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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Ten Predictions for eLearning 2008

The Big Question this month are Predictions for Learning in 2008. Here are my predictions, but realistically they are more about trends in eLearning and eLearning Software.

Prediction #1 => eLearning 2.0 - Increasing Pressure

It's safe to predict that you'll be hearing more and more about eLearning 2.0 during 2008. While large scale adoption will be slow, specific solutions aimed at particular audience needs will be more common. There will be increasing pressure on each of us to understand eLearning 2.0 for ourselves in order to apply it within our organizations (eLearning 2.0 - An Immediate, Important Shift). This will increase adoption of Web 2.0 tools by learning professionals (More eLearning Bloggers). It will also cause us to look more closely at Personal Learning for Learning Professionals - Using Web 2.0 Tools to Make Reading & Research More Effective.

Prediction #2 => Virtual Classroom Tools - Meeting Tool + Second Life Lite

A medium size Virtual Classroom / Meeting Tool will announce features in 2008 that are not 3D immersive, but that are more like Mii characters in a 2.5D world. This will allow more natural kinds of interactions in classroom settings, especially for things like breakout activities.

Prediction #3 => Authoring Tools - Captivate and Articulate Will Dominate

It rhymes and it's an easy prediction that these two tools will dominate authoring. Interestingly, they both were originally considered rapid authoring tools but now are becoming THE authoring tools. Some lower-end, PPT + Audio tools will do well with none winning huge shares of the marketplace. Wiki + SCORM + Add-ins will become more common for easy authoring.

Prediction #4 => Less Authoring - More Web Pages

While we may want to use our authoring tools all the time, there's going to be more and more cases where clients (internal or external) are going to be just find with some web pages and maybe some embedded training snippets or an embedded fun Flash Quiz. Short, fast and to the point will be the standard. This will increase the discussion of the relevance of ISD / ADDIE (see also ADDIE Not Relevant?).

Prediction #5 => Mobile Learning - Continued Scattered Examples and Disappointment

This is going to be another somewhat disappointing year for mobile learning. While the iPhone and other mobile devices continue to proliferate and while the amount of web access via mobile devices will continue to grow rapidly (now approaching 20%), mobile learning solutions will continue to find adoption in scattered, specific examples. More podcasts and video casts for audiences with easy access, think students, remote sales forces, etc. Specialized tools for mobile professionals. But large adoption of mobile as THE learning platform still won't be there.

Prediction #6 => Metrics-Driven Performance and Learning Interventions

My article coming out in January will spark discussion around what is actually a quite common model. And because it ties directly to metrics that matter to the business, this will get significant attention during the year.

Prediction #7 => LMS => More of What You Don't Want

Large players will continue to move towards functionality in Talent Management - likely mostly features that you really don't care that much about. Luckily a few will also add in more community and wiki capabilities. Unfortunately, these will be even worse than Sharepoint, the solution you already hate. All of this will cause of to continue to ask Do You WANT an LMS? Does a Learner WANT an LMS? Unfortunately, you can ask all you want, you will still be doing a lot of work with LMS products this year.

Prediction #8 => Serious Games - Seriously Sorry, Not for You

They will continue to get talked about A LOT. And people will continue to be interested and excited. Likely YOU will get to attend a session on them. But YOU won't get to build one, or buy one, or participate in one.

Prediction #9 => Niche Online Discussions

Based on a series of events (success of small group discussions at eLearningGuild in the Fall, success of the virtual conference with George Siemens, discussion with Jay Cross and others about a conference for people with more experience, and discussion by Luis Suarez about a targeted virtual conference), I'm starting to think that the way to go is to have frequent, more targeted online, virtual discussions on particular topics. The format of the virtual conference that George and I put together wasn't quite right - still a lecture - threaded discussions weren't quite active enough and the questions weren't focused. We need a targeted discussion. For example, I just had someone ask about using Facebook in a corporate context as part of on-boarding. I'll likely schedule a call with this person to discuss what they are trying to do. Why not have several people involved in the discussion? Why not record it? Is the barrier the lack of free access to the tools? The overhead of pulling it together? My guess is that it doesn't take much more to get it to happen with a small group than getting it to happen with two or three people. And the barriers are getting lower all the time. I'm thinking this is going to start happening - A LOT.

Prediction #10 => Knowledge Worker Skills - Just Beginning in 2008, Big in 2009

The discussion of knowledge work skills is going to be BIG ... We won't hear much this year, but in 2009, this will be something you'll hear in a big way.


Clark said...

Gee, Tony, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed this morning? You are a voice of cheery optimism with this post ;).

Seriously, not that I don't agree with a lot of what you say, but mobile has taken a big step this year. I may be an optimist, but having been on the stump (along with others) for quite a while, it really feels like the interest has firmed up. That doesn't necessarily mean things will become concrete this coming year, but there're already a number of experiments, so I'm expecting many more, and success stories (which we're already seeing).

Also on serious games, if we can break the hype around the requirement for $2M budgets, and realize that meaningful outcomes can be generated by games with a budget of $200K, or even less, people don't have to be sitting on the outside. It's just that they have to penetrate the smokescreen by those who have a vested interest in such budgets.... And branching scenarios are a worthwhile approximation with much of the value for less of the investment (you too can do branching scenarios in your own home!).

I agree with you on much (e.g. LMS), but I'd like to believe that there more reasons for optimism than I hear here.

Sarah Stewart said...

Hi Tony, please could you do me a favor - please could remove the link I made to my blog entitled " Ten Predictions for eLearning 2008 : eLearning Technology". I don't know what I did and ended up with two links, this link does not work. The link entitled "Big Brother? Recording online discussions" does work - cheers Sarah

Jennifer Zapp said...

Tony, if you do indeed start a niche discussion on onboarding, please include me. What I think is so great about all this new use of technology is the opportunity to be a real part of it rather than a recipient. I have been an active member of the AwareList for Authorware for over 10 years. I'm well known to that audience and have shared in many active discussion of learning and technology. The new technology makes it easier to find a more disperse group to pull together for specific topics

Tony Karrer said...

Sarah - I'm lost. Where is the link?

Anonymous said...

Tony, I really believe that mobile technology is amazingly growing if you consider the fact that most important e-learning environments have some kind of mobile support. Actually, almost all initiatives on mobile learning are focused on specific objectives and small targets. These are only the first steps of these technology. Because of that teachers are still afraid of trying new stuff. Althought, amazingly, all the comunities I´ve used the mobile technology the feedback was positive. I also can´t see the mobile learning as THE platform of learning, but I really believe that we´ll see some platforms initiatives been created this year.

Tony Karrer said...

On mobile use - if I was a teacher, I'd be afraid of it as well. Likely would be more headaches than value. It will be great in ten years when every student has mobile web access so they could be doing a polling interaction in the classroom or able to do some quick tool/interaction.

Today that would be a nightmare. So, would trying to get them to use mobile outside the classroom.

Stick with small, focused audiences for now. Good stuff is happening.

There are also some really interesting start-ups in this area, but again, it's not going to be all that mainstream.