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Sunday, March 17, 2013

E-learning trends: what to expect in 2013 by Kirsty Chadwick

Photo: Kirsty Chadwick
Kirsty Chadwick writes, "E-learning is expected to be worth US$107 billion globally by 2015. Experts predict that digital learning is going to be increasingly mobile in 2013, which will open it up to a wide audience in South Africa where 2.4 million people have access to the internet via their cell phones alone".

Just like interacting with technology every day has changed (and is changing) the way we work, the way we shop, the way we socialise, and other aspects of our lives, increasingly using technology in education is going to change the way we learn, too.  
"Gamification" is the current buzzword in the digital sphere, and it's likely to be the biggest trend to affect digital learning in 2013. In 2011 gamers in the US spent $17bn on video games and the average gamer in the US spends 10 hours a week gaming. E-learning designers and developers are starting to harness what it is that keeps gamers coming back for more to design more effective training material.

One of the things that's most compelling about playing video games is that you can't fail. If you don't succeed, you simply haven't won yet and you will, in most cases, keep trying until you do. This positive approach to learning boosts confidence and makes grasping new information a challenge rather than a chore. Adding a progress bar that gives physical form to a student's achievements, as in a video game, reinforces their sense of achievement as they progress.

In my next piece I look at how social learning and learning on the go will influence learning in 2013.