Big Data and Personalization Continue to Surface on 2015 eLearning Trends Lists

Big Data
Big data can help institutions track student habits and performance which can then be used to help improve existing offerings and shape future programs.

The trends lists just keep on coming. Most of the coverage in terms of what we can expect as an industry is consistent from list to list, which means our industry seems to be in agreement on what’s to come. Two trends that our team here at Helix Education can closely relate to seem to be showing up over and over again – the growing importance of personalized education experiences and the increasing use of big data.

The “eLearning Trends to Follow in 2015” infographic, which was originally published by Talent LMS and then served as the basis for an article by eCampus News, presents expectations for the coming year, with, yep you guessed it, personalization and big data among the hot topics in eLearning.

Personalization is all about tailoring the learning experience to meet each individual student’s needs. At Helix Education, we believe personalization starts at the first point of interaction with a prospective student. That said, there are numerous ways to personalize the eLearning experience, from the pace at which a student learns and the various ways content is presented, to the incorporation of student interests and the learning path they choose to pursue. The ability to personalize the education experience often hinges upon how much you know about your students, which leads us right to our next trend, big data.

When it comes to big data, schools can gauge quite a bit about their students habits and performance that can then be used to help improve existing offerings and shape future programs. For example, schools can look at the way in which users click through content, different behavior patterns by cohort, where learners spend most of their time in a course, and more, combining information from their LMS and SIS to better understand the learning process and the impact that certain factors have on completion, retention and overall success rates.

While the trends lists are deep, and rightfully so given the continued transformation we see in the higher ed space, we trust that personalization and big data will take the industry far in improving the education experience and driving results for students and institutions alike. These are two movements that, like the trends lists they populate, we believe will just keep on coming.

Cherron Hoppes

Cherron is the Chief Academic Officer at Helix Education. She holds a doctorate of education (Ed.D.) from The University of Alabama with a specialization in higher education administration.