The future of e-learning, training, and remote work: A user guide to building the modern classroom and office

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Advancements in technology – especially the recent proliferation and use of AI-drive tools – are driving an unprecedented need and demand for continuous learning. From technology for personal use, to career training and academic use, leaders are taking a step back and considering what these recent advancements will mean for the future of career training platforms. In this blog, we’ll look into our glass ball and predict the direction that career training platforms will take in the very near future.

Personalized learning experiences

For better or worse, gone are the days when one method of delivering educational content to a large group of learners was the norm. The modern learner expects a highly personalized content experience. Adaptive learning means that course content is tailored to individual learners. Think of it this way: When you watch a show on a streaming platform such as Netflix, you are shown a list of shows to view, suggested based on your viewing history. Imagine now that you log onto your career training platform, and it sees that you’ve taken several training courses in cybersecurity, so it can suggest the next courses based on that career path.

The US Department of Education defines personalized learning as “instruction in which the pace of learning and the instructional approach are optimized for the needs of each learner. Learning objectives, instructional approaches, and instructional content (and its sequencing) all may vary based on learner needs. In addition, learning activities are meaningful and relevant to learners, driven by their interests, and often self-initiated.”

In short, personalized learning involves developing customized lesson plans that reflect the interests and needs of each student, and it uses technology to help guide individual learning.

Microlearning and gamification

Recently, the concept of microlearning has seen a rise in popularity. Microlearning delivers short bursts of content for learners to study at their convenience. Content can take many forms, from text to full-blown interactive multimedia, but should always be short. Examples of microlearning content include: Phrases or short paragraphs, photos or illustrations, short videos, short audio snippets, tests and quizzes and games. Platforms that cater to this desire for “bite-sized” courses include LinkedIn Learning. This style of bite-sized training has recently gained popularity, due in large part to smartphones. Some of the more popular platforms offering microlearning look very similar to popular social media apps. In this modern era of short attention spans, microlearning is an ideal training model for things like employee onboarding, compliance, and skills training. Some key benefits offered by microlearning are flexibility, boosted information retention, and ability to engage learners. There are also limitations to consider. For example, microlearning would not be ideal for complicated concepts or in-depth training.
Like microlearning, gamification has also seen a huge increase in popularity – again likely due in part to the era of the smartphone. But it is important to note that gamification has existed for a very long time: In fact, the scientist who first published the Periodic Table of the Elements Dmitri Mendeleev  is credited as one of the first scientists to use gamification to complete an educational task. The basic definition of gamification is the use of game elements to make non-games more enjoyable. A few key benefits of gamification include that it is proven to aid in cognitive development, increases levels of engagement in classrooms, aids in accessibility and is not limited to a classroom.

Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR)

Today’s educators in many sectors are already using VR and AR to create an immersive learning experience. With the help of VR headsets, learners can easily interact with and immerse themselves in the virtual learning environment. Some examples of ways that VR and AR are currently used include universities connecting virtual students together seemingly in-person via virtual reality, surgeons practicing techniques in virtual environments, risk-free, and even virtual field trips. The use of VR can improve retention rates in online learning, and it can empower teachers to deliver intricate concepts in more digestible and visual ways. Finally, experiential learning is proven to be more effective in helping learners to grasp concepts, improve creativity, increase reflection and engagement.

AI-powered learning assistance

Most people today recall the early paperclip character developed by Microsoft to offer tips and tutorials, affectionately called Clippy. Today’s AI-powered learning assistants are the modern, supercharged version of that early example. The benefits of the more recent implementations of AI in e-learning include personalized learning experiences, enhanced accessibility, improved grading and assessment, detection and prevention of cheating, and faster learning. Other ways AI is having a positive and growing impact are increased flexibility and adaptability, improvements in learning analytics and data-driven insights, and further personalization of learning experiences. Here are some of the key ways that AI is boosting the e-learning experience:

  • AI can learn the behavior of a user and suggest additional learning and courses (think of how this is already used in Netflix and YouTube, for example). Personalizing and adapting learning experiences and providing interactive engagement via chatbots or virtual assistants is empowering learners to succeed in the ways that work best for them.
  • AI has revolutionized personalized learning via its ability to quickly analyze data from learners' interactions with the platform. AI-powered virtual assistants can act like a personal tutor, providing immediate feedback and support, improving engagement and retention rates. Additionally, AI can identify knowledge gaps and adjust learning paths to address those gaps.
  • AI can enhance accessibility with features like real-time captioning and audio descriptions. Chatbots provide immediate assistance and support. AI algorithms that analyze learner data and recommend personalized learning paths save time and resources by automating administrative tasks like grading and course management.

Remote learning and the future of work and online training

According to a recent study by Forbes, 32.6 million Americans will work remotely by 2025. The study also found that today, a whopping 98 percent of workers want to work remotely at least some of the time – suggesting a huge demand for a shift to hybrid schedules. This shift was accelerated by the covid pandemic in 2020, and companies continue to adapt and find ways to meet workers’ expectations. For example, many aspects of hiring now take place remotely. Also, companies increasingly offer training via e-learning delivered via webinars, courses and even conferences.

The corporate sector is already using eLearning regularly – a study of Fortune 500 companies should that 40 percent of them were using eLearning as a regular aspect of ongoing training and upskilling, according to another Forbes report. Online education will continue to play a large role in the future of training and adoption of new digital technology skills. Further proof this is already happening can be found in the increased number of businesses offering freelancing hiring services. One example is Upwork, a business providing remote working opportunities, which has recorded over 18 million registered freelancers seeking remote/online job opportunities, with over 5 million registered clients seeking various services.

How leaders can embrace the expectations of the modern classroom and office

A common fear of the technological advances in learning and working is that technology will replace humans. The truth is that we will need humans – trained in best uses of these technologies – which should ultimately aid their efficiency and provide optimal environments for them to work and learn in. Today’s educational and workplace leaders should be meeting the expectations of their students and employees by providing platforms as described above. Many tech companies are already providing upgrades to their learning and career platforms that integrate AI assistants, personalization, microlearning and gamification. In the near future (maybe by year-end), we should expect to see that platforms – instead of offering these solutions piecemeal – will bring together all these offerings in one integrated user experience. Imagine a remote learning environment offering all of the above, marrying the disjointed platforms that users currently have to log into separately, that do not interact or flow together. Leaders can be excited to know that streamlined, intuitive, efficient and engaging user experience is almost a click away.


What Is Personalized Learning? A Complete Guide to Individualized Education in the Classroom | Xello What Is Microlearning: A Complete Guide for Beginners - eLearning Industry 5 Benefits of Gamification | Smithsonian Science Education Center ( How VR And AR Are Revolutionizing eLearning ( Benefits Of AI In eLearning You Need to Know - eLearning Industry Remote Work Statistics & Trends In (2023) – Forbes Advisor

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