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Learning in Lockdown – Why It’s Time for Mobile Payments in eLearning

What is eLearning?

Simply put, eLearning is learning via the internet, for example by watching an online tutorial, taking an online course, or joining a virtual classroom. eLearning is changing the educational experience and traditional classroom models, encompassing everything from playing educational games, to studying university-affiliated courses.

The Global eLearning Market

The eLearning market is set to exceed 375 billion USD by 2026 with technology-enabled teaching and training driving market growth. Factors include enhanced global internet penetration and the introduction of cloud technology providing both learners and content providers with flexible solutions for content storage, sharing, and access.

Other drivers include increased use of mobile apps and social media, new AR and VR applications and the demand for convenience and flexibility offered by remote learning and on-demand courses.

While lack of resources and funding have resulted in early adoption of eLearning in developing countries, western adoption has been slower. However with the impact of Covid-19 and lockdowns in place across the globe, we are inevitably set to see significant growth within the sector.

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Mobile eLearning

The rise of smartphone penetration is propelling the eLearning market even further. Increased affordability and faster connectivity of portable devices has increased market demand for enhanced mobile-based solutions for on-the-go learners.

The learning experience has been drastically changed by mobile apps. From learning a new language in preparation for your next holiday to teacher-student feedback, the ease and accessibility of educational apps has had a big impact on traditional classroom models.

The Impact of Lockdown

Due to the outbreak of Covid-19, as of March 23, 2020 1.3 billion learners globally were not able to attend school or university. With social distancing the new norm around the world online courses are seeing a surge in enrolments as people use the time to build upon their skills.

For example, online learning platform Coursera, has seen 8 times the number of enrolments for social science, personal development, arts and humanities courses since the coronavirus outbreak.

According to The Open University the Covid-19 crisis could alter the skills required for as many as five million job roles across the UK, with 24% of UK employees now taking on additional learning opportunities to avoid risk of their current skillset becoming obsolete, and to make them more employable for future opportunities.

With many employees now working from home, HR industry analyst Fosway found video content is the highest rated in supporting organisations through the crisis, with off-the-shelf courses and blended learning less successful.

How Are eLearning Platforms Responding?

The pandemic has had an obvious impact on eLearning with increasing number of organisations now having no option but to switch to virtual learning experiences.

Since the Chinese government instructed a quarter of a billion students to resume their studies via online platforms, Tencent Classroom, has seen an impressive 730,000 students attending classes via the Tencent K-12 Online School in Wuhan.

And with the world’s biggest ‘try before you buy’ opportunity many platforms are offering their services for free. For example, Think and Learn app, BYJU’s has seen its student numbers increase by 200% after announcing the opportunity to take free live classes.

Top eLearning Platforms

According to App Annie some of the most popular downloaded apps for those who wish to continue learning during lockdown are Google Classrooms, Kahoot!, Duolingo, and Photomath.

While we’ve seen a surge of mobile gaming in lockdown many have also used the time for self-improvement projects like learning a new language or a musical instrument, and people also seem to be combining the two by learning new skills via game-like apps.

Norwegian educational games app, Kahoot! uses gamification to promote user engagement and has seen a significant spike in remote learning with 100K new users daily, plus an increased adoption by companies interested in onboarding and building employee motivation.

Not surprisingly, in April 2020, Udemy for Business saw an impressive 80% spike with a surge in enrolments in telecommuting (21,598% increase) and virtual teams (1,523%) courses, with online learning to increase productivity and personal development in coaching, self-discipline, resilience and stress management also seeing a jump.

Opportunities for Mobile Payments

Research suggests that eLearning has been shown to increase retention, and can even be more efficient in some cases than classroom learning. So does this mean it could be here to stay post lockdown?

With increased demand for remote learning experiences, platforms will need to identify user requirements, collaborating with subject experts to offer customised and enhanced content which can be easily accessed.

Carrier billing is one of the most convenient payment solutions, making it simple for users to access online content by charging it directly to your mobile phone bill. Talk to SLA Digital today to add carrier billing as a payment solution for your eLearning platform.

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