Games, Virtual, Mobile Learning on the Rise, Report Says

(Photo: Pexels, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Pexels, Creative Commons)

Game-based Learning, Simulation-based Learning, Mobile Learning, and Cognitive Learning products are quickly becoming the preferred and more cost-effective methods of knowledge transfer over ‘traditional' forms of eLearning and will continue to increase in popularity over the next 5 years.

The self-proclaimed ethics-based market research firm Ambient Insight forecasts the state of the global online education market over the next 5 years to 2021 in a publication titled ‘The 2016-2021 Worldwide Self-paced eLearning Market: The Global eLearning Market is in Steep Decline', which debuted last month.

Analysis undertaken by the firm's Chief Researcher, Sam S. Adkins, informs the sector that global revenue on courseware for self-paced learning has declined and will continue to significantly drop from $46.6 billion in 2016 to $33.4 billion by 2021.

Adkin writes that:

"[T]he global eLearning industry is now in the midst of a perfect storm of market conditions that are driving revenues down including weak demand for most self-paced products, commoditization, the late stage of eLearning's product lifecycle, pronounced product substitution, and the so called leapfrog effect with buyers in developing countries completely bypassing eLearning for newer products".

For Self-paced eLearning to continue to be a viable segment of the education market, Adkins makes a number of recommendations, including the need for suppliers to continue to be innovative and savvy in their business decisions to maintain feasibility within the market, even if this means merging with other suppliers.

For example, suppliers of legacy Self-paced learning will find the market particularly challenging as their platforms become incompatible with the availability of new learning technologies. Adkins recommends that to remain viable, suppliers in this sector of the market should diverge or divest their products and expand into new areas to remain in business.

"Entrenched eLearning suppliers are moving fast to diversify their product portfolios with products that are in higher demand than eLearning. Both Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have announced that they are building content for Google's Cardboard and DayDream AR platforms".

Innovative and cheaper products are also adding to the decline in eLearning revenues, especially in the eLearning management sector, where there is significant churn in product use as less expensive products become available to meet demand.

Interestingly, Adkins finds that consumers are also moving from eLearning to Mobile Learning, a move that is directly impacting eLearning revenues. In fact, in the US alone, eLearning product growth rate in the lowest of all six buying segments is -10.4% of the sector, whereas the Mobile Learning growth rate is currently 7.8%.

Adkins suggests Mobile Learning and next generation learning products, including augmented reality and game-based learning is gaining the most traction in the PreK-12 segment, with 51% of teachers utilizing Game Learning in their classrooms on a regular basis.

Some examples of these futuristic learning products include ‘Blippar for Education', which digitizes education materials such as textbooks, and ‘Expeditions' which allows students to experience field trips without setting foot outside of the classroom.

The prevalence in the development of new products is significantly contributing to courseware substitution in the Self-paced eLearning industry and will continue to reduce the need for courseware altogether.

Ambient Insight has made a copy of the full report available for download.

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