How COVID-19 has upturned the e-learning market

Posted Jun 19, 2020 by Tim Sandle
The global coronavirus pandemic has helped to propel e-learning in new directions. For some this is an extension of what has been underway for the past few years, for others it is a completely new concept. Either way, the market is growing.
File photo: New resources help students learn to code both in and outside of the classroom.
File photo: New resources help students learn to code both in and outside of the classroom.
© Apple / Newsroom
E-learning has grown considerably during the time of COVID-19 enforced lockdown. With this increase in growth comes several advantages, including diversity of content; affordability (especially where budgets are more constrained, since e-learning, as with video conferencing, reduces travel costs); increased reach (in that more people can access services); and improved learning, where the content is more engaging.
E-learning or computer based training refers to various forms of digital instruction that takes place via the Internet, either live or pre-recorded. E-learning typically deploys a range of multimedia elements, such as graphics, audio, video, and web-links. The concept also includes live tutorials delivered by video link.
E-learning is not without its challenges. One challenge relates to different learning styles. Different people have a preferred learning style., such as visual, some auditory, some kinesthetic (learning through feeling), and so on. Not all of these styles can be successfully delivered online. A related issue is focus deficit, which relates to spending too long a period engaging with similar appearing digital media. Further more, in some societies there are problems of access in relation to the unavailability or unaffordability of IT equipment, especially a shortage of computer peripherals. .
Despite some challenges, e-learning is set to grow rapidly, with one market report valuing the U.S. schools sector at over $12 billion alone. Under the period of coronavirus, schools, colleges, workplaces, and medical centers have each pushed forward with different forms of e-learning.
A future problem for the e-learning market is with competing systems, the risk of obsolescence of a given platform, and too many players (where the degree of fragmentation will most probably accelerate), resulting in some firms most likely going out of business or being acquired by bigger players in the near future.
It is also likely that some subject areas will prosper more than others. In particular, the areas of interior designing, software development, web designing, digital marketing and artificial intelligence a predicted to have increased scope, via e-learning platforms, in the years ahead.