The eLearning Market is on an upward trend as it is now accepted by companies the need to invest in continuous learning of their employees to ensure they stay relevant to their evolving job roles and are ready for future responsibilities while ensuring companies manage technological and business changes happening in the market. This needs to be managed with dwindling Learning & Development budgets.
Traditional classroom trainings have become increasingly expensive and time consuming, the training cannot be stored or replicated at different locations/time, and tracking progress would be manual and subjective. Hence the need for elearning systems has exploded in the market place, and going by statistics, would continue to grow in the near future. Some latest statistics suggest at least 77% of companies have moved to leveraging the eLearning market to train their employees.
eLearning systems are classified into “synchronous”, at the same time and “asynchronous”, not at the same time or self-paced elearning system. In the synchronous system, the participants are instructed via Web in real-time, it is more of a real classroom but online. The participants interact with each other and with the instructor using chat or messenger software, video or audio conferencing. In an asynchronous system, the participant goes through the Web based training at their own speed and is self driven, available anywhere or anytime, the interaction happens more through groups and discussion boards.
Even though the eLearning market began around 1999, it has grown steadily and rapidly and is expected to reach $107 billion by the end of 2015 (Source – elearningindustry.com). The self-paced eLearning systems will be around $49.9 billion. The growth is driven by non-US and non-European countries with India, China and Malaysia leading the pack with 55%, 52% and 41% respectively.
From the eLearning market perspective, eLearning can be divided into two categories – Corporate and Education, with growth from both the verticals being robust. Some of the top LMS companies focused on the corporate eLearning Market are SumTotal, Saba, Meridian, IBM Smarter Workforce, Success Factors… in the area of Education, Blackboard, Brightspace and Moodle lead the rest.
Trends in eLearning Market
Talking of trends, Gamification is expected to be a leading trend with simulations and animations offering even more realistic learning experience than now. Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) will be something to watch out for, experts predict it wouldn’t be too long when universities and companies offer co-branded MOOCs wherein students pay for the course to study. Personalized learning would be an in-thing with learner pulling information on his own and creating a learning path rather than a content being pushed at him. Another significant trend would be M-Learning with learners using smartphones to access content anywhere and anyplace.