Predictions for 2009

Every year at this time, eLearn Magazine asks experts in the field of e-learning to share their predictions about what lies ahead for the e-learning community. Following is a summary of their predictions for 2009.

  • Cellphones will emerge as the dominant learning platform for the developing world.
  • As organizations try to stretch their learning budgets in hard times, e-learning will become an attractive option.
  • Processes like ADDIE and classic ID will be used selectively or fragmented due to time and cost pressures. As the recession bites and training budgets are slashed, organizations will no longer be able to afford the production of sophisticated courseware. Instead they will become more reliant on employee-generated content and increasingly appreciate the potential of Web 2.0 approaches for informal, social, and collaborative learning, and knowledge sharing throughout the enterprise. E-learning will finally break free of the courses-online model as more people realize the business benefits of networked informal learning. Whether tethered to distinct courses or as ongoing communities of practice, the challenge is to create structures and activities that generate informal content—such as stories from the field—in support of learning, training, or performance goals. Learning professionals’ fears of obsolescence, expectations of connected employees, and demands for quicker solutions will drive the rest of us to increasingly abandon traditional instructional design in favor of experimentation—creating messy, loosely structured courses supplemented with low-cost social software and old-school support tools like job aids.
  • As economies worsen and country and state and provincial budgets tighten, free online courses, programs, and universities will increasingly be discussed, debated, and ultimately enrolled in. The Open Educational Resources (OER) movement will strengthen, and will face up to the “cultural” challenges of winning learning providers and
    teachers to use OER.
  • We’ll see more use of games (immersive learning simulations) as a powerful learning opportunity, and tools to make it easier to develop.

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