11 Technological trends for distance learning | TF Soluções Tecnológicas

11 Technological trends for distance learning

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Recently, I did a job as a teacher supervisor of a final project course (Thesis), with the theme: Proposal for the implementation of a mobile teaching and self-learning application at ISUTC.

I had the opportunity to help and learn a lot with the student and currently Engineer Hasler Choo on mobile teaching and self-learning applications, where Moodle was the focus.

It was essential to touch on subjects such as e-learning, b-learning and m-learning.

In the research that was done, many articles, books and magazines, talked about the technological trends of distance education, so I found some important and relevant information, which leads me to share in this Article.

Technological trends in distance education

Distance education has been improved over the years and with this, the demand has gradually increased rapidly. This is due to the technological advance and also the great demand for qualification of students and professionals.

When thinking about trends in distance learning, we have to keep in mind that distance learning and technology are in total alignment with all technological evolution, which transform not only access to content, but mainly the creative possibilities of new means of learning.

Everything that we previously absorbed in a linear way, now comes to be understood in a hyper textual, systemic and not more linear way. The impact is right there.

Now see the 10 trends in distance learning that most attracted our attention:

1. M-Learning

 According to the Visual Networking Index study, global mobile data traffic is expected to grow 13 times by 2019, so why not take advantage of this opportunity to gain more knowledge?

Mobile learning, m-learning, form a trend in education due to the great popularization of smartphones and tables, with a daily Internet access.

Mobile learning occurs when there is interaction between participants through mobile devices. This trend has generated great expectations in distance education.

It was already easy to study in the comfort of your home, now it is possible to do this even on the way to work, for example, saving time for those who live in the rush.

It is also a way of reducing the time reserved for learning only, allowing faster content update, compared to traditional teaching methods, giving more qualification to the professionals that institutions form through distance education.

The technologies are there to help us and make our life easier, so let’s enjoy it!

2. Gamification

It’s no news to anyone that keeping students engaged is becoming an increasingly difficult task, isn’t it?

The most basic definition of Gamification is related to the use of ideas and mechanics of games, to engage users and solve problems to engage users and solve problems.

The gamification in education has the ability to make classes and disciplines more attractive, productive and efficient for students and teachers, leaving aside the dull classes where the teacher insists on using only the school whiteboard with speech.

In addition, this tool becomes able to combat the lack of interest and dispersion on the part of the students in the classroom.

3. Blended-Learning

Blended Learning or b-learning, also called hybrid teaching, refers to a training system where most content is transmitted by distance learning courses. B-learning offers a mix of presential activities with distance activities among students.

This tendency deconstructs fixed concepts that differentiate presential classes from virtual ones, because it unifies the perception of education and learning, regardless of the path that will be transmitted..

4. Open Educational Resources (OER)

These are teaching materials that are available to anyone in the world to use in any way they wish to have access. They are contents that are under public domain on the Internet. These confirm the tendency that the content, the more democratically available and distributed, the more it contributes to people’s development.

5. Flipped Classroom

Flipped classroom promises to transform traditional learning methods. This is because, as the name itself suggests, it reverses the teaching methodology.

In traditional teaching, before arriving at school or college, for example, it was common for you to ask yourself, “What will you have in class today? Is it important? Do I have test?” Well, with the flipped classroom that never happens. Do you know why? Because the student receives all the content before the face-to-face classroom through virtual videos, texts or games.

After this virtual experience, already in the classroom face-to-face, when the student physically appears; there will be the place for interaction with the teacher and peers, to precisely solve the doubts and thus mainly to build projects or works, to carry out group activities and to perform exercises.

This technique allows the student to study and absorb the whole subject. Thus, when he arrives in the classroom, he will be more productive, allowing doubts to be effectively addressed and promoting better grounded and constructive group discussions.

6. Rapid-Learning

It is a methodology (e-learning) to support more full-time courses, because it is a very brief and concise course. The most common is to use PowerPoint slides and a location that meets these slides. Sometimes you can also provide some activity, which will also be fast, such as in test format. Rapid learning is a way to learn that fits very well with mobile devices (m-learning).

7. Social networks

They can motivate people to search the desired content and make these environments, repositories of learning objects, discussion rooms and thus exchange knowledge. It is worth remembering that social networks are already the natural habitat of digital native students; in fact, this is the highest percentage of students in schools and universities

8. Informal learning

Today we can all study and learn what we want, when we want, and at the rhythm we want, without necessarily having the intermediation of educational institutions or teachers. This is already a sign that the process of education will be increasingly focused on the interests of each learner, who has more and more power of choice, access to what he wants to learn.
This approach is a very strong tendency to be implanted in the future on the institutions, so the student may have the freedom to construct his own “learning menu” and with the possibility of individual applicability.

9. Adaptive learning

If we stop to think about our school time, we will easily remember that in the classroom the teacher explained in a way that some students understood and others not so much.

Now, have you ever imagined learning in a personalized way and according to your level of knowledge?

With adaptive learning, this is possible and will be increasingly available to all.

This is a teaching method that takes into account the individual’s experience and familiarity with the subject to be addressed in the course or training and customizes the content for each student according to their experiences, potentiating the results in education.

For this, before starting the studies, an e-Learning platform is needed that has this flexibility. Thus, knowledge tests are performed in which the strengths and weaknesses are identified to set up the lesson plan adapted to the needs of each student.

10. Big Data

Big Data refers to a large set of data or stored files. This trend follows systems that analyze and extract intelligence from a large body of data, allowing institutions and their teachers to know their students better, such as their weaknesses.

Big Data follows the data-processing pipeline for more efficient educational solutions. With a large volume of data on the performance and behavior of clustered students on servers, it becomes possible for institutions to transform this information into several projects.


Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are open online courses and generally free to the general public. Results of distance education and globalization, they were created as of 2006 and enable the development of the career, advanced studies, personal evolution and new skills. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, lectures, readings and tests, many MOOCs provide interactive forums.

What can we keep with this article?

Distance learning is the future for learning. Society needs to look to the future. We must try to follow in parallel with the technologies, and try to explore the potential of these technologies.

This 11 technological trends are important references to guide us and make us see a little further ahead.

The next few years should be marked by a growth in content sharing, specifically in relation to distance learning. It is expected that these contents will be made available in a universal way, so that knowledge is spread to poor places of education, and can be accessed by students from different countries.

In this way, a greater democratization of the distance education is expected, as well as a greater interaction between the diverse cultures on the generated knowledge.

Distance learning trends seek knowledge with lower investments, greater mobility, content dynamism and flexibility to process data.


I want to thank some people who were the basis for writing this article:

Hasler Choo, the student I supervised;
Ayushi Mishra, who wrote the Big Data article;
Peter Babel, who wrote about Adaptive Learning;
Abhijit Bhaduri, who wrote about 25 ideas for informal learning;
Tom, who wrote about How to Be Successful at Rapid E-Learning;
Shivani Sharma, who runs the WizIQ Blog, and wrote this article about Why and How to Flip Your Classroom;


See you on the next article. Bye!


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