Did My 2015 Predictions Come True?

predictLast year I wrote a post about the future of elearning in the year 2015.

Now that a year has gone by I was curious if any of these predictions came true.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, you may want to read the original article first. Here you can read more about the predictions I made and some additional context.

For the sake of this article however, I’ll just remind you of each item. The predictions were:

  1. MOOCs Forced to Grow Up
  2. Mobile Learning Spike Begins
  3. Major Universities Adopt Online Degree Programs

So, was I right? Let’s have a look.

Prediction #1: MOOCs Forced to Grow Up

Result: Sort Of Right

I must admit that I am a bit surprised at how slow MOOCs seem to be moving. I would have thought that by now there would be a clear-cut plan on monetization.

While methods have been implemented to generate revenue it really isn’t overly impressive compared to the amount of money being invested in them.

For example, in August of 2015 Coursera secured more investments from another round of funding. This time the learning pioneer pocketed around $49.5 million.

Why all this money? The only explanation is “for global expansion”.

Still, I can’t quite figure out how investors are going to realize their returns. Unless Coursera continues their odd new practice of paid courses (which to me seems like it’s “anti” MOOC).

Prediction #2: Mobile Learning Spike Begins

Result: Nailed It

I’ll admit that this was a pretty easy prediction to make, but being right still feels quite nice 🙂 .

The mobile learning market is starting it’s ascent gaining momentum from the previous few years.

Undoubtedly the devices we all use today (tablets and smartphones in particular) are behind the wide-scale adoption.

I wrote about the upward trend in the mobile learning industry a few times last year.

The exciting thing is that last year marked the first year of the boom. All signals point to continued growth in this sector.

Prediction#3: Major Universities Adopt Online Degree Programs

Result: Wrong 🙁

When I originally made this prediction I really thought we were going to see a spike in distance learning programs offered by major universities.

Be it by utilizing the visibility of MOOCs or through their own advertising, I expected to see a lot more advertising of these programs in the United States.

To date it appears the same players are the ones making a push in this area (for example, University of Phoenix).

That’s not to say these universities aren’t leveraging elearning more than ever before, because they certainly are making that investment.

They just don’t appear to be using this elearning convenience to market their course offerings to the masses.

Then again maybe most of the advertising for this is locally based and I’m just not exposed to it in my part of the country.

Nonetheless, this prediction kind of fell flat.

What About 2016?

In an upcoming article I’ll venture into what I think the trends are going to be this year, for nothing else in that I always find it fun to revisit the predictions the following year.

I’ll try to stay clear of the obvious trends and instead I’ll make an honest attempt to make bolder predictions based on what I see in the industry today

Stay tuned!

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About the Author:

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS trusted by the world's leading organizations, such as the University of Michigan, Digital Marketer, WPEngine, and Infusionsoft. Justin has made a career as an elearning consultant where he has implemented large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies. Twitter | LinkedIn

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