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Thursday, June 22, 2006

Future Platforms for eLearning

The recent article by Dion Hinchcliffe - Blogs, wikis, and Web 2.0 as the next application platform got me thinking again about what corporate eLearning development will be like in five years. Actually, I'm not even that sure what it looks like today. I've seen the Content Authoring Research Report from the eLearningGuild that suggests what tools are being used in 2005 and it suggests that most content is being authored using fairly traditional tools such as Flash, PowerPoint, Dreamweaver, Captivate, Lectora. To a lesser extent people are using Rapid eLearning Development tools but this is expected to grow significantly. We also are seeing a Shift in eLearning from Pure Courseware towards Reference Hybrids.

If you look at my picture of the range of tools:

and consider some of Learning Trends then my current belief is that there is a drive towards using tools that are lower cost and that include the ability to insert higher power capabilities at particular points.

This looks very much like what Dion is talking about in his article, but he takes it a step further by defining it as an architecture for development. This is somewhat like Authoring in eLearning 2.0 / Add-ins & Mash-ups and Typepad Widgets - A Sign of Things to Come in eLearning Authoring / Developement. But I think that the idea of LAMS but based on composition is also inline with this future Point Solutions vs. Suites and Composition.

What's the bottom line? In five years, I would expect us to be building much less SCORM courseware and much more Wiki-like content (web pages) with some interactive exercises, simulations, etc. embedded based on other tools or add-ins. Collaboration will be part of the environment, but we'll still be struggling with getting collaboration to work effectively as part of the system - so we'll still underuse those features. Authoring will be as easy as editing a word document and updates are instantaneous.

Hopefully I'm the first to be saying it, but:
Courseware is the new instructor-led training

It's not dying anytime soon, but its reaching its zenith and will start a slow steady decline.

eLearning Trends, eLearning 2.0, web 2.0, Collaborative Learning, Informal Learning

Keywords: eLearning Trends, eLearning 2.0, Web 2.0, Informal Learning, Collaborative Learning

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