Today article is written by Cindy Parker. Cindy is a professional writer and Content Specialist. She loves to write about small businesses, education, and languages. Currently, she works for Learn to trade – a currency trading & learning company.

E-learning has been with us for a while now, but its popularity is increasing every year. Learning new skills has become essential for professionals who need to keep their skill sets up to date and companies which want to thrive in the current economy.

Top 7 e-learning trends to watch out for in 2017

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Since more and more people and companies use e-learning methodologies every year, the field has become incredibly dynamic and undergoes profound changes together with the tech industry.

What’s in store for e-learning in 2017? Here are top 7 e-learning trends you should look out for in 2017.

1. Mobile Learning

According to this study, 67% of people use mobile devices for learning.

Mobile learning isn’t a novelty, but this year it’s bound to become an even stronger presence on the e-learning scene as the number of smartphone and tablet users grows. Currently, the market penetration of smartphones is measured at 68% and tablets at 45% among the adult population in the US.

Learning through mobile devices is the learning of the future. Accessible anytime and at any location, mobile learning is bound to expand this year. The various apps available on mobile platforms will encourage learners to use this resource as a source of education.

2. Contextualized Learning

Microlearning is expected to gain a wider acceptance this year. And the importance of digital learning design which perfectly matches the needs of modern learners will increase as well. Together, these two trends will contribute to the development of contextualized learning.

This kind of learning moves beyond resource-based approaches and toward multi-pronged approaches that are located in different consumption patterns delivered to various needs of learners, always referring to their immediate context.

3. Video

Internet users love video content. By 2019, the video is expected to make up for 80% of internet traffic around the world.

The popularity of video opens the door for e-learning designers to integrate video learning and special video platforms in their courses.

It’s easier than ever to do that with tools such as Elucidat which allows to quickly drop in clips from YouTube, Vimeo, Wirewax, and more services. It’s smart to build scenarios around your video or create an interactive video for greater learner engagement.

4. Augmented and Virtual Reality

Another strong trend is based on cutting-edge technologies that are just beginning to shape our cultural landscape. Virtual reality and augmented reality technologies are bound to have an impact on e-learning in 2017.

Some believe that these technologies will take e-learning to the next level by providing learners with a more interactive environment to learn from. The devices which enable these experiences will be more available this year, putting learners in real-life settings in simulated environments to create even more immersive learning experiences.

Augmented learning is expected to become a popular strategy for companies which want to tap into that trend. By superimposing or stimulating computer-generated artificial objects in the real environment, augmented learning will enable learners to interact with their learning material in a more meaningful way.

5. Big Data

Millions of learners have been using e-learning technologies and platforms in their learning. You can only imagine the volume of collected data from this impressive number of users.

Big data analytics for e-learning will become big in 2017.

By following the trends and patterns established in experiences of other learners, these tools will be able to generate learning plans that will be accurate and based on the knowledge level of the student checked through testing.

This type of automated learning plan generation tools will help e-learning designers to create an individual learning process faster and without the need to consult the needs of specific users separately.

6. Personalized Learning

Thanks to the developments in Big Data mentioned in the previous point, in 2017 the e-learning community will finally embrace the fact that one-size-fits-all learning style is simply impossible.

Instructional designers with the help of xAPI and LRS (learning record stores) will strive to deliver training that matches the learning style of each learner.

By gathering more data and analyzing it with specialized tools, e-learning course designers will be able to create truly personalized learning paths for each learner.

7. Social Media Learning

Social media has penetrated every facet of our lives, so no wonder that it’s expected to impact the area of e-learning as well.

But let’s start with learning. This survey among college professors showed that 91% of them engage in social media as part of work and 80% of faculty use social networks for some aspect of the course they’re teaching.

Social media are often used in the classroom as educational tools, and e-learning is bound to benefit from this trend this year.

Social media learning in professional contexts means that it will become part of the workplace learning process. Users will collaborate with their teammates and offer them crucial feedback in real-time.

When it comes to learning, the most impressive social network is LinkedIn. Considered the leader of learning in the niche, LinkedIn recently acquired the professional learning platform and developed their own product with learners in mind – LinkedIn Learning.

In 2017, social media will be integrated into e-learning experiences and help users to collaborate and learn from each other in real time.

Key Takeaway

E-learning is changing together with the tech industry, and the trends projected for 2017 only show that it’s going to become one of the most relevant sources of knowledge for learners who are looking for quality learning available from everywhere and at all times.