How is learning evolving in the future?

Back in the 80’ies the future was predicted to be “multi-media” for a long time, but what came next with the web 2.0 was quite unpredictable for most. The way digitalisation impacts nearly all aspects of our lives nowadays no one would have imagined. In regards to the area of training and learning, blackboards are becoming a bit more oldschool and a gradual rise of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), Corporate Online Courses (COOCs), Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) and Serious Games (SGs) can be observed.

MOOCs are online classes open to anyone with assignments, evaluations and quizzes along the way. Often the evaluation of exams is done by a teacher, software or peers. MOOCs deliver learning content as a package, whereas SPOCs combine small live teaching environments with online course rooms and in-person collaboration. All of the above mentioned formats integrate perfectly to what is now indicating towards a bigger shift about to happen: Augmented Reality (AR).

AR not only is a mind-blowing experience but has already proven to be a successful learning tool. This is because it recreates work or any learning environments through 3D scenarios and interactions with avatars and characters making learning explorative and experiential. But what makes AR so special? The answer lies in its closeness to reality, no new worlds need to be created to learn but the real world just gets extended for its learning purpose. Everything can therefore be offered in a real or live setting!

The learner’s curiosity and ingenuity is ignited and knowledge can be applied by achieving learning outcomes at their own pace. Imagine trainees learning about the parts of a vehicle with vivid images and instructions from an AR-device on top of their normal view. Like this new systems and components can be introduced in a much more physical and contextual way enhancing an exciting learning adventure. Physical models can be viewed and examined from all angles with information and digital content. Possibilities are endless and AR has a huge potential even on traditional webpages, by mixing textual content with 3D items.

Recent surveys show that technology is a motivating and useful tool for students and that educational technology reinforces and expands existing concepts. Most students already wish they had more access to content to use with their new technology, especially the “digital native” generation who feels at home in the online world. Some might regard this learning shift negatively, but how often did people fear calculators would inhibit people’s intelligence?

In the context of digitalisation augmented learning is bound to play a prominent in a future that is hard to predict, but will surely make learning a lot more individually adaptable, intuitive and easier to retain.

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