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While examining what are the key e-learning trends to be seen in2015, we discovered the following which will be of interest to our readers.

 SAAS ( School as a Service)

This is a trend that has impacted the academic sector to a great extent with more enterprises vying for a foothold in this sector. As we are aware companies are now their own publishers and producers – similarly they will begin their own schools and colleges whereby they will own and market their online degrees and certificate program. While this will be a huge profit centre there are issues such as the skill-gap that would need to be dealt with. The result would be that these SaaS initiatives would try to attract, train and retain employees with skill sets of a high order in the areas of programming, mobile application development, financial services, oil and gas, cyber security, and biotech. With a shortage of skilled workers the manufacturing sector will approach this issue by employing a hand-on approach, using mobile smart-watch learning.

 Gamification is the next big word in e-learning

This is the approach where game mechanics and game design is employed to engage and inspire students to achieve their goals.

Gamification is now seen as a problem solving tool rather than just a tool to enable and enhance learning.

Gamification has expanded its horizon beyond e learning and training. Gamification in the future will ring forth applications that will help in new product development and complex problem solving. With gamification evolving companies will have their entire organization including engineers and scientists, involved in problem solving. This has been seen to happen in cases where gamers have solved complex problems, like the mystery of the HIV enzyme which had perplexed scientists for decades. Gamification takes the elements of games and finds application in the learning environment. Gamification gets into the basic craving and yearning / desires of the user and thereby their status and achievement.

How does gamification help and what is its importance in learning?

Research has proven that learners recall just about 10% of what they read, and 20% of what they hear. Where the material has visuals, we have seen that the learning is enhanced further. The percentage increases to 30 and with someone carrying out an action or demonstrating with action, the percentage further increases to 50. More than all these, if the learners execute the job by themselves then they remember 90% even when the job is done in simulation mode. Around 80% of people responding to surveys feel that they would be much more productive if their own work were game like, while 90% of users experience that competitions online are fun.

 “Wear what you learn”

Wearable e-learning will be the next big thing. What do we mean by this? When looking at eLearning trends the “watch” is the thing you need to watch. If this needs to be incorporated in the eLearning environment radical design changes would be required for the mini screen (the watch). Although the micro screen may not be suited for all types of learning, it will find application in student performance enhancement and alerting students of their poor performance or when they tend to perform a task incorrectly.

We will continue to provide a broad understanding of the many trends in eLearning. Watch out for more in this space.

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