Top 5 e-learning industry trends in 2021-2025 you need to know

Online education is rapidly growing, providing users with the ability to study from any place in the world. Any organization can use e-learning applications to train employees with text, audio, and video content, immersive experiences, gamification, and personalization.

Universities and colleges also joined this trend, making various courses and programs available for students from different countries. According to Forbes, the global e-learning market size is expected to reach $325 billion in 2025, growing from $165.36 billion in 2014.

COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the e-learning industry. Being in partial or complete lockdown, people were forced to stay at home and acquire new skills via their devices: PCs, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The World Economic Forum reports that nearly 1.2 billion children were out of classrooms with schools closed worldwide due to coronavirus.

As many companies still don’t use e-learning software solutions or underestimate their value, you can gain a competitive advantage by creating a custom LMS (e-learning management system) tailored to your business-specific needs.

In this article, we will consider the main e-learning software development trends to help you define how you can improve education in your organization. What’s more, we’ve collected astonishing statistics and inspiring use cases. Let’s get started!

Top 3 education industry trends for 2021-2025

1. E-learning software solutions are of high demand

The use of e-learning platforms and applications is quickly increasing. Analysts at Fortune BU say that the world’s learning management system (LMS) market is projected to reach $29 billion by 2026 growing at a CAGR of 19.1%.

Statista reports that the global e-learning industry is anticipated to surpass $243 billion by 2022. Fast adoption of e-learning solutions is also triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. As people have been forced to stay at home to prevent the diseases from spreading and avoid risks of getting infected, schools and universities worldwide have moved to online education.

2. Increased use of corporate e-learning programs

Business Wire informs that the worldwide corporate e-learning market can reach over $38 billion by 2024 and $50 billion in 2026. Since online education consumes 40% to 60% less employee time compared to traditional learning, many organizations are migrating to this model. According to KPMG, at the moment 90% of large companies employ online training software in comparison with just 4% in 1995.

Allowing to reduce costs and boost efficiency, e-learning solutions for business are becoming increasingly popular. Online corporate programs can include training on sales, marketing, HRM (human resource management), certifications, virtual conferences, workshops, etc. Considering practical examples, IBM saved about $200 million after switching to e-learning.

American Society for Training and Development conducted a survey of 2,500 organizations and revealed that the use of digital training programs results in 218% higher profit per employee and 24% higher profit margins.

3. Online learning is gaining high popularity in schools, colleges, and universities

Since e-learning software solutions provide many benefits such as cost reduction (you save money on recruitment, wages for instructors, equipment, rent, etc.), raised efficiency, and access to content from any place in the world 24/7, they are becoming widely used in schools, colleges, and universities.

Have a look at the following statistics:

  • At the moment, 63% of high school students in the US employ online learning solutions on a daily basis (Market Research).
  • Today 45% of elementary school students use at least one e-learning application daily.
  • Now 64% of middle school students employ one e-learning application every day.
  • Statista reports that 43% of US college students agreed that online learning software is extremely helpful in doing their homework.
  • Analysts at Statista revealed that the use of e-learning software solutions helped 81% of US college students improve their grades.

The coronavirus pandemic forced organizations to move away from traditional education to e-learning. Mobile applications, websites, interactive platforms help students absorb knowledge faster and easier.

Top 5 e-learning software development trends

1. Mixed reality

Mixed reality (MR) is one of the biggest e-learning industry trends for the coming years. Combining virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), it creates immersive user experiences that make education compelling. This is especially valuable for people who better perceive visual content than textual.

There are many VR and AR use cases across multiple sectors. In healthcare, students can study the human body with the help of mobile or web applications. To teach chemistry, you can employ e-learning software solutions to visualize a structure of chemical bonds and materials. Yet today, students can take a trip in the past to see the ancient Romans.

Explore how Fortune 500 companies use VR and AR software solutions in e-learning:

  • Walmart, an American retail corporation, makes use of over 17,000 Oculus Go headsets to train employees in 4,600 stores. This allowed the company to improve customer service and engagement.
  • Using augmented reality in training programs, Boeing provides technicians with access to hands-free interactive 3-D diagrams. Thanks to AR technology, it increased productivity by 40% .
  • UPS employs HTC Vive VR headsets to help drivers better define potential hazards when driving down a virtual road. Previously, it used a touchscreen but then understood that it didn’t teach people to keep their hands on the steering wheel. UPS decided to create a VR environment and engage drivers in training exercises. As a consequence, the retention rate increased to 75%.

