use the model to get a streamlined, targeted approach that offers feedback for ongoing progress. For more detail, you can see the diagram below:
The process includes 5 steps:
- Analysis: Evaluate the current situation in terms of training and knowledge gaps before you begin developing your product. Start by asking a series of questions to comprehend the training’s overall purpose. Later in the process, this has a significant impact on making decisions.
- Design: When your training plan is finished, you go on to the design phase to apply what you gained from the previous phase to your decisions. This consists of a strategy, delivery techniques, structure, timeframe, evaluation, and feedback. Then develop a prototype.
- Development: You can start building the courses at this step. At this point, the prototype will serve as your primary guide. Developers should produce every element corresponding to the design phase.
- Implementation: It is time to share your courses with the learner once you have finished them and are confident that they have been thoroughly tested. The final e-learning product performance will depend tightly on 3 previous phases.
- Evaluation: The evaluation phase lies at the center of the process. It’s crucial to get feedback on every part of the courses so that you can notice and update the material.
The primary objective of ADDIE is to offer a systematic approach to developing training programs. However, it is also a strong model to enhance future decisions for your e-learning product.
In conclusion, there are also other development methodologies you can take into account when developing an e-learning product. For more information, you can visit our development process and case study for Ed-tech products to understand how we can deliver a successful e-learning product for our customers. ICTS Custom Software typically breaks the process down into understandable milestones to assist our clients in visualizing the final product and making decisions in each development phase.