Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ 2009 Predictions in the Rear View Mirror

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Jan 21, 2010

Originally posted on Half an Hour, January 21, 2010.

People know by now that they risk being graded when they make these predictions. Even so, there is still a good-sized number of them who insist on predicting the obvious and the generic, things like 'organizations will look at costs' or 'organizations will consider the benefits of e-learning'.

Allison Rossett, San Diego State University, USA:

My prediction? More technology, but not necessarily more sense about how to use it. Today, in these harsh economic times, there is pressure to reduce costs. Technology is favored over registrations in hotels and hours in classrooms away from customers and clients. In the good old days, an instructional designer would develop, and an instructor would deliver all together, same time and place. When the ideas, examples, or exercises veered off mark, or were stale, the instructor fixed it. Thus the need for analysis grows even greater. How else to anticipate what is needed, what must be committed to memory, what can be sought at the moment of need? How else to determine readiness and eagerness?

Grade: D

There is very little in this paragraph that is actually a prediction, and the predictive content is slim at best. Predicting a pressure to reduce costs and a need for more analysis is like predicting that the sun rill rise and the cattle will mill about in their pen. To be useful, predictions need to contain some element of the unexpected, some element of risk. This prediction was never going to be better than a 'D', unless the world came to an end and we didn't need to cut costs or do analysis any more, in which case it would have received an 'F'.

Stephen Downes, Researcher, National Research Council, Canada:

Alternative interfaces will be big this year: more Wii toys hooked up to computers, orientation-sensitive interfaces, gesture-based presentation software, even brain-wave and body feedback games. Also watch for a lot of discussion of identity, data, and computational portability; cloud computing; and virtual machines. After a long exile in the world of proprietary software, calendaring and event-related services will become widely popular: We'll see an increase in synchronous online classes, conferences, concerts, and other Kantian (time and place based) applications. Kantian computing will also be embedded into devices as well: cameras, phones, PDAs, laptops, cars, belt buckles, keychains, and more. Recommender systems will improve enough to become actually a little bit relevant, appliances will be more connected, and data intelligence (summarization, visualization, and decision support) will be huge.

Grade: B-

Alternative interfaces were big, especially in devices like the Touch, but didn't really take off (though the January, 2010 CES suggests this is more a matter of getting the timing wrong). Cloud computing was huge, being a prevalent buzzword of 2009. But calendaring and event-related services were a dud; people continue to struggle with Outlook and Google Calendar hasn't yet saved the day. The term 'Kantian computing' went nowhere (not surprisingly) but mobile computing and place-based applications had a good year. We're still waiting on good recommender systems (we got the human based version - Twitter - instead) though there has been no lack of effort. Maybe next year, or the year after (when people have money again).

Richard E. Mayer, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA:

Researchers will continue to make progress in discovering evidence-based principles for the design of e-learning, including new applications of the science of learning to educational games, simulations, and pedagogical agents.

Grade: D

This prediction depends a lot on what you call "progress" (after all, the innocuous prediction that there will be more research and more papers published could count as "progress") and by any reasonable definition (like, say, the release of a significant evidence-based study that was widely acknowledged as advancing the field) simply didn't happen. Rather, we got more of the same, with nothing really new to write home about.

Chris Dede, Harvard University, USA:

2009 is the year when the cellphone—not the laptop—will emerge as the learning infrastructure for the developing world. Initially, those educational applications linked most closely to local economic development will predominate. Also parents will have high interest in ways these devices can foster their children's literacy. Countries will begin to see the value of subsidizing this type of e-learning, as opposed to more traditional schooling. The initial business strategy will be a disruptive technology competing with non-consumption, in keeping with Christensen's models.

