Even before the current COVID crisis there was already high growth and adoption in education technology, with global ed-tech investments and the overall market for online education projected to reach $398 Billion by 2026.But what you may not know is that people are already grabbing their share of this lucrative industry.
And there is no limit in sight! – You can create & sell courses on any topic and in any niche like thousands of other websites. Everyday, millions upon millions scour the internet looking for solutions to their problems. These same people voraciously buy up all sorts of courses to help them achieve a goal or avoid pain.
Having e-courses and e-learning marketplaces allows people to access your courses at anytime from anywhere via Mobile, Tabs, Pads, Laptops, Desktops etc.
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We built Coursova to be easy to use, but powerful to handle an e-learning business’ needs. But to make sure you have the best possible of chance of success with Coursova, we’ve created step-by-step video training that covers any questions you might have.
Whether in a formal or informal setting, the ability to conduct research and impart knowledge has always been a crucial part of human life. That led to the establishment of colleges that are now centuries-old and have grown to become institutions. Those institutions might have seemed permanent and too dominant to challenge just a year ago, but the events of 2020 have caused a seismic shift in how people live, and how we learn specifically, such that digital education is clearly going to be the dominant force in the years to come.
This represents a lot of change in the sector, from the kinds of tutors who will be able to succeed in the new model to the tools the students and their teachers will need for an efficient learning process. That change also represents an immense opportunity for entrepreneurs — to make a profit while making a real impact on the future of humanity.
1. Interactive media
An important aspect of elearning is the ability to use a variety of media in communicating information. While traditional education models were largely restricted to text, and in some cases, audio and video, new digital learning platforms can leverage advanced technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to create a more immersive learning experience that will help students understand and retain more of the information which they are taught.
It’s also particularly helpful for training, where students gain experience using complex equipment without the risk of making real-life errors. Flight training for pilots and surgery models for surgeons are two increasingly popular applications.
A recent study by Goldman Sachs showed that education is No. 4 on the list of sectors receiving the largest amount of VR-related investments, shaping the industry to be worth over $700 million by 2025. That would amount to an increase of over 500% in the next five years. As large as those numbers are, they are unsurprising when we consider that up to 97% of surveyed students stated that they would be interested in undergoing a VR educational course. The market will always go where the money is.
2. Flexibility and on-demand education
This is another primary driving factor of the elearning revolution, and it is visible in every aspect of the system. From the fact that students can attend and participate actively in class from anywhere in the world using teleconferencing software, to on-demand classes that allow students to set their own schedules and learn at their own pace, the key is to provide a learning experience that is as tailored to the needs of each student as possible.
This flexibility means that students have full control over their learning process, thus making them more likely to stick to it. Corporate organizations have also been making a push into elearning as part of their training processes. In fact, 41.7% of global Fortune 500 Companies were already using some form of digital training as far back as 2013, and that number has only continued to grow.
This flexibility also reflects in the marketing approach. While traditional institutions are more uptight and reserved, entrepreneurs in the digital learning space can be more engaging by implementing content marketing strategies to attract users, such as the Learn a Course Online course reviews section which helps online learners share their experiences with online courses to help others make the best choices.
3. Artificial intelligence
Education has traditionally been driven by the teacher and student, progressing based on their interactions. Nowadays, advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning/neural networks have resulted in software capable of evaluating how a student is doing based on a variety of criteria and guiding them accordingly to ensure they understand what is being taught fully.
These tools use everything from how students answer quizzes to how long they spend on a page and how many times they look back at certain sections to produce personalized learning plans just for that particular student.
This level of granularity in the education system is unprecedented, giving students the ability to direct their lessons and entire learning experience with the assistance of advanced AI. When combined with the removal of time constraints and a strict curriculum, it is clear why there is such a huge interest in digital learning among teachers and students alike, and why the industry is so ripe for disruption by savvy entrepreneurs.
Education at scale doesn’t have to suck. If you ditch conventional e-learning’s clicky gimmicks, and focus instead on science-backed design principles and powerful human stories, your training will shift from tedious to transformative. Dr. Aaron Barth, thought-leader and president of Dialectic, gives progressive leaders the confidence they need to tackle their hardest people problems using scientific methods. Rooted in education, Dr. Barth founded Dialectic after completing his Ph.D. in Philosophy at Western University, keen on fusing theory with application.
