Things that were moving forward in 2023 are unlikely to slow down. The ever-evolving landscape of education and professional development will continue to mature. Taking stock of the trends we’ve seen over the last 12 months – and looking ahead at 2024, there are three significant areas that stand out. Areas that we here at Near-Life predict will continue to drive the transformation of learning: Virtual Reality (VR), Gamification, and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Immersive learning and Virtual Reality (VR) has steadily gained traction in recent years. Research shows that, if designed and delivered right, it can offer an unparalleled educational experience. As hardware prices continue to decrease and the adoption of open VR tech like WebXR widens, VR’s rise in the learning space will very likely continue.
According to a report by Statista, the global VR hardware market is projected to reach $11.4 billion by 2024. This surge in VR adoption is attributed to the declining cost of VR devices. Affordability means they are more accessible to educational institutions and learners. The immersive nature of VR facilitates experiential learning, enabling individuals to engage in realistic simulations and hands-on experiences that enhance retention and understanding.
Moreover, as awareness grows regarding the effectiveness of immersive learning, educators and trainers are harnessing VR technology to simulate real-world scenarios, from medical procedures to engineering designs. This hands-on approach not only improves knowledge retention but also fosters critical thinking and problem-solving skills. And affordable VR authoring tools, that are making it easier to design interactive VR experiences, mean that immersive learning can be adopted more widely.
Gaming is going nowhere. It is the dominant force in entertainment. And it works for learning. Gamification, the integration of game elements into non-game contexts, will continue to revolutionise learning methodologies into 2024. With technological advancements and new, easy to use gamification authoring tools, designing gamified experiences has become more accessible and versatile.
Research by MarketsandMarkets predicts that the global gamification market will grow to $30 billion by 2025, showcasing the growing demand for interactive and engaging learning experiences.
Technological advancements, empower educators and content creators to design gamified learning modules efficiently. And as adoption increases – a richer eco-system of best practice will continue to evolve via groups like Gamification and Learning on LinkedIn.
By incorporating elements like branching scenarios, point systems and rewards, educational content becomes more engaging, motivating learners and improving knowledge retention. Consequently, the fact it works so well is the reason why it’s development will continue apace.
While the hype surrounding AI has been prevalent in recent years, the focus is expected to shift towards practical and specific use cases in learning environments in 2024. As AI technology matures, attention will be directed towards leveraging AI to streamline tasks and save time.
Research from McKinsey indicates that AI has the potential to automate approximately 60-70% of tasks individuals are paid to perform, emphasising its role in optimising workflows and reducing manual efforts. In the educational sphere, AI-powered tools will assist in personalised learning experiences, adaptive assessments, and intelligent tutoring systems. Additionally, generative AI will support learning content creators.
The shift towards specific applications of AI in education will centre on enhancing the efficiency of administrative tasks. In addition, it will provide personalised learning paths and facilitate intelligent feedback mechanisms. This refocus from generalised AI hype to tangible, time-saving applications will shape the educational landscape in the coming years.
So that’s it. Our predictions for 2024: Virtual Reality, Gamification, and Artificial Intelligence. We believe all three are poised to continue their impact on redefining the learning experience in 2024.
The increasing accessibility, immersive nature, and practical applications of these technologies signify a transformative era in education. Thus, promising more engaging, personalised, and effective learning. As these trends continue to evolve, learners and educators stand to benefit from a more interactive and efficient educational landscape.
If you’d like to look at how gamification, VR and AI can support your learning plans in 2024. Why don’t you get in touch?