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2013 was a year full of contemplations when it comes to e-learning technologies, where as 2014, is expected to be a year full of decisions. Some of the forecasts for year 2014 include advances in mobile learning, social learning, gamification, HTML 5, e-learning development tools, e-learning design, tin can API, learning analytics and video based learning.




1. Mobile learning

Learning is becoming ubiquitous. Learning activities that can be accessed on variety of devices needed to be created. According to The Horizon Report (2011), "Mobiles enable ubiquitous access to information, social networks, tools for learning and productivity and much more". The same report also states the "Mobile are capable computing devices in their own right- and they are increasingly a user's first choice for Internet access". We can communicate, share and learn everywhere. Technology is becoming faster and lighter. Mobile learning liberates, enables independence and empowers access. It is of great help to all individuals, including those having an impairment. Students with autism can make use of mobile learning to express themselves. Mobile leaning can take two different forms, one being informal learning and the other being formal learning. One type of formal mobile learning is the project devised by Qualcomm for the employees. In 2013, Qualcomm Learning Center, came up with an employee' s app store that is made up of suggested apps by employees which are ready made as well as tailor made apps by the company itself. This is the idea behind sharing resources as a community. This was the first type of mobile learning created for enterprises. It's advantage is to lessen employee's tendency of making use of mobile phone for other reasons by providing them with alternatives that keep them on the job. In 2014, it is predicted that:



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2. Social learning

2014 is going to be the year for informal learning. The 70:20:10 Model in Learning and Development states that 70% of organisational learning come from workplace, followed by 20% that comes from social learning and only 10% coming from traditional training. In 2014, this framework is said to be more widely adopted, thus creating a disruption in the thinking of organisational learning. Social media will be the core of training and Learner Management Systems will be made widely available to cater for JIT learning. A wider collaboration will be present between entities.

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3. Gamification

Also called Game-based learning will be more widely accepted. Gamification will be used in the learning of different subjects even extremely complex ones. GBL is also being used by Universities Worldwide and has proven to be extremely effective.


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LMSs are also said to increase the use of gamification as part of their strategy to attract more users. Gamification is also said to increase in social networking system. There will advances in tools developed for helping organisations integrate gamification in their business. This also caters for motivating employees to involve themselves in the company. New strategies will be adopted for gamification and GBL devices. Moreover, other initiatives similar to that of Qualcomm are planned to appear worldwide. There will also e boost I the technology of gamified learning, through the coupling of GBL with Big Data Analytics and Internet of Things (IoT).

For more info about Gamification: http://learnnovators.com/gamification-action/

4. HTML 5

HTML 5 will be accepted as a standard Enterprise Development Platform for building web-based applications. There will be more content authoring tools adopting HTML5. HTML5 will also be adapted as a language, to meet standardization issues like the use of different browsers and devices.

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5. Rapid e-learning development tools

More tools will adopt Tin Can API, invest more in HTML5 and mobile learning as well as move towards more complex graphics and rich media. Several evolutions will also be present like multi-screen learning. Cloud-based authoring options will be offered by more tools. There will be more developments as regards just-in-time learning and performance support systems, which includes computer software that improves user performance.

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6. Responsive e-learning design

Responsive e-learning design didn't see much improvements during the year 2013. There is hope that 2014 will bring about advancements in this field by the creation of more authoring tools that adopt responsive output and tools that allow for the creation of adaptive content. The latter will be useful for just-in-time learning and performance support.

For more info about Responsive Design and e-learning: http://epiclearninggroup.com/us/files/2012/11/Responsive_design.pdf

7. Tin can API

Tin Can API will witness a greater acceptance and its power will be efficiently utilised. Furthermore, development of other tools that support Tin Can API will take place. This will enable us to track informal learning experiences which before could not be done. Moreover, entities including Tin Can in their technologies, can also benefit from more specialised Talent Analytics. Mobile apps will also display an increase use of the technology to deliver personalised learning experiences. Interoperability among systems will also be enforced in the following year.

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8. Learning analytics

The 2013, Horizon Report defines learning analytics as being the field "associated with deciphering trends and patterns from educational big data, or huge sets of student-related data, to further the advancement of a personalized, supportive system of higher education". Learning analytics is planned to be supported by many tools and platforms to cater for adaptive and personalised learning. This doesn't only include tools that have to do with learning but also other organisational areas like human resources and sales in which learning analytics will also be integrated. Learning Analytic will continue to evolve in 2014 by delving deeper in the concept of Big Data.


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Further info: http://www.educause.edu/library/learning-analytics

9. Video based learning

In the year 2014, there shall be interactive video based learning rather than simply video based learning . In order to cater for this technology there will be a wider acceptance of byte-sized video content and advances in the development of tools that produce interactive video-based learning content. There will be development of tools that can take video snippets to cater for performance support and just-in-time learning. Moreover, video-based learning content will also support Learning Analytics.

L.IVE is an online interactive video-based learning environment that includes 3 major component, these being video, comment threads and assessments.


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E-learning is said to be taking different forms. These forms are envisioned to become broader in the upcoming future. It is no longer an issue where you need to have your personal computer, or laptop in order to gain access to e-learning. E-learning is being made accessible through a basic smart phone that nowadays everyone carries everywhere. Smart phones have various accessibilities that ease access to e-learning, including the use of QR codes. This technique is being researched by David Hopkins who also wrote a book called QR Codes in Education where he provides ways in which QR code scanning can be used to access e-learning. Moreover, QR codes should not only be limited to the formal education setting but as we are already witnessing nowadays, people are also benefiting from them in informal settings.


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References

The Horizon Report 2011. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/hr2011.pdf


NMC Horizon Report 2013 Higher Education Edition. Retrieved January 29, 2014, from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/HR2013.pdf