What does the future of instructional design hold? These three technologies are just a few of the many innovations that will change the face of eLearning in ways we have yet to fully understand. Today, let’s examine the progress these technologies have already initiated, and explore together how they could potentially be used in the future.

3. Artificial Intelligence

picture of robot

Meet your new, somewhat-unsettling assistant.

  • In higher education, A.I. could help simplify an instructor’s workload. Chatbots could talk to students, help walk them through problems, and deliver simple information like due dates, required materials, etc, letting the instructor focus more on the more complex problems that arise.
  • A.I. could also help provide a more personalized learning environment. Already sites like Khan Academy have quizzes that will test a student more on the things they struggle with, while giving them less questions on things they already seem to know. I see this type of personalized learning facilitated by A.I. growing even further. This technology could be used to stage learning interventions between teachers, students (parents in the case of K-12) when students are at risk, rather than waiting for them to fail a concept. A.I. could also help find other relevant resources or find other ways to teach a student if they didn’t seem to be understanding a part of the curriculum. I could see this being helpful in both the corporate and higher ed world as well.

2. Cloud Computing

clipart of cloud raining data

  • Cloud computing is not just for storing big data but can do much more through a web browser rather than having to license and install software on each and every computer. Software-as-a-service model (SaaS) would decrease costs to monthly or annual subscription fee, rather than large, one-time payments for each piece of software.  This will be useful not only to us instructional designers, but our clients as well.
  • The cost for textbooks could also decrease dramatically since there would be no need for printing and publication costs. A school or company might seek out more multimedia materials, if they are already seeking most of their materials online. A digital course could also be updated more frequently so our clients are always learning with the most up-to-date materials.
  • Cloud-based programs are often more compatible with multiple different types of devices, from smartphones to desktops. Usually non-cloud based data is only good for 1 type of device.
  • With cloud computing, we can share content effortlessly collaborate with one another. People are no longer limited to what can fit in an email, or be easily passed by a thumb drive or CD.

1.Virtual Reality

Military men with VR headsets triaing

  • Virtual reality lets learners interact directly with instructional materials. No longer do they have to passively watch or read about a certain concept or procedure, but they can really experience it for themselves. VR increases engagement This technology could be used especially in fields that have a high-risk or dangerous environment like the military, or those working with heavy machinery. It’s definitely important that they can carry out that procedure, but it might not be the best idea to have them work directly with those materials at first. We already use similar technology for a beginning pilot’s flight simulations.
  • It would also lower costs for some materials. For example, medical students could practice some procedures in VR as many times as they would like, rather than having to spend money on expensive and sometimes scarce materials (like cadavers, guys).

Those are my thoughts, but I wanna hear yours! Are there other ways you can see these technologies utilized in the future?

Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you next time!



Interested in exploring more about using virtual reality in online training programs? Check out KFC’s brilliantly bizarre VR training program!

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