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The seven-year forecast for e-learning

The e-learning market could exceed $240 billion by 2023, according to a new trend and forecasting report by Docebo, a learning management system.

Why?

Because there’s an increasing desire for distance learning and mobile and online technology has enabled 24-7 knowledge acquisition and retention.

To match the quickly changing technological landscape, companies expect their employees to engage in professional development – and furthermore, employees share the desire. In fact, according to the report, 73 percent of adults consider themselves lifelong learners and 63 percent of fulltime workers have engaged in professional development within the last year.

“Broadly, the entire e-learning landscape around the globe is changing rapidly and new trends continue to emerge,” the report says. “Some of these trends are related to the e-learning industry itself, while others have been generated by the transformation of the human resources management across enterprise. Additionally, a number of significant consumers trends that directly or indirectly impact the e-learning landscape have arisen.”

Throughout the next year, companies will make it a priority to explore different technologies, Docebo predicts. That’s where social learning comes in.

While the concept of social learning isn’t new, the influx of millennials into the workforce – the learners who search YouTube and Google for knowledge – has created an unprecented demand for engagement.

So much so that social learning now plays a role in recruiting and talent management, thanks to quickly measurable results.

Social learning is about engaging – less about content delivery and more about helping employees, the report says. And social learning is less about a single technology and more about how technologies lead to interactions in the workforce.

“In a social-enabled learning environment, learners interact and communicate before, during and after each training event,” Docebo says. “It also means providing social-based mentoring that may be informal, ad hoc or on the job; leveraging social tools such as tagging, bookmarking; and rating of learning content, courses and instructors.”

As technology continues to improve, what should the e-learning industry expect to see?

Game-based learning. Gamification. Wearable technologies.

Games require people to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, mimicking the way people often learn today. In addition, gamification uses game theory and game contexts to engage learners to solve problems. And virtual and augmented reality often play a role.

At the same time, according to the report, the use of wearable technology for learning – especially in colleges and universities – is expected to grow 46 percent per year through 2020.

The report looks at trends and makes predications for several countries. Perhaps not surprising, the North American region comprises more than 50 percent of the self-paced e-learning market share.

“The state of the e-learning market globally continues to shift, grow and evolve,” Docebo says. “This is illustrated by increasing budget allocations for e-learning programs, the growing prevalence of e-learning in various geographic markets around the world, new trends in emerging technologies and tools that support e-learning and the swelling role of social learning as a top learning and development priority.”

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