Grade: C

There was a spate of articles in 2009 (as there is every year) saying that the developing world has embraced the mobile phone; this Guardian article is typical. But the numbers are still very weak; saying things like "Afghanistan has 2 million cell phone subscribers" sounds good until you realize that Afghanistan has a population of 28 million, which means only 7 percent of the population has an account. It's worth noting that mobile phone use is being spurred mostly by the cost of alternatives - such as internet access - and that the same phenomenon is attaching to mobile phones. By the end of the year, the fears were of a mobile meltdown, and the suggestion that fees will rise substantially (because mobile bandwidth will not be expanded). (Via) Mobile had a good year, but not particularly in the developing world, where conditions actually appeared to worsen in 2009.

Saul Carliner, Graduate Program in Educational Technology, Concordia University, Canada

As organizations try to stretch their learning budgets in hard times, e-learning will become an attractive option. For some organizations, a basic transfer of content from classroom to online will suffice. For others who are concerned that students are actually learning, experimentation with creative approaches to e-learning might occur. In addition, organizations will use the bad economy to assess the costs and benefits of their enterprise technology—and might make changes if they feel costs exceed benefits.

Grade: D

You gete the feeling he phoned this one in. E-learning attractive, some content-based, others experimenting, yeah yeah yeah, same story we've seen since 1995. And some organizations assessing costs? Who could have predicted that? This is like one of those horoscopes that could apply to anyone. Gets a D for being obvious and generic (the only alternative being an F if the world ends).

Margaret Driscoll, Consultant, IBM, USA

Training professionals are accustomed to being at the leading edge of downturns in the economy but this downturn is a genuine game changer. Three trends are worth watching: (1) radical react mode; (2) fragmented application of ADDIE and ID; and (3) extreme gigs for an army-of-one. Organizations in crisis don't plan, so get use to all assignments being reactionary and due yesterday. Processes like ADDIE and classic ID will be used selectively or fragmented due to time and cost pressures. Downsized training organizations and one-person consultant firms will find they need to it all and rely on tools, technology, and temporary alliances with other armies-of-one to survive.

Grade: C

A very specific set of predictions, but unfortunately focused on the educational consulting industry rather than  e-learning generally. Consequently, it was very difficult for me to assess this one. Did people enter 'radical react mode'? Probably, but (in my view) they're always in that mode. Were ADDIE and classical ID used selectively or fragmented? I couldn't tell - this prediction was the highest (and pretty much the only)search result on the topic. Downsized consulting firms? A survey of the largest in October reveals a mixed bag. I don't have evidence that the predictions came true - but I don't really have evidence that they didn't. Classic report from a consultant!

Karl Kapp, Assistant Director, Institute for Interactive Technologies and Professor of Instructional Technology, Bloomsburg University, USA

I see the emergence of several new corporate-focused Virtual Learning Worlds (VLWs) or Massively Multi-Learner Online Learning Environments (MMOLEs) nudge out interest in consumer-oriented versions of 3-D worlds that haven't made the adaptation to corporate needs. These MMOLEs will contain elements that make them more corporate-friendly like SCORM compliance and avatar behavior tracking. Look for one or two major 2-D virtual classroom vendors to release 3-D environments. I predict an increase in budgets for creating e-learning at the expense of face-to-face learning and an increase in the use of social media in corporations. The increased adoption will be modeled after the Wikipedia-type applications of Pfizer (Pfizerpedia) and the U.S. intelligence community (Intellipedia).

Grade: C

I spent some time searching for new corporate-focused virtual worlds released in 2009 and didn't find any (I found some from 2007 and 2008, and some predictions, but no worlds).  3D virtual classroms from 2D vendors? No - I did find EduSim, but that started in 2007. 3DXplorer? On the scene since 2002. The shiftimng of budgets to e-learning was already a trend in 2008, but it did hold. There has been a cottage industry in x-pedias but no sign that it increased in 2009 or acquired a particularly corporate focus - the case studies all cite Pfizerpedia and Intellipedia, just as they did at the start of the year. Good grades for advancing precise, testable and interesting predictions, but points deducted for getting them wrong.

