The global e-learning market is anticipated to display notable growth in the coming years owing to recent developments in information technology and online education. With rapid digitization across the world, digital tools and platforms such as e-learning have been offering personalized and customized learning experiences. Increasing demand for e-learning, particularly in the early years of a child, has led numerous institutions to progressively transform traditional classrooms to technologically advanced digital class rooms, with a combination of software and hardware solutions. Users have been extensively adopting new methods of learning such as animated and interactive learning tools, thereby giving the market a significant boost.
High penetration of smartphones and other mobile devices has also led to the development of educational mobile applications. An increasing number of leading institutes around the world have been offering a wide range of educational courses through online platforms. For instance, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) offers several IT courses such as data algorithms, data structure, and machine learning through massive open online courses (MOOCs). Many colleges and universities are offering blended learning models due to increasing trend of bring your own devices (BOYD). In order to improve classroom-based learning and interaction, teachers have been recording lectures that can be accessible through online platforms. This flexibility is expected to boost market growth in the coming years. Apple recently introduced its free Schoolwork app for teachers. This app can help collaborate one-on-one with students, create assignments, and track students’ progress.
Apart from schools and colleges, the non-academic sectors are also extensively practicing new learning techniques. Corporate training programs for employees is one of the key application areas, wherein companies have been significantly investing in resources and infrastructure. E-learning platforms assist companies in reducing costs involved in employee training as they can eliminate travel and accommodation costs of trainers as well as trainees. Employees can also go through the educational material several times at no additional costs. The concept of micro-learning has been gaining much traction in corporate settings. It involves small learning units and shorter duration of courses. It helps users learn better and faster over short modules as it provides precise and relevant information.
Implementation of cloud-based solutions and enhancement in IT security solutions have increased the use of e-learning platforms. Microsoft India recently announced a free online course on cloud computing related to data protection regulations, compliance, and security for students, businesses, and legal professionals. Launched in association with myLaw, this two-phased online audio-visual course covers topics related to data protection, the fundamentals of European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), security, and some of the best cloud practices. The first phase is titled “Cloud Computing: Data Protection Regulation" while the latter phase of the course is titled “Cloud Computing: Data Protection Compliance.”
Increasing development and adoption of visual technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), 3D printing, and visual data analytics have also created new opportunities for e-learning. Students have been increasingly implementing these technologies in their academic projects across courses pertaining to science, mathematics, technology, engineering, and others.
Rise in cross-border delivery of higher education is also expected to create opportunities for the e-learning market. In cross-border delivery, an institute in one country delivers courses to students in other countries. North America is an early adopter of this and other novel technologies and U.S. is considered as one of the major contributors in the region. However, other regions such as Asia Pacific and MEA are expected to display significant growth in the coming years. In Asia Pacific, emerging countries such as India and China are expected to show notable growth due to rising government spending and rapid digitization. Growth in large-scale deployment of learning technology in schools and colleges in China is a result of content digitization efforts from several federal and municipal school systems. Government support and increasing adoption of distance and mobile education in countries such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman are expected to create several opportunities in the Middle East.
Some of the key companies operating in the market are McGrawHill; Coursera Inc.; Cornerstone; Cisco Systems; and Udacity Inc.
Research Support Specialist, USA