Keeping up with technological advancements, the online education sphere is becoming smart and has now started providing end-to-end solutions in content design, platform development, and content delivery. New pedagogical approaches are emerging to make learning interactive and engaging. By adopting cutting-edge technology, EdTech start-ups have intensified research and development to introduce innovative ideas into online learning. These ideas are driving online education to new heights.
User-base of online education multiplied during the EdTech boom in the pandemic years. From students in early education to experienced working professionals, everyone entered the online learning space to continue their education. While students want uninterrupted classes, working professionals need to upskill in their domains to progress in their careers. Increased adoption amid the pandemic crises steered a slew of investments from different funding agencies that accelerated the growth of the EdTech sector across the globe. Online education and the EdTech market achieved a quick jump in the last two years, due to the pandemic. According to Grand View Research, the global EdTech market was valued at USD 106.46 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to USD 429 by 2030.
Upcoming trends for flexibility and interactivity
Along with adoption and investment, innovations in the form of advanced features and newer approaches are shaping the future of the sector. Here are the upcoming trends in this light-
It has already started re-inventing the online learning ecosystem. Going forward, we will witness gamification making inroads across segments such as K-12, higher education, skill development, assessment and testing etc. Other platforms, for example, stock or crypto exchanges are also adopting this method to teach investors about the market and trading lessons.
(The author is the Chief Executive Officer of UNext Learning )
Virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) are going to be pivotal in online education in the coming years. The flourishing extended reality (XR), combining both VR and AR, will give a near-real learning experience to students. Simulation-based experiential learning is considered the most effective learning and teaching method to imbibe the concepts successfully.
As they are from the age of TikTok videos and Instagram reels, the new generation of students generally don’t prefer long-form content. They’re used to comprehending ideas in the short content – be it videos, texts, or lectures. As a result, young generations have a rather short attention span. At the same time, people across the ages largely rely on smart devices such as smartphones or tablets for various online activities, including learning and development. Therefore, it is necessary for online educators to produce smart device-friendly bite-sized content to engage the learners and ensure learning on the go.
Outcome-oriented learning approach
Majority of the learners on the online platforms aim to develop their skills and strengthen their knowledge base to improve their employment prospects and become future-ready. A content- or platform-oriented approach or a generalist course would not be able to meet this objective. Hence, outcome-oriented learning approaches and more learning programmes in the in-demand domains will emerge in the coming years.
Given the differences in cognitive abilities and level of comprehension of each individual, adaptive learning is critical to reach out to a large population. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural network, and deep learning are the driving forces behind this approach. There are two types of adaptive learning – content and platform. While course content changes according to the individual capacity in the first type, the entire platform adapts based on learners’ pace and comprehension in the latter. It will be a gamechanger for accessibility and inclusion in the education system.
The real possibilities of blockchain are yet to be explored. Higher education institutions (HEIs) are now adopting this technology for university administration, record keeping and certification. Going forward, we may see more applications of blockchain in education. For example, with the smart contract, instructors can offer courses on decentralised ledgers, and learners can access this by paying the course fee using cryptocurrency or other payment solutions. The course completion certificate will be issued online, which enables institutions to access it through the smart contract.
Increased adoption, investment, and innovations are transforming the online education space to become more productive. As time progresses and technology improves, we’ll witness many new trends in the online education space that may impact even the traditional education sector.