Roger Schank, John Evans Professor Emeritus of Computer Science, Psychology, and Education, Northwestern University; CEO Socratic Arts

A ruined economy will demand trained workers and college degrees will matter less than real abilities. Schools will have to offer to train students to do actual jobs, and they will do this online. The first two, which I know of, to step up to the plate are ISIL in Lima, Peru and La Salle, in Barcelona, Spain. Others will follow. Real education, according to the second president of the United States, John Adams, " about learning to live and learning to make a living" an idea that got lost between the late 1700s and today. High schools and universities have simply failed to teach what needs to be taught. This will change in 2009.
Grade: C-

Predicting that  "college degrees will matter less than real abilities" is like predicting that the earth is round. It would be surprising if they stopped preferring college degrees. But Schank saves his passing grade by being right about the unintuitive rise in the demand for skilled workers; we have reports from places as varied as the United States and Vietnam confirming this trend. But did we see any "Read Education" (apart from Charles Murray's book of the same name)? Did high schools and universities start teaching what needs to be taught? Um, no.

Jane Hart, Social Media and Learning Advisor, Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies, UK

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. There will also be a growing trend toward adopting a top-down approach to using social media in organizations by building a social media/learning strategy and implementing a platform that integrates a number of social media tools for enterprise use.

Grade: B

So have we been seeing a greater reliance on employee-generated content?  We're seeing social networking software, but in reviews like Jakob Nielsen's we're not seeing the content, particularly. It was encouraged, however, and did well enough to spawn the buzzword, though, which I guess is something. Did we get top-down social media learning strategies? Well, yeah. Surprised? Well, no.

Ugur Demiray, Editor-In-Chief, Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education-TOJDE, Anadolu University, Turkey

The growing population of the world with quality, accessible, and abundant educational opportunities—especially the rise of e-learning in both the government and the private sector—are eager to spend billions of dollars in 2009 for the delivery and marketing of e-learning programs that have been recognized as essential alternative delivery methods for education and training around the world in this economic crisis. As this trend progresses, we find ourselves in a world characterized by the phrase where virtual reality puts people inside a computer-generated world, ubiquitous computing forces the computer to live out here in the world with people.

Grade: D

The only prediction here, really, is that billions will be spent on e-learning in 2009. I checked, and yes, billions have been spent on e-learning, though the growth in proportion (at least according to this report) has been challenged recently. But society as a whole spends billions on pretty much everything. Put this prediction into the 'obvious and generic' category.

Curt Bonk, Professor, Indiana University, USA

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 trend toward teaching language online from peer-to-peer in 2008 will continue to mushroom and lead to greater acceptance not just of teaching languages in free and collaborative ways, but of entire courses, programs, and degrees. As free and open learning becomes the norm for millions of learners around the globe, high schools, universities, and corporate training centers will need to adjust their policies, procedures, and philosophies related to teaching and learning. If not, it may be time to say goodbye to many of them in 2009.

Grade: C


During the coming slump the risk of relying on free tools and services in learning will become apparent as small start-ups offering such services fail, and as big suppliers switch off loss-making services or start charging for them. 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. Large learning providers and companies that host VLEs will make increasing and better use of the data they have about learner behavior, for example, which books they borrow, which online resources they access, how long they spend doing what.
—Seb Schmoller, Chief Executive of the UK's Association for Learning Technology (ALT), UK

Wrenching changes in business and society accompanying the global transition from the industrial age to the network economy will kill off much of the training and education programs as we have known it. In its place will arise a more natural approach to learning through collaboration and sharing. There are great times ahead, an era of fulfilling, bounteous learning unprecedented in human history. However, the journey to this promised land will be brutal and unforgiving for people and organizations who resist change and lobby for "back to the basics."
—Jay Cross, Internet Time Group LLC, USA

Online learning tools and technologies are becoming less frustrating (for authoring, teaching, and learning) and more powerful. Instructional content development can increasingly be done by content experts, faculty, instructional designers, and trainers. As a result, online content is becoming easier to maintain. Social interaction and social presence tools such as discussion forums, social networking and resource sharing, IM, and Twitter are increasingly being used to provide formal and informal support that has been missing too long from self-paced instruction. I am extremely optimistic about the convergence of "traditional" instruction and support with technology-based instruction and support.
—Patti Shank, Learning Peaks, USA