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NEWS AND TRENDS 3 Ways Elearning Is Disrupting the Education Industry Digital education, driven by advanced technologies, represents […] Interactive media An important aspect of elearning is the ability to use a variety of media in communicating information […] Flexibility and on-demand education This is another primary driving factor of the elearning revolution, and it is visible in every aspect of the system […] Corporate organizations have also been making a push into elearning as part of their training processes […]
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At Newcastle this year, we’ve been beyond fortunate to have an incredible Student Union exec, a team of formidable and inspiring Sabs who have not only worked their hardest to support their fellow students through what they couldn’t have known would be one of the hardest academic years ever due to the pandemic, but who have also somewhere found the reserves of energy to engage with another critical and timely issue, decolonizing the curriculum. Their Decolonise NCL campaign has to date included a series of online events attracting a seriously impressive array of speakers, as well as pulling together resources and pushing the University to pledge a commitment to decolonisation and anti-racist work at all levels. It’s simply awe-inspiring.
Their work has got me thinking about the place of decolonisation in what’s commonly called ‘study skills’, and how it impacts on the role of Learning Developers. I wrote a while ago about coming to understand the related and tricky value of emancipatory practice, a related concept, which I feel is the defining Learning Development value, but even at the time felt I was only just beginning to get a handle on it. Since then, my Leeds colleague Sunny Dhillon has written eloquently both about his ambivalent feelings about emancipation in LD as well as questioning whether universities can feasibly decolonise themselves. Working on projects around student induction this year, at the time of the Black Lives Matter protests, I’ve also examined ways in which an uncritical approach to inducting students to our academic community could be oppressive. The Student Union campaign has prompted me to further this thinking and tie these disparate threads together in the context of my own profession.
To this end, I offered to contribute a session to their programme of Decol NCL events, NOT because I have any expertise in this area, but because I wanted to pick up the challenge they had thrown down and explore how this ‘well-meaning middle class white woman’ might begin doing her own anti-racist work within her professional context. I’ve since taken this discussion to a meeting of my own profession of Learning Developers in Scotland (ScotHELD). This post draws together some of the questions and avenues I explored in those sessions. Our NUSU sabs talk about brave spaces as well as safe spaces, about the need to let people take risks to step outside their comfort zone, and I’d like to take that idea up and step out.
“…universities remain white middle-class spaces. They require students to adopt particular ways of being and doing – those which conform to middle-class practices that define success in higher education – ways of writing, speaking and the use of academic language. Universities measure a particular type of success that is possessed by those from white middle-class backgrounds.”
As I’ve written before, my role is often understood as teaching students to write ‘properly’. Implicitly, that means as white, middle class and male. I’d extend this understanding of ‘academic literacy’ also beyond just academic writing to other practices covered by a Learning Developer, from seminar participation to independent study, reading to critical thinking, time management to revision, which are equally situated in socio-cultural expectations of what it means to be a “good” student – the default norm being a white, middle class, male student with all the resources, privilege, cultural capital and opportunities they possess.
“Academic practices are usually presented as neutral, decontextualised sets of technical skills and literacy that students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds are seen to lack”
These practices are not neutral, and those of us who teach them must interrogate what it is that we are doing, and whether it is reinforcing a colonial, oppressive education system rooted in white, middle class, western norms of how we should think, act and communicate at university, thereby positioning Black, Asian, working class etc students in terms of deficits to be remediated. While it may be true as Bourdieu says that ‘academic English is […] no one’s mother tongue’, it’s a language closely related to my own RP middle class English, and one I can learn with greater ease and inhabit more comfortably without challenge to my identity and sense of belonging.
“Through taken- for-granted academic practices, constructions of difference are formed, often in problematic ways. The tendency is to project a pathologist gaze on racialist bodies that have historically been constructed as a problem, and as suffering from a range of deficit disorders (e.g. lack of aspiration, lack of motivation, lack of confidence and so on’)”
What I’ve learned from the speakers at NUSU’s events so far: Decolonisation is not synonymous with other concepts such as diversity, inclusion, equality or widening participation, laudable as those initiatives may be. They imply an extension of the status quo, an affirmation of it, additive rather than transformational. Decolonisation, while related to these concepts, demands a fundamental change, a dismantling, decentring, disruption, a relinquishing, restitution, restoration. It has a revolutionary quality. “Decolonisation”, we are told, “is not a metaphor” (Tuck and Yang, 2012). Moreover, decolonisation cannot be achieved simply through inclusion or widening participation measures, as the structures and processes of an oppressive system are ill suited to fundamentally dismantling its underlying issues: “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house” (Lorde, 18984). To decolonise the HE curriculum means
an underlying transformation from a culture of denial and exclusion to a consideration of different traditions of knowledge. To diversify our curriculum is to challenge power relations and call for deeper thinking about the content of our courses and how we teach them.
