Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Five Interactive Learning Trends That Could Be the Game Changer This Year

The learning technology adoption rate has been growing steadily over the last few years. Better, newer technologies and devices have come to the limelight, and people have welcomed them with an open mind. eLearning is also making a paradigm shift to keep up with this changing landscape. Today, various mediums bring eLearning to the learners exactly as they want it. Interactivity has taken different forms, growing bigger than ever. All this is facilitated by new technologies and trends making their way into mainstream. Let’s look at some of these trends.

1. Interactive Videos
Videos are the de-facto standard of communication today. If a picture speaks a thousand words, a video definitely speaks a million. Interactive videos take this experience a level higher as they transform the traditional video experience from a monologue into a dialogue. With their power to turn passive content into an active experience for viewers, interactive videos tend to fetch a larger number of views compared to traditional videos.

Interactive videos should ideally be capable of providing skip navigation, informative overlays and quizzes, feature engaging user interactions, and also help a viewer learn what’s important. These videos can be completely personalized according to the viewer’s requirements. 

2. Micro-Learning
 
Micro-learning is already mainstream. People have been talking about it for long and have started using it considerably to enhance their eLearning courses. But, it is still broadly understood as short videos or clips. In reality, micro-learning can very well be a short learning nugget in any form - an interactive video, a short game, quiz, an interactive infographic, or even a small eBook. With increased smart-phone usage, the demand for micro-learning will only increase in 2018.

3. Experiential Learning on Mobile
 
The number of global smart-phone users is growing year on year. With this increase, mobile learning is on the rise too. It is convenient, and also increases user reach by offering flexibility and accessibility. Learners can make use of their time during commute, mundane activities, or whenever they don’t have access to a larger screen. Learning providers now take it as given that their modules need to be accessible across multiple devices. With mobile devices coming up with an inbuilt AR support, learning on mobile will go up a notch higher. It will not just be about presenting any content, but letting users experience the content.
There is a lot of development on the 3D front too. 3D images and videos are on the rise, and could significantly contribute to enhanced mobile learning experiences. 
 
4. AI Empowered Learner Interactions 
 
The learning systems and platforms that have been used till date for any kind of assessments and recaps have fixed logic that has been keyed in. For instance, say there is a question that a course creator has framed, based on one of the modules on botanical study. It shows the picture of a rose flower and asks ‘Which flower is this?’ Now, the course creator has programmed a correct answer option for it in the module. It says ‘This is a rose.’ Today, if a learner undertakes such an assessment question and responds with anything other than the programmed answer, it is considered wrong. However, with AI becoming main-stream, if a system is built that could evaluate learners through intelligent logic rather than what is framed, that could make learner interactions and the learning process fantastic. In such cases, if a user responds ‘This is Rosa’, that would be correct too, since Rosa is the scientific name of rose. This information need not be present in the course module at all, but the system would be intelligent enough to know that this is also a correct answer. The use of artificial intelligence in the learner’s interactions will thus be a very interesting development to watch out for.
 
5. Voice Technology Usage in Courses
 
Put simply, voice recognition in any software or hardware is the ability to understand and interpret the human voice – and then it allows the user to either operate a device, or perform an action without any keyboard input. While voice technology has been around for long, its presence in eLearning was never witnessed. However, advances in AI mean that the possibilities of voice-driven learning could finally become a reality. All that learners would then need to do is, to open their course and talk to it.

We are excited about these possibilities, but how they shape up is something only time will tell. But for now, let’s wait for a learning technology-driven 2018.