There is no doubt that we are in a recession and that will continue to mean layoffs, downsizing, and reduced budgets. There will be an increased interest in open source software as well as tools and methods that enable online collaboration. E-learning will finally break free of the courses-online model as more people realize the business benefits of networked informal learning. Everyone will be looking at lower cost options for their training and development.
—Harold Jarche,, Canada

Poor economic conditions worldwide will require that the "paid labor content" of education be reduced. Taxes cannot sustain what is essentially a 19th-century craft industry. This will open opportunities for new technology-enabled educational innovations in which the repetitive routine lecturing, administrative and related repetitive tasks are replaced with e-learning options, and the teachers—though fewer in number—will have more opportunities to serve as student mentors. This combination of personal mentoring plus tailored e-learning environments for students could—if we are imaginative—will usher in an age of personalized learning analogous to the movement toward personalized health care.
—Richard C. Larson, Founder and Director, MIT LINC—Learning International Networks Consortium, USA

I hope for greater government support for e-learning around the world with mentoring for the less privileged communities.
—Yehudit Judy Dori, Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, Israel, and Visiting Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

The ordinary: Mobile will emerge, not as a major upheaval, but quietly infiltrating our learning experiences. We'll see more use of games (immersive learning simulations) as a powerful learning opportunity, and tools to make it easier to develop. Social networking will become the 'go to' option to drive performance improvements.

The extraordinary: Semantics will arise; we'll start realizing the power of consistent tagging, and start being able to meta-process content to do smart things on our behalf. And we'll start seeing cloud-hosting as a new vehicle for learning services.
—Clark Quinn, Quinnovation, USA

When jobs dry up, people find it's a good time to invest in themselves and go back to school. E-learning could enable campuses to fulfill their obligation to serve the incoming tidal wave by expanding the capacity of their pipelines. As they also face severe cuts, it may mean focusing on delivering good product to the customer efficiently and trimming administrative salaries (Why am I thinking of car companies?), hiring more faculty, and deploying innovative technology. Meanwhile, smart corporations should be using the Web to cultivate future talent efficiently and broadly, preparing for what we all hope is the recovery to come.
—David Porush, CEO, MentorNet, USA

With the global economy in shambles, the parallel requirements of thrift and quality—two values traditionally seen at opposite ends of the continuum—will combine to drive a more scalable model for online "eWorking." Thrift and quality are both needed for online support to be a scalable and acceptable replacement for face-to-face training. "Learning" as a discrete activity will take a back seat to the contextual tagging and appearance of appropriate knowledge chunks in support of specific tasks in real time. These tagged "coherent chunks" will be semantically integrated with an organization's tacit knowledge to form a dynamic user-driven package combining both vetted and open source (contributed, shared) content, one small package at a time as needed.
—Jonathon Levy, President and Co-founder, LeveragePoint Innovations, Inc.

Instructional designers in corporations, public institutions, military, and higher education will increasingly use newer electronic communication tools such as wikis and social networks as well as older tools such as listservs, discussion forums, and blogs to cultivate learning communities within organizations. Whether tethered to distinct courses, as is now common in higher education, 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.
—Peter J. Fadde, Assistant Professor of Instructional Technology and Co-coordinator of Center for Interactive Learning Research (CILR), Southern Illinois University, USA

Education and training via e-learning (increasingly enhanced by the availability of cloud computing) will grow. Cloud computing will be the dominating factor for e-learning practices, as it allows for cost-effective, efficient, and an environmentally friendly form of educational and training opportunities. There will be a great demand for high-quality flexible learning environments that fit the cost and time demands of people (customers). As a result of cloud computing, individuals with specific expertise will be able to offer their unique professional development services throughout the world at a much more affordable cost than traditional academic and training institutions.
—Badrul H. Khan, Founder and President,, USA