How does this relate to Learning Development? Well, by extension, to decolonise the curriculum means not only what we teach and how, but also how we expect students to learn. Lea and Street’s tripartite framework of approaches to the teaching of academic writing offers us a lens to examine our practice. The second level, the academic socialisation model, maps onto ideas of inclusion and widening participation: “ [it] is concerned with students’ acculturation into disciplinary and subject-based discourses and genres. Students acquire the ways of talking, writing, thinking, and using literacy that typified members of a disciplinary or subject area community” (Lea and Street, 2006). These ways also typify the ideal or assumed white, middle class, male member of that community, for whom that system was created and in whose interests it operates. This is Academic Literacy as The Thing That We LDers Teach to students.
A Learning Developer whose primary guiding model is an academic socialisation approach is upholding this status quo. No matter how welcoming the gatekeeper, no matter how wide we throw open those doors and how helpful we are in orientating those we admit within the walls, we are still insisting that students enter on the terms of a white, middle class academy. We are also closing our ears to our students’ experiences; what is just a surface feature and linguistic or practice quirk to us is a troubling challenge to their identity or weighty burden to enact, for some students.
Colonialism assimilates or destroys; this is Learning Development as colonial assimilation. Become like us, or fail. We don’t want the bits of you that don’t conform. But not only does a predominantly academic socialisation approach assume that “once students have learned and understood the ground rules of a particular academic discourse, they are able to reproduce it unproblematically”, it also assumes that those ground rules are unproblematic.
‘Inclusion tends to be more about fitting into the dominant culture than about interrogating that culture for the ways that it is complicit in the social and cultural reproduction of exclusion, misrecognition and inequality.’
The third model identified by Lea and Street maps more closely onto the decolonisation agenda. It not only notes that academic writing is not homogeneous but a multiplicity of practices or meanings, but also acknowledges that these meanings are bound up with epistemology and identity, that they consist of socio-cultural practices situated within hierarchies of power and authority and are therefore contested on unequal terms. I’d like to raise an observation I’ve frequently made when listening to or reading accounts of Academic Literacies as a model, both in Learning Development and EAP. Very often, these accounts focus on one implication of Academic Literacies, that academic writing is not generic or monolithic and therefore our work needs to differentiate multiple discipline-specific discourses and tailor provision, at the expense of the other: that these discourses are situated in hierarchies of power and authority. That critical, radical observation is right there in the model, and yet is frequently downplayed or overlooked.
Similarly, it positions study skills not as surface tools to be adopted at will, but fundamentally entwined with identity, and therefore belonging. Education is supposed to change you, but not to the extent that you can only learn if you become someone else entirely, or fragment your identity, your self. And if Learning Development’s defining value is its emancipatory practice, then it is these more critical implications that we need to foreground, or what we have is a tailored academic socialisation model (Ivanic’s 2004 four tier model acknowledges this better perhaps than Lea and Street’s, separating out writing as a contextualised event from writing as a sociocultural and political practice).
The principal function of student writing is increasingly that of gatekeeping.
Due to the nature of our work, Learning Developers have a special relevance to the project of decolonisation in Higher Education. Decolonisation is often spoken of in terms of adding a more diverse range of authors to a reading list, or including broader topics in a module, mostly applying to Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. Put a few Black authors on the English Literature curriculum, hire a couple of BAME lecturers and be done with it. But decolonisation applies to the whole system of how we teach, the way we expect students to learn, and how we recognise and assess that learning, a system which, if it’s not designed for you, makes everything harder, if it doesn’t exclude you outright. It forces you to learn on someone else’s terms, and ‘Study Skills’, the core remit of Learning Development, cross-cuts and underpins all aspects of the curriculum at every level, in every discipline.
It’s our role to not only to help students better understand their curriculum, institution and discipline better, but also to negotiate it successfully. Negotiate – it’s a wonderful word in this context, meaning both to find your way through obstacles, but also to bring about a desired outcome through discussion between parties. Negotiation demands dialogue and change on both sides to progress. I’m not sure decolonisation is something Learning Developers can really choose to disengage from or remain neutral on.
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Three years ago, I coined the term The 5-Hour Rule after researching the most successful, busy people in the world and finding that they shared a pattern: They devoted at least 5 hours a week to deliberate learning. Since then, I’ve preached The 5-Hour Rule to more than 10 million readers. The reason I keep writing about it is two-fold..I believe it’s the single most critical practice we all can adopt to ensure our long-term career success, Almost no one takes this rule as seriously as they should…Recently, I’ve realized that The 5-Hour Rule is more than just a pattern. It’s more like a fundamental law in our current age of knowledge. And it’s backed up by basic math and a growing body of research……..
2 Learning Theories That Will Help You Get People To Fall In Love With eLearning
Want to get people to fall in love with eLearning? Let’s start by studying the theory of Bloom’s Taxonomy about the different levels of learning, as well as the user experience hierarchy of needs!
