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.
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%.
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
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.
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
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
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
- 22% Good
- 16% Excellent – wait doesn’t everyone love their system?
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.
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?
hi….great post..can you give me details about the depth and breadth of the survey?
Agreed – this would certainly add some context. Is this 20 or 20,000 respondants? Are they LMS administrators, buyers, end-users? Are they US-based, Global?
They were e-learning end users and vendors. I can say vendors did respond, because I had a few respondents email me, and a few were vendors, and not just LMS.
Were they mobile learning or social learning? Can’t say, because I did not ask what area of e-learning they were or if they were LMS only folks. I did not see relevance in that inquiry, because the questions were not all focused on learning platforms.
Please give some information about which LMSes that have been mentioned in your survey.
Modern learning platforms have the capability to meet several of the features you miss such as online storage and embedding of rich content.
In addition it is possible to connect to excellent 3rd party tools via APIs. Example, it is no problem for an online game to be integrated with a learning platform so that the teacher can utilize games in the teaching- and learning context. This is more a matter if the online game developers are interested in creating rich integrations with the learning platform and then lower the threshold for the teachers to include online games in their lesson/course planning. I think that few teachers are using online games in teaching because the games do not give teachers useful information about student outcomes or results. It is difficult to justify the use of games in education if you can not prove that games have a useful function in relation to the planned learning outcomes. If the games can help teachers to assess students’ skills, they can also be helpful for the planning of future teaching sessions, included differentiated teaching.
I have one question to you predictions to Content Authoring Tools in the next two years:
Do you think a majority of teachers will prefer to build courses on an iPad and not on a computer?
One note: itsLearning is a learning platform vendor, targeting the education – primary, secondary and higher education market. The platform does offer a robust set of features, and offers “up to 7GB” of free online storage through the Google email account – and that account does not have advertising. . The solution comes with cloud email – u choose either Google or Microsoft.
Frankly, I am glad to see a learning platform, include some very cool features
It should also be noted, that you can do the same thing with your GMail account and you can get 7GB of free online storage. The product is called Gspace, and by clicking its name, you can go to the site. It has easy to use directions, you need Firefox though.
In response to your question:
With APIs and Mashups any system today, whether commercial or free, virtually anything you can think of – can be built, especially with Mashups (but not everything..yet, the technology.
just isn’t there yet, for a user experience).
In response to your last question: From the education market their biggest challenge will tie to open source systems and Blackboard. Since both lines are very big in that market.
But if I can create a course, utilizing all the features and capabilities of an iPad/iPad2 and other tablets, which not even the best touchscreen standalone desktop can do, why not? I still hear naysayers about people building courses in “the cloud” and how no one would do that or why would they want to.
Let’s remember, that when you are looking at the tablet market and its users, a great chunk is coming from that space vs. corporate. So, if I can create at wherever, and then with off/online synch why wouldn’t I? Especially if my school’s network speed is awful and my home is running 40MBs stream.
Who was surveyed? I’d like to server the demographic where 40% have tablets …
e-learning end users who could access the survey link via my E-Learning 24/7 linkedin group and several other e-learning linkedin groups incl. ELearning Guild, eLearning Companies, ELearning 2.0, etc.
I honestly thought it would be higher, so from my perspective I was surprised. Why should it be a surprise that people are purchasing and using tablets, and believe it or not, there are more brands out there than just iPad/iPad2. Tablets is the number two fastest growing mobile device market, some vendors are coming out with multiple tablets at the same time, i.e. 3 sizes by one vendor, and thus the initial projection of 85 tablets flooding the market by the end of the year is way off. IT is exploding.
I recall one person telling me that they are using tablets in the construction industry, so why should the numbers be surprising?
One other thing to think about it – buyers and suppliers could and did respond to this survey, so it is likely some of those respondents work at the same e-learning companies who do not offer it.
Before tablets the m-learning market was not growing as quick as one might think, however Post iPad launch it is moving faster then social learning adoption.
There is a demand and people are using it, and the hyper growth speed of m-learning is, IMO, a direct result of that.
And let’s not forget, that the survey respondents were e-learning end users. Forrester’s data was not from our industry, plus for those projections what was their methodology? Did they do cluster sampling or another method of sampling and what variables?
I just figure if 40% of people are using Tablets, I might have seen more … I’m pretty sure I’ve been looking hard. Plus Forrester research has a bit more credence than your average blogger.
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