In the past, the budget of training departments got cut when an economic crisis erupted, but this time investing in learning will make or break companies and organizations. The world is evolving from an industrial age into a knowledge age, so content will become key in 2009. Social media use will increase because it saves money as it keeps knowledge in a central place (quick retrievability, international access,…). Educational policies will enable educational institutions to come to terms with new learning technologies and not banish them bluntly. Mobile learning will grow, especially in developing countries, as landlines are skipped in those regions.
—Inge de Waard, eLearning advisor, Ignatia Webs, Belgium

2009 will be "The Year of Implementing 2.0." Previous years have been spent getting our industry to see new Web technologies as having powerful learning applications. Early adopters have experimented with mobile, gaming, wikis, social networks, and others, and they have paved the way for others to follow. My advice to the e-learning community this year is to pay very close attention to the culture in which you are implementing. Ignoring the impact on culture will be the Achilles' heel of e-learning implementations in 2009.
—Brent Schlenker, New Media and Emerging Technologies Analyst, The eLearning Guild, USA

In 2009 learning professionals will start to move beyond using Web 2.0 only for "rogue," informal learning projects and start making proactive plans for how to apply emerging technologies as part of organization-wide learning strategy. In a recent Chapman Alliance survey, 39 percent of learning professionals say they don't use Web 2.0 tools at all; 41 percent say they use them for "rogue" projects (under the radar screen); and only 20 percent indicate they have a plan for using them on a regular basis for learning. Early adopters such as Sun Microsystems and the Peace Corp have made changes that move Web 2.0 tools to the front-end of the learning path, while still using structured learning (LMS and courseware) as critical components of their learning platforms.
—Bryan Chapman, Chief Learning Strategist and Industry Analyst, Chapman Alliance, USA

The global economic crisis will have profound effects on IT investments in general, corporate training in particular, and thus e-learning. Historically, IT has proven a prominent candidate for cost reductions in times of uncertainty. Such an eventuality creates business opportunities for the wider adoption of open source, free, and user-generated technologies and content for e-learning. Organizations wishing to sustain their efforts on human capital development will give special attention to open source during this year. The public sector in mature economies will increase its share of e-learning technologies, content, and services in order to retain economic growth in the corresponding sector. To this end, companies will intensify their competition over public sector e-learning projects. Thus, new synergies shall emerge between the traditional public sector IT providers and e-Learning related companies. Web 2.0 tools will continue to thrive and will be used to facilitate semantic tagging and annotation in already existing content, making it possible to incorporate such content in educational curricula, as well as in cultural and scientific digital resources libraries.
—Spiros Borotis and Angeliki Poulymenakou, Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece

As much as I dislike the term for its Palinesque connotations, 2009 is the year that corporate e-learning "goes rogue." 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 (for realz!) in favor of experimentation—creating messy, loosely structured courses supplemented with low-cost social software and old-school support tools like job aids. Employees, craving personalization, will "go rogue" using tools and creating content that best suit their needs—whether supported by the organization or not. And, in order for corporate learning management systems and talent management systems to thrive, they too will "go rogue" by putting on their invisibility cloaks and becoming a suite of widget-like, integrated, mashed-up applications existing inside and outside the firewall.
—Janet Clarey, Brandon Hall Research, USA

I believe that 2009 will be the first year we see meaningful ubiquitous computing environments emerge. I have been exploring frameworks during 2008 that give designers and developers the ability to create applications that can reside both online and on desktops; a capability that is quite frankly a little overwhelming when one thinks in terms of interoperability. The full impact of this implementation can be realized when we consider how the array of cloud applications can be leveraged irrespective of time, place, connectivity, device, etc. This is the level of interconnectivity that will usher in a new paradigm in online learning.
—Phil Ice, Director of Course Design, Research, and Development, American Public University System, USA

