E-Learning platforms have come a long way. For a long time, they supported teachers’ work in the classroom. The most common uses were uploading learning materials, organizing classes, evaluating students and awarding certificates. The pandemic changed everything since e-learning platforms became the main way of teaching and learning.
Even though many schools and universities have already used them before, the health crisis accelerated the adoption of edtech.
Indeed, edtech was a lifesaver back then, but it continues to play an increasingly important role. As teachers and students are more comfortable with using technology, we need to look ahead and see what else edtech can do for them.
For example, students who use technology for learning are more likely to be digitally literate and ready for their future technology-dependent jobs. There are also many benefits for educators who can break more barriers with the help of edtech, especially when it comes to making sure that no student gets left behind in their studies.
That’s why e-learning platforms will continue to evolve, and here are three characteristics that they will all have in common in the near future:
Automation is a major point of discussion in the edtech sector, and it’s no surprise if we think about the benefits it brings to the table. This concept is based on if-then statements that teachers can choose themselves. For example, if a student completes a class, then the system automatically notifies the teacher.
Automation works in different areas of a learning platform. By setting up automation rules, teachers save time grading assignments, enrolling students in classes and groups, or sending messages to students and parents.
More so, automation powers other important features like gamification, in which students are awarded points and badges once they complete an action, such as submitting their homework.
These days automation rules are becoming more and more complex. They will soon rely on artificial intelligence (AI), in which your learning platform will use user data and make better learning recommendations, among many other actions. In other words, e-learning platforms will become increasingly intelligent.
2. Personalized recommendations
The future of learning platforms is intelligent. The intelligent learning platform (ILP) will assist teachers and students with sophisticated learning recommendations. If this sounds a lot like what Netflix does, that’s because the system is very similar.
For example, the teacher can set learning goals for their students, such as “Learn Algebra basics.” The same goal is associated with many other Algebra competencies like “understand negative numbers” and “work with square roots.”
Then, the intelligent learning platform will show students recommendations based on the goals and skills that they have. Even more, the platform will be able to see where students lag behind and what they need to do to advance in those areas. If a student needs more help with learning algebra, the system will tell them to check out a video in which a teacher demonstrates how to solve a problem, step-by-step.
Recommendations are great for higher education students as it prepares them for their future careers. For instance, a business student can set their goal to “become an entrepreneur” and use the platform to see recommendations based on their interests. However, even younger students can benefit from this feature as they already use the internet to do research for their assignments.
3. Comprehensive analytics
Learning data will continue to influence student outcomes in the years to come. For example, teachers use class completion data to see how students progress through lessons. They can quickly intervene and help students who are struggling to understand certain concepts.
Before edtech, teachers relied on pen and paper or Excel to collect student data. However, learning platforms are much better and more efficient. Teachers can easily tap into comprehensive analytics to see how well students do in their classes and use the remaining time to focus on their students.
The future takes things further in terms of analytics. Innovative e-learning platforms will show recommendations based on AI. Therefore, teachers can get more sophisticated insights into student progress based on predictive data. For instance, the platform will predict whether a student will succeed or fail a class, giving teachers ample time to take measures whenever students need help.
A look into the future
E-Learning platforms are developing at a rapid pace. The intelligent learning platform will feature automation, personalized recommendations and rich analytics, which any school and university will be able to tap into to help their students succeed.
Graham Glass is the CEO of CYPHER LEARNING, a company specializing in providing e-learning platforms for organizations around the world. For more insightful articles on EdTech, visit the NEO Blog.
I am in Arusha, Tanzania and looking at this futurist approach, how to implement it to the much needed market, Africa suffering from shortage of qualified teacher, enough learning materials etc….Anyone coming with the system needs to make money and Africa doesn’t hv it…… what is the possibility of identify 2-3 institutions in a rural and urban area as prototype..
That is a great question, Gilly! Since the e-learning market is very complex, there are at least two ways to look at this problem. Firstly, we can develop new platforms, yet they will have to find their way into a very competitive market. The second option is for learning platforms to evolve continuously, which is up to each solution provider. In CYPHER LEARNING’s vision, current learning management systems must incorporate more learning experience features to cover what universities need. That’s what we’re currently working on integrating features such as personalized recommendations to be released this year.
Are these going to be developed in to a ‘Futures LMS/VLE? to overcome the dominance of the old-style platforms well embedded in uniersities across the world. If so when. And who’s going to undertake this challenge. (Its about time)