E-LEARNING AND BIG DATA: DATA ANALYSIS AS A MEAN FOR SATISFYING LEARNERS’ NEEDS

As already discussed in the previous articles, the world of education and e-learning is characterized by a high rate of investment in new technologies aimed at improving the trainee’s training experience.

The main challenge is being able to use all these technologies in an integrated manner, to favour training and skills development.

In this way, e-learning platforms providers will increasingly use big data to analyse the amount of information coming from software.

BIG DATA: DEFINITION AND CHALLENGE

The term big data refers to a set of data so large in terms of volume and so complex, that traditional software is not able to manage and analyse it. From its analysis, however, extremely interesting data could be obtained to understand not only users’ behaviour, but also and above all their future needs.

For distance learning (DL) the analysis of big data represents both a challenge and an opportunity. In fact, e-learning will be increasingly specific and personalised not only for the increasing competitiveness of the markets, but also thanks to the use of big data, from the analysis of which it will be possible to derive and implement interactive and highly personalised training programmes to meet the training needs (skills, objectives and expectations) of the individual.

THE IMPACT OF BIG DATA ON E-LEARNING

Those companies that use an e-learning software produce an enormous amount of data: either directly, through the use of a learning management system, or indirectly, interacting in different ways with the content they are using. These data are spread in a destructured manner through the system (LMS), but also through third-party channels such as social networks, and are too complex to be managed in a traditional manner. For this reason, it is necessary to find fast and scalable solutions that, through the use of Cloud technologies, are able to make multiple systems work in an integrated manner.

The impact of big data in e-learning will concern:

  • Feedback analysis: big data will transform e-learning through the collection and analysis of all the training steps undertaken by a learner. Thus, it will be possible to know if a student makes mistakes or if he/she is not acquiring the knowledge correctly;
  • Creation of new approaches: big data applied in the e-learning sector can allow us to understand which strategies we should focus on and which we should not. This possibility offers a high probability of obtaining favourable results compared to the traditional learning strategy that is more difficult to be monitored;
  • Monitoring of learners: thanks big data, e-learning experts will be able to follow a student during the entire learning process, from the beginning to the end.

Big data can help us understand the behavioural dynamics of the users involved in a single training or in a full training process, in a more accurate way than the existing systems. These factors are able to bring out important information about what and how these people learn, thus helping us to make more informed decisions about the structuring of the educational flow.

E-LEARNING AND BIG DATA: FUTURE SCENARIOS

Big data is destined to revolutionise the way e-learning is designed, developed, delivered and monitored. The introduction of this technological value in the context of distance learning will allow the opening of a series of new possibilities to make learning more effective, radically changing the way we approach learning & development activities.

Stay updated on the latest technological innovations related to the e-learning sector, read all our articles.

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