There are three reasons why e-learning will continue to grow in 2009: (1) The economy is tanking. More and more companies will be attempting to achieve cost savings using e-learning technologies. (2) As students attempt to make better use of their time and money, they will continue to avail themselves of e-learning opportunities. (3) As more and more companies try to establish a reputation for being eco-friendly, they will use e-learning as part of their green initiatives.
—Matt Bovell, Vell Group, USA

I see the current credit crunch as a time when more money is spent on training. The reasons are: (1) Good companies (particularly in the financial sector) use training as part of an exit package. Hence, as people are released, budgets are provided for the release packages and some of this is spent on training. (2) Individuals want to distinguish themselves from the market. This means they have to spend money on training to provide that differentiation. Many training companies see this time as challenging, but not a time to expect a large decrease in training revenue.
—Peter Parker, Owner, EPCoT Systems Ltd and Management Consulting Consultant, UK

Date: 12/27/2009 12:55:15

From: Jon Kruithof
Mohawk College, Hamilton, ON, Canada media education
Date: 12/08/2009 06:22:08
A prevailing undercurrent is that education, like medicine, is a bitter pill to swallow. I agree with Ryan Cameron, and do think that educators have to be media moguls in some sense. It seems to me that e-learning in general will not change, but the educator behind it will have to adapt. The educator will have to be a scriptwriter, web designer, filmaker, image manager and do it well, and for less. With that critical consumption of media and the ability to discern fact from fiction will become more important. As we move further into the future, and into virtual worlds, identity and who one is will become critical to manage and control.

From: Farhad
# Blended Information and Communication Technology Models for Use Effective Education in Higher Education
Date: 09/26/2009 11:24:54

From: Don Li

Virginia Web App, LLC knowledgenotebook
Date: 05/25/2009 03:53:38
@ ryan cameron This is one of the most thoughtful and intelligent comments regarding learning and software I''ve read for a quite while. @ Scot Aldred Another thoughtful observation though I don''t necessarily agree with all its assumptions. For one thing, the relationship between traditional way/method of learning and e-learning does not have to be XOR (mutually exclusive), but rather evolving... Too bad very few thought-provoking authors/media gurus actively and effective provide some counter-weight to the dumbing of the pop-culture...

From: Agus Santoso

Universitas Pelita Harapan One man standing
Date: 03/05/2009 05:45:28
One day, maybe in the next foreseeable future, if a teacher/lecturer/trainer/educator insists to have a F2F class, s/he will be the only person standing in the classroom because his/her students have preferred to study online !!!!!

From: anjum wasim dar

Bilquis College of Education Pakistan e-learning and multi media
Date: 02/27/2009 08:47:00
e-learning is effective long lasting colorful and full of latest knowledge.We at BCOE have inroduced e-learning from 16 Feb with the use of PPT Multimedia presentations and there has been instant change in the mental approach thinking process and attitude towards learning among teachers and students. learning and imparting knowledge has become much easier.

From: Kingsley Tagbo

IT Career Boot Camp - Online, Web Based, Video Based 2009 - The Year Of Video Based Training
Date: 01/26/2009 01:37:04
2009 will see a sustained and increased migration away from Traditional Class Room Training to Anywhere, Anytime, AnyPace Video Based Training for the business analyst, computer programmer, data analyst or software development community.

From: arnold garcia

UTB EDTC program E-learning will only grow
Date: 01/25/2009 08:46:05
As universities and other school systems look to cut costs in a failing economy, e-learning can only keep growing. They reduce the need for classroom space as well as other neccesities like AC or heating, electricity, etc... It might require some investment in computing resources but they would be offset by other savings. Students benefit from this as well, it saves them time and money. Not to mention most students today love working on computers.

