TrendsSeptember 4, 2020 (Updated: September 27, 2021)
by Matt Simpson
Elearning Industry After Lockdown: Challenges, Trends, and Opportunities
In today’s digest, we’ve collected recent news and research from the eLearning industry. And guess what we discovered? Well, nothing surprising: there’s a burning question on everyone’s minds—the impact of the global pandemic.
What’s changed, how to cope with those changes, where do new opportunities lie, what approaches can help companies make the most out of the situation—read about these and other topics in our news digest.
Improving Web Performance Helps Beat Industry Competition, Now More Than Ever—Uploadcare Research
The great shift from offline to online has led to an increasing traffic trend in the eLearning industry. Companies that react fast and prepare their websites for millions of newcomers can pull ahead, while others may find their positions slipping.
We analyzed the web performance of 150 eLearning websites to see how they cope with increased traffic caused by the pandemic. Here are just a few surprising facts we discovered:
👉Only 9% of eLearning websites have a satisfactory Performance Score. Most websites don’t convert increased traffic as effectively as they could. The average Performance Score of eLearning websites is 49, which is considered poor. (90 or higher is considered very good.)
👉20% of eLearning websites are dropping in traffic. The prevailing trend in average monthly visitors in the eLearning industry is positive: 41%. Still, 20%, or 1 out of 5 sites, is a significant number showing a negative trend.
👉 eLearning websites’ engagement rate can be improved by 43% by optimizing images. Proper image optimization alone could reduce page load times by 16%.
This report can give you an idea of how you can improve your eLearning business and grow your customer base.
Only 5% Think Their Strategy Will Go Back to What It Was Before, Fosway Reports
Fosway Group, Europe’s #1 HR industry analyst, conducted research to show the initial impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on corporate learning and development (L&D). Here are the key findings from the report:
👉 94% of organizations say that their learning priorities and strategy have changed in response to the pandemic.
👉 42% say it was difficult to cope with the impact of the pandemic.
👉 21% have implemented a “new” digital learning solution or expanded their number of licenses.
👉 Video content is the most successful in supporting companies during the COVID-19 crisis to date, followed by curated content, mobile learning, blended learning, bespoke eLearning, and microlearning.
👉 Only 5% think that their leading strategy, investment and resourcing will go back to what it was before the pandemic began.
👉 Collaboration is a key priority in remote work: 84% of L&D leaders think it’s now more important to integrate digital learning into other corporate platforms like Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Trello.
As the second-quarter results begin to come in, we see that, surprisingly, edTech and online learning sectors aren’t experiencing a collective increase in outcomes—at least not yet. Revenues dramatically increased for some and dropped for others, and in some cases, they’re radically different. Authors offer several examples:
👉 The online learning resource platform Chegg reported a 63% year-over-year sales increase with second-quarter revenues of $153.0 million. They reached 3.7 million subscribers and a net income of $10.6 million.
👉 The online program manager (OPM) 2U increased revenue by 35% compared to the previous quarter to reach $182.7 million. Still, their net loss bumped up to $66.2 million from $38.2 million the year before.
👉 Pearson, another OPM, reported 2020 first-half profits of £1.49 billion, which marks a 17% decline in year-over-year revenue—losing £23 million so far this year.
👉 Grand Canyon Education reported a 6.3% revenue bump to reach $185.8 million in Q2. But year-over-year, their net income decreased by 8%.
That’s where the industry is right now, and it remains to be seen how things will change in the future.
Videos Won’t Replace Face-to-Face Lectures, but Can Improve Students’ Learning
The global lockdown forced every university to move online and opt for live videoconferencing or pre-recorded videos to continue education in this new environment.
The folks from The Conversation did a semantic review to see what happens when pre-recorded videos replace classes. They analyzed over 100 studies and found out that 75% of the time, students learned more when given a video instead of a class.
On average, the effects are small (about +2 grades) but they are much larger when videos replace books (+7 grades), or when videos are used to teach skills (+6 grades) instead of knowledge. Here are a few reasons for this:
👉There are two channels for learning: what you see and what you hear. Videos combine both channels in contrast to books, podcasts, websites, etc. Lectures can also use both channels, but lecturers can’t edit their speech, and usually boil things down to the key points.
👉Videos allow students to control the pace of learning: speed it up, slow it down, stop to take notes, or have a break.
👉You can invite guest speakers to take part in a video or show real situations that are not possible to demonstrate in class, which can make education more authentic.
👉Many technologies can let you embed questions and feedback in videos, making it more interactive.
The authors of the report believe that videos won’t replace classes entirely, but offering videos before or after class in addition to lectures can improve the learning experience and even students’ grades.
That’s it for this digest. We hope the insights, stories and data from this digest gave you a fresh perspective on your industry and some ideas on how to improve your business. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
About the author
A web enthusiast, hunting for strategies and tactics on how to ensure digital growth.