How Can Big Data Transform Your Online Learning Program?
With the rise of technology, many aspects of our lives, including online learning, have changed drastically. Nowadays, eLearning programs can accommodate the needs of diverse audiences and modify their content as needed. One thing that has permitted this leap in quality is the ability to gather and analyze large amounts of information and feedback from learners. But how does leveraging Big Data benefit your online learning program? After we clarify the main question of what Big Data is, we will dive into 6 ways it ensures the effectiveness of your learning material.
What Is Big Data In The Context Of eLearning?
Big Data as a whole refers to the collection and analysis of massive amounts of data to accomplish goals and cater to specific needs. Their significance for companies and organizations of all kinds doesn’t depend solely on the volume of information but also on the way they utilize it to make the right decisions for optimum results in the future. In the world of eLearning, Big Data—or learning analytics, as it is also known—is based on the plethora of data created when learners are taking courses. For example, instructors are interested in information such as learner progress, demographics, time of completion, end-of-course results, and more. The majority of this data is collected and analyzed by Learning Management Systems and utilized by eLearning professionals to optimize the learning process.
6 Benefits Of Leveraging Big Data For Your eLearning Course
Now that we know what Big Data is, it’s time to dive deeper into the ways it can help eLearning instructors maximize the effectiveness of their learning programs.
1. Highlights Problem Areas
The main benefit of Big Data is that it reveals patterns from which you can extract valuable insights. What eLearning instructors mostly focus on is discovering problem areas that need adjustment. For example, a high number of attempts and a long completion time might indicate a training module that is too difficult for your learners. This is an issue you certainly need to address to prevent learner frustration and disengagement. Careful data analysis will highlight such areas for improvement and give learners an improved learning experience.
2. Points Out Effective Strategies And Modules
Apart from pinpointing problem areas, Big Data can also show you what you are doing well. Similar data as the ones we mentioned above—i.e., module completion time, engagement percentages, etc.—and post-training assessments can easily reveal which modules are the most effective in helping learners acquire new skills. Identifying the learning techniques and formats (animation, podcasts, videos) that resonate more with your audience will clarify how your next online training course will look or point to possible solutions to problem areas in your current course.
3. Tracks Learner Patterns And Preferences
When you leverage Big Data in eLearning, you are able to monitor every stage and detail of the learning process. As a result, information about everything, from effective and ineffective modules to learner preferences and learning patterns, is in your hands. For instance, you gain valuable insights about how many of your learners prefer short-form or long-form content, text or video, learning in a collaborative versus in an independent environment, etc. Knowing more about the behavioral patterns of your audience individually and as a whole increases the odds of success for your training program.
4. Supports The Development Of Personalized Learning Paths
Personalization is a very important factor when it comes to the effectiveness of an eLearning course. Learners are more likely to complete a course that is closer to their learning preferences and also retain these new skills for a longer time. Learning analytics will let you collect all the information you need to modify content so that it’s not only more engaging to your audience but also more fitting to their preferred pace and format. The more you customize the eLearning course to better fit the specific needs of your learners, the more involved and motivated they will be.
5. Helps You Give Constructive Feedback
In the same way that Big Data reveals the strong and weak points of your online learning course, it also reveals the strengths and weaknesses of your audience. This gives you the ability to provide constructive and detailed feedback to your learners regarding their learning journey. For example, if a learner fails a module, you will be able to let them know exactly where they went wrong and where they will need to focus their efforts when they retry. Instant and personalized feedback gives learners the motivation to continue learning and do their best until they accomplish their learning objectives.
6. Empowers eLearning Professionals To Make Predictions
Possibly the most important benefit of leveraging Big Data in eLearning is the ability to make data-based predictions for the future. In other words, by analyzing current data from your learning course, you will be able to accurately predict which modules will be more or less challenging for your learners. Using this information, you can make the course more user-friendly and even modify resources or formats at certain points to surprise your learners and re-engage their attention in the process. Naturally, this ability to predict will also lead the way for the development of new courses that will captivate learners and help them grasp complex topics more effectively and efficiently.
The benefits of incorporating Big Data into your eLearning courses are probably more than we can fit in an article. Many of them will reveal themselves to you along the way. What you need to remember is that Big Data will paint a clear image of your online training course and the behaviors that characterize your audience. As a result, you get more personalized content, detailed feedback, and more effective materials for your current and future learners, thus maximizing the quality of the learning experience you give them.