From: Jane Bozarth

Author, Better than Bullet Points End of the traditional trainer?
Date: 01/22/2009 06:49:55
My guess is that we are nearing the do-or-die point for those classroom trainers who have been resisting e-learning. The state of the economy will demand that organizations take a hard look at travel and other costs associated with traditional classroom training, and based on cost (rather than quality) will increasingly shift old business to new delivery methods. I have already seen instances of e-learning-resistant trainers/HR departments left behind as other organization decisionmakers (IT, C-Suite) made decisions for them, based only on economics, and imagine that will only increase.While I welcome the move to increased use of e-learning (as I never did understand how the classroom got to be held in such exalted esteem), this isn’t necessarily good. It breeds the “convert” (rather than transform)-a-classroom-course-to-online-mentality – but it may be the best push forward we’ll get. This brings with it, as others here have noted, a shift toward buying or building whatever is the cheapest instruction, and away from thoughtful instructional design. I agree with Dr. Mayer that we will see increasing understanding of evidence-based practice but worry that it will be ignored in favor of easier, crank ‘em out approaches. Also—as much a hope as a prediction: the increasing use of social media may create the perfect storm for learners to start taking charge of training offerings and let-me-get-it-myself content.

From: Dana Alan Koch

Accenture Education Workflow Learning
Date: 01/16/2009 04:58:35
2009 will also be a year where learning is moved more directly into the workflow and out of the classroom. To the comment made earlier this is learning at “the moment of need” (Conrad Gottfredson’s phrase). Ubiquitous and less-expensive technology, social networking, peer-to-peer collaboration and user generated content are among the contributors to the increasing reality of workflow learning. Add to this the continuous pressures on budgets (in good and bad economic times), the requirement to show business value for training spend (Return on Learning), the predicted frequent job changing of the new generation of employees (See Tapscott’s books) and you have a training business that will push more learning to the actual workplace and strive to embedded learning into tasks. I see this as going beyond traditional performance support and into something much richer, much more customizable, and much more personal... 2009 won’t see the reality of this, but will move us to this type of ideal.

From: Carol Whittington

eLearning consultant clarity
Date: 01/15/2009 02:01:18
Thanks Lisa for bringing together such a diverse range of ideas and visions. As a consultant not knowing if I was going to be working or not in the next few weeks, I have recently been pondering this question myself on my own small scale. While these are only predictions and the future has yet to be decided, these views helped provide clarity on my personal experiences and gave me the knowledge that the non-traditional eLearning I have been doing most likely has a place in some part of the future, even if finding that place may be difficult for me and many of my colleagues in the current economy.

From: Lynne Jones

e-Learning Manager (VET - Vocational Education and Training) Bravo Lisa
Date: 01/14/2009 09:23:01
Lisa, thanks for harnessing the comments. This is what it is all about...quite diverse expert comments available to all to access and comment on. Great informal learning, Jay. Ryan Cameron and Scot Aldred have brought some realistic comments to the mix however I value all the differing and similar expert opinion and hope many of the predictions do come to fruition. What a wonderful world we live in!

From: Emma King

EscP Consulting, Brandon Hall Research Associate & Chapman Alliance Partner Moment of Need
Date: 01/13/2009 06:04:31
Great Inspiring List. 2009 will be year for companies to reuse content that they have previously created by starting to utilize EPSS solutions that can provide this information to users at the moment of need. Providing immediate assistance to enable individuals to accurately perform a task utilizing a combination of resources from a single point of initiation. We face a credit crunch and a knowledge crunch but if we utlize tools effectively we can ensure that the knowledge captured by SME''s is shared at the time it is needed

From: Scot Aldred

University Lecturer (elearning) Cost Cutting Myth
Date: 01/12/2009 09:29:10
Thanks Lisa, and congratulations on gathering predictions from such eminent colleagues in elearning. Ryan Cameron has acknowledged an important misconception with regard to cost cutting. While Ryan discusses the open source cost advantage myth, there is also a matter of quality development and support to acknowledge. Many of my colleagues will claim that online learning is inferior to face-to-face instruction and in a sense they are correct. The move to online learning is often done with little understanding and acknowledgement that the learning environment is completely different. When online learning becomes a replication of classroom instruction, or could be classified as "Shovelware", it is indeed inferior to the face-to-face alternative. Using the above models is, in most cases, a lower cost alternative, but significantly inferior and ineffective. If, however, the online learning is authentic, engaging, media rich with high levels of online facilitator support, the learning experiences can easily eclipse that of the classroom. Following this approach makes online learning just as expensive as face-to-face although the scalability is better than the traditional approach. Web 2.0 and virtual environments will bring outstanding opportunities for formal and informal learning experiences, but it will not save organisations substantially with costs.

