In 2020, the growth of online education was accelerated by the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many educational institutions switched from conventional classrooms to virtual classrooms to make students acquire knowledge and skill remotely and safely. The online education market will continue to grow in 2021.
According to Statista.com,
“The value of online education market in India is projected to reach about two billion U.S. dollars, an increase from 250 million dollars in 2016 at a growth rate of about 52 percent.”
But the growth of the online education market will be driven by both current and emerging education technologies (edu-tech). In addition to driving the growth of digital education in 2021, the edu-tech will create many new online education trends in 2021. The schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions can boost the online learning experience of students by adopting the emerging online education trends early and proactively. We can identify some of the trends that will transform online education in the near future by gathering information from various sources.
11 Trends That Will Transform and Boost Digital Education in 2021
Nano learning is one of the emerging education trends in 2021. The online education trend will help educators to address two common challenges in digital learning – decline in attention span and increase in screen fatigue. The students cannot use their mobile devices to access information and acquire knowledge for several hours. Also, they find it difficult to retain knowledge due to the distractions caused by frequent alerts and notifications. While designing online educational content, educators must adopt nano learning to deliver the content in the form of a small amount of information. They need to make a student acquire knowledge over a period of time by accessing and retaining a small amount of information per each online learning session.
Gamification will remain one of the popular digital education trends in 2021. In 2020, many educational institutions used gamification techniques to keep students engaged and motivated. The educational institutions will look for innovative gamification ideas in 2021 to convert online learning into an engaging and fun process. The exciting gaming activities will make it easier for students to acquire and retain knowledge. At the same time, educators can set up a positive learning environment by adding gaming elements to digital or virtual classrooms. Both schools and colleges will implement innovative gamification ideas to boost the engagement level of students.
In 2021, students will spend most of their digital media time on social networking platforms. The massive popularity of social networks will encourage educational institutions to blend e-learning and social learning. In addition to using online educational platforms, academic institutions will use social media as a powerful communication tool. They will encourage students to use popular social networking platforms as a new-age communication tool to share study materials, discuss ideas, and interact with other students. Social learning will enable students to acquire knowledge by accessing a variety of information in addition to accessing the educational content shared by their school or college. Here is an interesting topic on LMS for social learning.
Cross-Platform Learning Platforms
There was a time when learning management systems (LMS) were not compatible with multiple browsers and operating systems. But the cloud-based LMS and digital learning platforms are accessible on both computers and mobile devices over the internet. Several studies suggest that most students these days access LMS on their mobile devices. Hence, the educational institutions will invest in new-generation LMS that students can access on their smartphones and tablets seamlessly. The mobile-first LMS will enable students to acquire knowledge and take exams remotely.
Video-Assisted Peer Learning
The fifth-generation (5G) cellular networks will enable students to stream and download large-sized HD videos in seconds. In addition to accelerating HD video downloading, 5G will make students and teachers interact with each other through video calls and video conferencing. The students can connect and interact with teachers through video calls simply using their mobile devices. Also, educators can explain complex concepts clearly by sharing animated videos and video lectures. The new-age online learning platforms and LMS support video content and facilitated video-assisted peer learning.
In 2021, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies will transform digital education by facilitating the delivery of immersive and experiential learning. While creating digital content and learning materials, educators can use VR to make students learn and interact in an environment that is artificial but three-dimensional. Likewise, AR will enable students to access digital and enhanced versions of various real-world objects. The AR and VR technologies will make the learning experience immersive and the learning environment interactive. Educators can leverage the technologies to make students learn by experiencing real-world objects instead of seeing images and pictures.
Learning Experience Personalization
Like other enterprises, educational institutions also collect and process a large amount of real-time data regularly. As one of the hottest online education trends, big data will enable educational institutions to personalize the learning experience of each student. The actionable insights collected through big data solutions will help educators to understand the effectiveness of different forms of content and learning materials – text, images, videos, infographics, and podcasts. Also, the information will help the educators to decide how to keep a student engaged by delivering the appropriate digital learning materials in the most appropriate way.
Learning analytics have been evolving consistently by leveraging big data and artificial intelligence (AI). The online learning platforms and LMS solutions these days also use learning analytics to make educators measure student learning and improve knowledge acquisition. Educators can get actionable insights simply by generating reports based on real-time data. They can further use the features provided by the LMS to generate reports and analyze the data in minutes. The learning analytics will help educators to make students acquire knowledge by sharing the content and information in the right format and way.
Real-Time Communication and Discussion
In 2021, telecom companies will make 5G cellular networks accessible to teachers and students in many countries. 5G technology will transform digital communication and learning by delivering ultrafast speed and ultralow latency. The students can leverage 5G technology to access video learning content at ultrafast speed. Also, the 5G networks will help students and teachers in hassle-free communication with each other in real-time.
Many educational institutions will leverage 5G technology to set up immersive 3D learning environments. The 3D environments will enable students to acquire knowledge by accessing various objects in three-dimensional format. Also, many educational institutions implement project-based learning to make students understand concepts by creating real-life projects. The teachers will act as hands-on facilitators to make students assess information and solve problems by creating real-life projects.
Supporting Operations Automation
The new-age online education platforms and LMS systems leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to automate a variety of supporting and administrative operations – admission, course enrolments, and technical support. Educational institutions can use AI-driven chatbots. These chatbots can help students to collect and compare relevant information about online courses and training programs. Also, the chatbots will assist students in filling in complex forms. Many educational institutions will automate supporting operations to boost the learning experience and curtail overheads.
The edu-tech domain has been evolving consistently. The schools, colleges, and universities will adopt the latest eLearning solutions to boost the learning experience and simplify online learning management. Also, the emerging edu-tech solutions and tools will create many new online education trends in 2021. Hence, the trends in online education or digital education will change from time to time in the near future.