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What does 2013 hold for the digital training sector?
Tue, 29 Jan 2013 15:56
By 2015 e-learning will have a global value of $107 billion. It’s predicted that in 2013 digital learning is going to be increasingly mobile, opening it up to a wider local audience.
In South Africa, 2.4 million people only access the internet via their cellphones, and e-learning developers are increasingly cognisant of this fact. Just as technology is shaping and changing the way we work, shop, and even meet our partners, it is going to increasingly change the way we learn, too.
“Gamification” is the current buzzword in the business world, and its roots lie in e-learning. It was first mentioned in relation to learning at the 2010 TED (Technology Education and Design) conference by British technology theorist Tom Chatfield in a presentation called “Seven Ways Gaming Rewards the Brain.” Put very simply, he discovered that people harnessing what keeps people coming back to video games would make e-learning more compelling and successful.
In 2011 US gamers spent $17bn on video games and it’s estimated that the average American gamer spends up to 10 hours a week gaming. These kinds of figures make a compelling argument for using the principles of gamification in e- learning design and it’s likely to be the biggest trend in e-learning in 2013.
The fact that failure isn’t possible is one of the most compelling things about video games. If you don’t succeed, you just keep trying until you do – because you know that, ultimately, you will win. This kind of attitude, when applied to studying, boosts confidence and helps people persevere because grasping difficult new knowledge becomes more of a challenge and less of a chore. Expect to see more experience bars in e-learning courseware, which make learners’ progress “concrete” and reinforces it.
Expect to see more e-learning developers to realise the importance of interactivity, too, with built-in games, animations, sound clips and other multimedia making the material more immersive.
The learning of the future is going to resemble a video game more than it will a textbook. Some argue that “generation Y”, having grown up in a “screenified” culture, will demand this kind of learning material as they will no longer relate to the type of teaching their parents experienced.
Kirsty Chadwick is the founder and director of e-learning design and development company The Training Room Online.
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