Explore: I did my exploration of LMS trends in the LMS 2016 Forecasts by Craig Weiss. I found his “E-Learning 24/7 Blog” to be very informative on many topics, not just LMSs. Four trends stuck out to me as “big ones”: curating content, PLE (Personalized Learning Experience), gamification, and making it social. Curating content seems to be inevitable with the number of mobile devices in our classrooms. It will enable students to upload video and allow classmates to collaborate on the content. PLE draws interest because it makes the platform specific to each student and their likes and dislikes. Gamification brings gaming into the learning platform which is high interest at all levels of education. 21st century learner skills require learning to be social so the push to make it more social is pertinent.
Answer: The trend that I chose, which I believe will have an impact on online learning, is gamification. There will need to be some upgrades to it, but it can keep interest high in low interest academic topics. It is human nature to want something in return when you do something. Gamification takes learning and builds in a reward system. LMSs can use gamification to create a reward store or built-in badge library to reward students for completion of different lessons/modules. This draws in learners from all levels: Kindergarten through higher education. I know I enjoy seeing badges in my Diply account when I complete something for GAVS. I can see many LMSs including gamification in some form or fashion because not all students are intrinsically motivated to complete work because they are “supposed” to do it. Some students need that extra extrinsic motivator to give them the encouragement to start learning even if it is to play a portion of a game in return for completing tasks or assignments. I do not believe gamificationi is a passing fad. I have been in education for over 14 years and I have seen hints of gamification in many online learning tools. I think that gamification in its current form will transform into something even more personalized for each student in online learning. I believe with the way our society is moving toward more and more technological classrooms that the entertainment valuse in gamification is going to be necessary to keep student’s attention and focus on learning.