What the future holds for e-learning
“Just for me” learning
A new model using “learning objects” is gaining momentum. Learning objects are self-contained learning components (a course module, video or audio clips, for example) that are stored and accessed independently. Learning objects can be re-assembled to create new courses or sequenced to form individual learning paths.
This has clear benefits. It enables mass-customisation of learning with more personalised and “just for me” content. And for authors there is the opportunity to search for existing learning objects from within the organisation or from external providers and reuse them, saving time and money.
An open world of learning
Imagine a library where books were not categorised in a usable way and you were only able to read the book on the library premises.
The Internet has the potential to be a vast database of learning content that is searchable and delivered in a customised way to every individual. The difficulty at the moment is there is no consistent way for learning materials to be labelled or tagged (making it difficult to search effectively), and many different types of published learning material will not work properly on different types of learning platform.
To this end, there are several organisations working toward standards to get content labelled in a consistent way (using a language called XML and metadata which is like a bar-coding system) and to make sure learning content is “interoperable” with various learning management technologies.
The near future will bring us personal technology assistants or smart agents (using metadata and XML) that can constantly search within your company or across the web for new learning objects that match your exact interests and role requirements.
Internet access is now possible without being wired up to networks or telephone lines using a protocol called Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). This combined with the widespread adoption of handheld computers and organisers known as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) opens the door to mobile learni