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Build a Learning Community, instead of eLearning

Shivanu Shukla, CEO, Teamie | Oct. 28, 2016
Today, eLearning has become synonymous with online learning, as most eLearning is now delivered over online learning platforms.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Education Technology has been around for decades and evolved in form and function. Depending on definition and what is included, the market size for education technology today is worth billions of dollars. Its market potential is much larger, and there is significant venture capital money poured into EdTech startups attempting to find a solution to tackle some challenges in education, from improving access and efficiency, to efficacy and outcomes.

There are many believers, who see the future as a technology-driven classroom, but there are many who do not see how technology makes a real difference in learning and education. In many scenarios, technology has been forced upon or handed to teachers and students without much focus on how it supports pedagogy, the teaching and learning processes.

The promise of eLearning was to empower learning at one's own pace and time and address the basic but most important challenge of access to learning and improving the efficiency in delivering the learning. Today, eLearning has become synonymous with online learning, as most eLearning is now delivered over online learning platforms.

The Unfulfilled Promise of Engagement

With learning management systems (LMSs) used to deliver the eLearning content, learners can access their learning whenever they want, but often they do not end up accessing or completing the learning assigned to them. Hence, the end goal of learners actually accessing the content and learning from it has not been achieved.

Most traditional LMSs also do not take into account that most learners do not wake up everyday wanting to learn and raring to go online to continue learning on the LMS. Even though some learners may wake up wanting to learn, issues such as usability of systems, and nature of content can cause friction and resistance. Low engagement leads to the less than 10 percent completion rates for MOOCs, despite having content from top education institutions.

Engagement in the learning process, especially when delivered online, is crucial in ensuring success of the learning program. The more engaged the learners, the higher their chances of completing the program and actually learning.

Building Communities for Learning

For learning to be engaging, we must understand what drives user engagement and learn from platforms that have managed to engage their online audience. Social networks, and online games come to mind where user engagement is high. Facebook enables people to stay connected with friends, and games provide incentives to keep playing through their design, as well as reward elements such as points and badges.


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