From: Viplav Baxi

Servitium Predictions for 2009
Date: 01/12/2009 08:10:58
My 2 cents for 2009! Silverlight (more so) and Flex for learning development and tools will see a significant rise. LMS mindshare shall start being significantly impacted by Learning 2.0 solutions such as Mzinga and ELGG. As the adoption starts, enterprise measures/metrics will also start falling into place. Adoption of Learning 2.0 approaches will start in earnest in the second half of the year. LPO or Learning Process Outsourcing will gain momentum in 2009. The use of the mobile as a learning platform shall see renewed interest - the start of ubiquitous learning being made possible by technological developments in the handset, services and network space. The use of virtual worlds for learning will acquire more importance - if things are right, it should mark the beginning of the end for traditional virtual classrooms. Games and simulations will see an increased adoption.

From: Lloyd Dawson

James Cook University - Australia Leading the New Revolution
Date: 01/12/2009 06:40:34
Great list Lisa. In times when public confidence is low, the last thing the public needs is to hear is an abundance of ''doom & gloom'' messages from all around compounding the fear and loss of confidence that already exists. Every bust contains the seeds from which the next boom will spring. Your list gives educators the inspiration to rise up above the tide. Well done!

From: Gerald Friedland

International Computer Science Institute More web-based services
Date: 01/12/2009 05:25:22
Network-based bandwidth and storage space has gone up while skills in using tools hasn''t so much. Therefore, I think we will see a shift towards web-based managed services. These services will provide, recording, transmission, storage, and content management in one site. They might even contain experimental media analytics approaches for automatic indexing, etc...

From: Jay Cross

Internet Time Group and togetherLearn Hey now
Date: 01/12/2009 12:41:45
First of all, congratulation, Lisa, on capturing responses from from so many great thinkers that patterns emerge. This is a milestone for creating meaning with eLearn magazine. I sense a great divide among the responses. Some see eLearning ascendant because it''s less expensive than the old ways. Others of us sense opportunity for wholesale change, re-jiggering a system that had gotten seriously out of whack. It is wonderful that everyone finds an upside to the downturn.

From: Sohail Mahmood

International Islamic University Islamabad my comment on E-Learning
Date: 01/11/2009 12:33:01
E-learning is poised to grow because of lowered costs, increased awareness of potential for incorporating new technologies in enhancing educational content, and networking advances already available. The primary reason is the availability of the infrastructure worldwide at reduced costs.

From: ryan cameron

northeastmagic overestimation of the consumer
Date: 01/10/2009 04:14:25
In reading these comments, its seems there are some key assumptions that are probably wrong. 1. Open source is not, actually, free. Someone has to build it, someone has to maintain it. Open source is simply transferring an up front and usually meagre licence fee for a long term highly specialized labour cost, which in many cases ends up creating situations where organizations are completely hamstrung by their IT department/gurus. 2. Consumers will probably not get increasingly sophisticated in building their own training. Looking at the education systems and social trends, it becomes clear that people are losing essential creative skills, basic historic and heuristic abilities, and thus, to even reach them, e-learning needs to become more like movies or television shows, or for that matter facebook apps, as pop culture is the actual language people are increasingly speaking. E-learning will have to be "sold" to people and will compete directly with the latest movies, hit tv series, and the swarm of competing social networks, both general and highly specific (a la So, the future of e-learning is, the courses that engage (shock etc) and entertain first, then educate later, will be the only ones to be effecatious. A bit of broccolli mixed into the kraft dinner so to speak.

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

Copyright 2024
Last Updated: Jul 19, 2024 5:55 p.m.

Canadian Flag Creative Commons License.