5 eLearning Trends Leading to the End of the Learning Management System
Today learning is becoming more “pull’ and less “push”, as learners take charge of their own learning. Since there is so much available information for anyone to find what they need, when they need it -- through search engines, Wikipedia, Mooc’s or YouTube. Learners do not have to wait for scheduled learning opportunities by the learning department. Learners need information to solve an immediate need or problem, or decide for themselves where, when and how to complete courses to gain new skills or knowledge. As a result, companies are turning to collaboration tools, such as Yammer or Epath that facilitate performance based learning, informal learning, social collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Moreover, Tin Can (Xperience api) makes it possible to track and trace any learning experience on an individual level. For the company this data could be the source for getting to know the individual learner (as Google does), as well as for presenting the right material and facilities at the right time. For the learner it provides support in taking control of his personal development.
Adaptive learning has become a broad concept that can be accomplished in a number of ways and it is the future of formal learning. There are different ways of creating adaptive content. It can be accomplished by tagging learning components and making them smart, by offering personalized learning paths based on the outcome of previous activities, or by creating smarter personalized courses based on learning objectives. All methods are good and they can even be combined. But the trend is definitely towards more flexible and personalized learning material instead of a one-size-fits-all course.
As learning becomes more self-directed and learner controlled, the job of learning professionals will shift from creating courses and scheduling events, to collecting information and learner generated content. These content assets will need to be identified and indexed for easy and effective searches by the learner. There are all kinds of aggregation software available that do this automatically, but I believe the human factor is irreplaceable in the curation process. This is an example of how learning professionals need to become more facilitative.
With a Smart phone (and a tablet) in hand, employees bring their own devices to work. Self-directed learning becomes easier, as each of us is always connected and able to find answers to anything. The impact will be huge. Not only will the learner choose his own device, but he will also select the software and sources he wants to use for learning. He is no longer a learner in the corporate controlled environment.
Learners can find courses and content almost everywhere. Increasingly this content will be offered by MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course). This means that basic courses focused on skills and knowledge will not add value to the learner, it is already available. So, training departments will need to create more specialized content.