2. Artificial intelligence

The world’s AI in the education market is predicted to increase to 3.68 billion by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 47% from 2018 to 2023 (MarketsandMarkets). Coming up with multiple innovations, artificial intelligence is one of the most essential online learning trends for 2021-2025.

AI can serve as a mentor—an AI-enabled virtual facilitator—by providing students with the requested information and instantly answering their questions 24/7. When building a mobile or web application, you can incorporate a chatbot that would play the role of personas and characters to help users gain knowledge faster.

AI use cases in e-learning include:

  • AI-based adaptive education engines
  • content/course generation with AI
  • artificial intelligence-enabled career advising
  • AI-based chatbots
  • data analytics for progress tracking, student segmentation by mixed-ability groups, etc.

To provide students with an engaging user experience and better control over the training process, you can develop an AI-powered e-learning management system. Imagine a solution that allows teachers to create academic programs while students can access them at any time. According to different surveys, AI software platforms that help instructors monitor user progress and ensure tailored educational plans can help companies improve a topic understanding by 30%. Automating various administrator tasks, you can lower the workload on teachers by 6 hours a week, making them able to focus on more important activities.

3. Personalized learning

Personalized user experience is one of the key e-learning trends in 2021 and beyond. Students who pass the same training program are given different materials based on their profile information and performance.

An e-learning platform monitors their progress, skills, and knowledge through tests, identifying strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, a custom LMS matches resources with user content preferences—audio, video, simulation, etc.—and provides the best format.

A poll conducted by Brightwave found:

  • 77% of L&D specialists feel that personalized learning experience has an important role in staff engagement.
  • 41% of employees said that interactive video is the most successful training technique in customizing educational content.

Employing big data and artificial intelligence, you can enable data analytics to monitor the behavior of learners, define their preferences, and boost engagement. With innovative technologies, it is much easier for instructors to see what students are missing and make improvements accordingly.

4. Mobile applications

Five years ago the worldwide mobile learning market amounted to nearly $8 billion. This number reached $27.32 billion in 2019 ( Verified Market Research ). As of today, m-learning is one of the fastest growing markets in the industry, with an annual growth of 23% (Technavio).

Analysts predict that the mobile education market will be valued over $280 billion by 2027. According to SkillScouter, now more than 60% of US companies provide online training opportunities via smartphone applications.

There are multiple types of mobile learning apps, for example:

  • quiz and puzzle applications
  • attendance management apps
  • storytelling apps for kids with visual and video content
  • e-learning platforms for performance tracking and assessment
  • classroom/corporate training aids
  • workbook and test management applications.

Since mobile apps offer plenty of benefits like instant access to content, fast communications with instructors, and high flexibility to learn from any place in the world 24/7, they are one of the key education industry trends in 2021.

5. Gamification

Being one of the most important e-learning software development trends, gamification has already become a standard of online education. This technique allows companies to entertain and motivate students by providing engaging gaming experiences.

Here is a list of gamification features you can include in your e-learning platform:

  • competition between users
  • leaderboard to showcase user results
  • different levels in a game (e.g., different levels of questions)
  • quiz tours
  • daily challenges
  • daily bonuses
  • in-app currency
  • rewards such as gifts, coins, badges, etc.

By incorporating gamification in an e-learning application, you will get the following advantages:

  • improve user retention rate
  • raise course completion rates
  • boost user satisfaction
  • increase user performance
  • streamline the learning process, making it faster and more compelling.

Considering practical examples, Deloitte’s Leadership Academy , (DLA) is an online program that enables Deloitte to train its employees and specialists of client companies.

With various gamification techniques, it improves the learning process, entertains users, and encourages them to acquire new skills. Gaming elements comprise badges, tests, quizzes, missions, and leaderboards. Using this program, Deloitte increased user retention rates by 47%.

Summing it up

E-learning management systems provide a variety of benefits, allowing companies to improve motivation, boost user engagement, and raise productivity. Having the flexibility to learn from any place in the world, people don’t have to physically attend courses.

Furthermore, you significantly reduce costs on looking for and recruiting instructors, leasing of premises, purchasing equipment. This is especially useful for international companies with locations in different countries. With innovative e-learning software solutions that use AI, MR, big data, chatbots, and gamification, you will be able to enrich the user experience and create immersive environments.

If you aim to build a custom LMS, contact us via a contact form or a.volchek@arateg.com to receive a project consultation for free. Having been delivering e-learning software development services, we will help you address all technical issues.

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