Trends in TEL

Learning Technology is a fast moving world and the next big thing is always just around the corner.

It can be difficult to filter out what is important for your organisation, amongst all of the chatter, so we've done it for you.

Here's our take on the key developments in technology enhanced learning, and their impact on associations and professional education

Artificial Intelligence has been on the innovations list for a lot of industries for many years. The rate of development is speeding up, and the impacts that we've seen in the past few years from intelligent technology in our everyday lives, such as Siri, Cortana, Amazon Echo, is set to increase exponentially in the next decade.
Virtual Reality
Virtual and augmented reality are becoming cheaper and more able to be integrated into educational experiences.

They enable 2 of the key elements of effective learning - they require the learner to be active, and they create an authentic environment.

A legal student can argue a case in court, a medical student can perform triage in a busy A&E department, and a pilot can land a Boeing 747 at Heathrow airport.
Social Learning
The need for collaboration in an effective learning experience has been known for a long time, but it is far more challenging to set up an effective piece of collaborative learning than to set a piece of reading. It also requires learners to work as a team on their learning assignments, which has traditionally been a problem in online learning.

However, as better social tools are integrated into the new generations of LMSs, we can rediscover the benefits of collaborative learning.
Learner analytics
For a long time 'Big Data' has been the solution to all our problems, but also the thorn in our side. We have the data, too much of it. How do we make sense of it?

New tools and new approaches are making the analysis of learner activities easier. At the same time, course tools make it easier to act on the results of the analysis to improve learner retention and attainment.

This is an evolving field, and holds a lot of promise when used in connection with personalised learning.
A tailored learning experience that takes into account the needs of the individual is the gold standard of education. In the past it has been prohibitively expensive, but technology is making personalisation more and more affordable.
Serious games
Educators are drawn to games in education to tap into the key element that games generate that education does not - motivation. Where educators are constantly trying to entice their learners to their lessons, game designers have players who enthusiastically spend their every spare moment in the game.

Numerous studies examine the impact of games on the individual and its becoming very clear how effective they can be in developing behaviours and culture.
Micro Learning
Micro learning is a snippet of training that tells you something that you need to know right now. It's also called just-in-time learning.

The key is to make people aware that they have access to it, and to make it supremely easy to find and use.
There is a mass of information on the internet - the question is, which to trust. Rather than recreate that learning, or have your learners trawl through the web and possibly find misleading information, smart educators are signposting their learners towards good content.
Massive Open Online Courses - these are courses with hundred and maybe even thousands of learners on each course. They're free, have no entry requirements and are often created by leading universities.

The future of MOOCs is uncertain - they have great potential, but also rather rocky financial sustainability. The massive users bases and support of government as a solution of the increasing cost of higher education, means that these are definitely something to consider in your learning strategy
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