Recently, I conducted an emerging technology survey related to e-learning and the results show that end users are utilizing technology more then ever before and are seeking product features that LMS and content authoring tools, do not offer at this current time.

With an increase in e-learning sales a, projections of 7.1 billion dollars (USD) by 2015 and an increase in competition in the space, it is time for vendors to act.

The days of sitting back and waiting to see what others do, no longer exists.

Tablets

60% of respondents said they do not own a tablet, but 40% say they do. Of those 40%, iPad and iPad2 represent 51% of the total market. Interestingly, a large portion of LMS vendors have not optimized their products for the iPad/ iPad2 and with the exception of three content authoring tools, HTML5 capabilities, specifically the ability to output a course in HTML5 does not yet exist.

More of a surprise is that with the exception of 6 web conferencing vendors, who have apps specifically for the iPad/iPad2 market, you can count on one hand the number of LMS/LCMS vendors that offer the same thing.

Integrating an online storage/backup capabilities in a LMS

In a previous post, I believed that this is a logical next step for systems who want to move forward and continue growth in the space.

For end users in the e-learning market, it is clear they are following.

Do you use any of the following?

  • 48% Dropbox
  • 7% Box.net
  • 7% Other
  • 2% Mozy

Percentage who use online storage, 64%, percentage who do not – 46%.

Streaming Media

In an upcoming blog post, I will discuss that streaming media will have a positive impact on e-learning courses and capabilities, opening a greater immersion capability then ever seen before in the industry.

Overall, I see real growth opportunities within the next two years, with technological advancements.

From the end user perspective, 49% stream media from the net to their television, while 51% do not.

I foresee the numbers of people who use e-learning and stream will increase in the range of +8 to 10%.

Learning Platforms & Emerging Technology

Online Gaming

In the past six months, there has been an increase in interest in gaming. Social media sites that focus on gamers are in the top twenty of most visited sites. PGP (Portable game players) are listed number three only behind smartphones and tablets for mobile devices sold.

Online gaming, and not just Farmville on Facebook, is exploding. And it is not just teens using it. In the past two years, the largest audience to use online gaming are 60 to 70 years of age.

I can speak from experience, that I own an Xbox 360 and use the internet features of communication and play. Look at the numbers of WOW (World of Warcraft) players and Angry Birds. It continues to grow.

Augmented Reality

AR offers amazing capabilities in e-learning, not just courses, but from a LMS/LCMS/learning platform as a whole. Forget about virtual worlds, AR shows the greatest ability to turn a platform into a amazing experience for end users.

Which of the following would you use in a learning platform (LMS/LCMS/Social Learning or Mobile Learning)? Respondents could choose as many as they wanted.

  • 57% Online gaming
  • 52% Augmented Reality
  • 52% 3D
  • 39% Touch Free Gesturing
  • 11% Other

Editing/Adding Effects/Manipulating

If you examine the consumer market as a whole in relation to media (images, photos, video), where do you see an increase in usage and interest? If you said using features to edit, add effects and change, you would be correct. I surmise that many of you do this, at least with photographs, whether it be offline (downloaded software) or online.

Look at the e-learning market and ask yourself, if the consumer market as a whole is using this, why wouldn’t vendors in our space follow suit?

With over 2,000 e-learning vendors, and highly competitive areas – content authoring tools and LMSs (over 375 alone), as a supplier wouldn’t you seek an advantage over your competition? I know I would.

E-Learning End Users, saying it loud and clear – We want these features!

If your learning platform, offered the ability to edit/add effects and manipulate photos would you use it?

  • 67% Yes
  • 12% No
  • 21% Unsure

For a learning platform this does not mean you need to have a content authoring tool to do this, rather a new feature.

Content Authoring Tools and Image Manipulation

If your content authoring tool offered the ability to edit, add effects and manipulate photos or images, would you use it?

  • 70% Yes
  • 12% No
  • 18% Unsure

Video manipulation

If your learning platform offered an editing/adding effects feature for videos would you use it?

  • 67% Yes
  • 12% No
  • 21% Unsure

Content Authoring Tools in the next two years

As a whole, RCATs are lemmings. The implement the same features, same capabilities and follow the same processes. If you doubt it, count the number of RCATs who push or mention the fact, they can covert PowerPoint to Flash, or add video and audio clip.

Rarely do you see solutions that break from the pack. I know of one vendor who gives end users the flash files after building the course. As mentioned, three vendors at this date are building HTML5 capabilities within their product. Only a small portion have created or are creating advanced features for developers or designers to push it to the next level.

Worse, the number of RCATs who have an offline/online app on a mobile device to create courses on a tablet, is nearly nil. I am talking being able to build your course, using the app, without going online to the SaaS RCAT site to build it. All self-contained.

Which of the following would you like to see in a content authoring tool in the next two years? Again, respondents could select as many as they wanted.

  • 69% Self contained app for tablets with online/offline synch
  • 62% Voice enabled
  • 35% Touch free gesturing
  • 35% 3D creating feature
  • 33% Augmented Reality feature
  • 27% HD output
  • 10% Other

Rate your current learning platform – Where is the Love?

If you ask LMS vendors as a whole, they will tell you everyone loves their product. They rarely if ever receive poor feedback.

Retention rates are over 90% is common. So, if that is case, why do people who have a system, rank it as average to poor, more than good to excellent?

  • 29% Average
  • 10% Poor to Beyond Poor

Equals 39%

  • 22% Good
  • 16% Excellent – wait doesn’t everyone love their system?

Equals 38%

21% reported they do not have a learning platform as this time. 2% were unsure.

This verifies that people who find their system average to beyond poor often stay, for numerous reasons (previously discussed on the E-learning 24/7 Linkedin group). But don’t tell that to vendors who continue to say “love” with their product.

Bottom Line

Emerging technology is continuing each and every day. E-Learning end users are speaking loud and clear what they want, what they are seeking in solutions.

Isn’t it finally time for the vendors to listen?

E-Learning 24/7