1. Bloom’s Taxonomy
Bloom’s Taxonomy explains that there are different levels of learning, from in-depth ‘creating’ learning tasks, down to more basic ‘knowledge’-based approaches.
Good Instructional Designers (clever clogs who write eLearning units) know that Bloom’s Taxonomy is the best way to create learning objectives that really get learners engaged with the material, working hard, and learning new concepts.
As you can see from the diagram, the lower levels represent basic Knowledge – retrieving or remembering previously learned material. Learning objectives at this level include defining key terms, listing steps in a process or repeating something heard or seen.
Learning objectives at the Comprehension level are based around processing new information. This requires learners to use the information they just learned to answer basic questions.
At the Application level, learners are asked to solve new problems by applying what they have learnt without having to be prompted to novel situations in the workplace.
Analysing involves distinguishing between facts and inferences; learning objectives involve separating concepts into component parts, e.g. “Gather information about the finance department’s problem and select the appropriate tool to solve it.”
Learning objectives at the Evaluation level involve making judgements about the value of ideas or materials, e.g. “From the three interview scenarios, select the best candidate to hire.”
Creating involves building a structure or pattern from diverse elements. It involves pulling parts together to solve a whole problem, with an emphasis on creating something new. E.g. “Taking into account what you have learnt about Sparky Electrics on the previous screens, devise an appropriate training programme.”
As you can see, the steps in Bloom’s Taxonomy really target different kinds of knowledge – from straightforward information retention all the way to creation of new processes through a deep understanding of what has been learnt.
A lot of eLearning focuses on the lower steps of learning – knowledge and comprehension. This means that the learner isn’t encouraged to get a very deep level of understanding, meaning they’re not as involved in their learning or as interested. Sure, being able to remember a fact is great, and getting the quiz questions right can boost your confidence. But how much more engaged and invested in your learning will you be if you can see how far you’ve come, from being taught the basics through to designing your own processes or solving problems by thinking up new solutions?
2. User Experience Hierarchy Of Needs
That’s one theory of learning that will help to get people loving their learning. The user experience hierarchy of needs is another. This pyramid explains that it’s not just what the learner is being taught that will affect their enjoyment of the learning; it’s also how they are taught.
Picture a 30-screen eLearning unit, each screen containing a few paragraphs of text, with 10 questions at the end to check what you’ve learnt.
Now imagine an eLearning unit containing the same information, but presented in a mixture of video, audio and bullet points, with practice scenarios, interactive learning, and different question formats, from multiple choice and drag-and-drop exercises to written answers and longer assignments.
Which do you think would be more enjoyable? Which would you be more likely to go back to and carry on with the next eLearning chapter or unit?
Bog-standard eLearning courses satisfy the first few levels of the pyramid. They modules are functional, straightforward, usually easy to use and hopefully reliable.
They are also convenient – you can login on your computer and start learning. But is it pleasurable? Does the experience of learning stick in your mind, over and above what you actually learn? Do you say to your colleagues, “I took the eLearning unit on fire safety yesterday. Each screen had a load of text on it and then I answered 10 questions. It was so much fun!”?
How about: “I took the eLearning unit on fire safety yesterday. The videos were great, and the drag and drop questions were cool. I even got extra points for getting 5 questions in a row correct, and a ‘Smokin’ hot!’ badge for completing the unit. You should try it!”
If learning is good, appropriate, applicable, and pleasurable, learners will fall in love with their learning once again. But what about the top of the hierarchy – how can learning be meaningful and have a personal significance?
Simply put, most learning isn’t especially meaningful, at least in the sense that we mean it here. Sure, learners can answer questions in relation to their personal experiences and apply their knowledge to their circumstances. But this isn’t the same as the learning having personal significance; it’s just their answers that are applicable to their work life.
Good eLearning, on the other hand, uses learners’ experiences directly and actually incorporates these thoughts and scenarios into the eLearning unit. The Discovery Method of learning – what we call our ground-breaking technique – gets learners inputting all sorts of information about their job directly into the learning, which is then referenced throughout the course.
For example, the eLearning could ask a user to input their name, job role, and company name. The unit is then made personally significant to the learner by referring back to these details.
The instruction in a standard eLearning unit may be: “Take time to reflect on this information and how it may relate to your current role.”
Whereas the instruction in a good eLearning unit might be: “[Timothy], take a moment and think about how this information on laws and ethics applies to you in your role as [Sales Manager] at [BlinkBox]. Write your thoughts in the text box on screen.”
The information Timothy provides is then compiled into a worksheet to be downloaded at the end of the eLearning unit, providing him with a ready-made plan of attack that he can begin to apply to his job immediately.