Today I participated in a conference for the Capital District Educational Technology Group (CDETG). We are a group educational technologists in Northeastern, NY mostly at the university level. The conference, about distance learning, started with the following list of trends in online education followed by a discussion by a panel of policy level educational technologist:
The June 9th edition of ELearning Magazine published what it thought were the trends in online education.
TREND #1 Traditional Learning Management Systems Are Toast
l There will be more learning than ever, but there will not be a centralized LMS. Learning will move to being department, even course-driven, with content being user-created: From LMS to VLE to PLE...
TREND #2 Content Becomes Democratized
l Learning content will be created by users. The content will not be controllable as it is today because there will be significantly more places where learning content will be published.
TREND #3 Thin Slices of Content Will Be Consumed
l Instead of “complete courses”, content will get sliced into smaller, bite sized chunks that will be created rapidly.
TREND #4 Content Authoring Tools Will Change
l Tools will be available that will help users to create thin-sliced content that will become peer and value rated.
TREND #5 Gaming and Simulation Emerges
l Gaming and simulation are somewhat new in learning, but they are very powerful and will continue to gain momentum.
TREND #6 Self-Service Learning Becomes the Norm
l Students will increasing define not only their own courses but programs.
TREND #7 Finding Courses Will Be More Important Than Creating Courses
l Since there will be an explosion of community- developed courseware, campuses will focus on organizing a taxonomy to help users find learning content. Librarians may become more important than the instructional designers. A new job title will emerge: Social Network Manager, the coach of how to create courseware.
What I found interesting was the trends that many thought were not true for the University level. This was trend #6 and #2. This points out the difference between workplace and higher education. Trend #6 would be difficult to institute in a higher education environment because of accreditation requirements. I doubt that trend #2 would be acceptable in either the university or workplace due to the amount of control this would require administrators to give up.
What I thought was interesting was that many felt that there would always be a place for a LMS. However, I feel that the role of the LMS will change over time from a go- to-place for all to an administration system that is the starting point for learning. In other words, I foresee learning management systems as becoming learning tool aggregates that will help keep track of where students and student groups keep their things. This is especially important for the university level, where panelist pointed out that they needed a central place to help student support.