Discover some of the top online learning trends for 2024 that parents should know. We'll also help you identify some excellent techniques online learning platforms use to engage and inspire students.

Over the last few years, many of us moved our lives online - our work, our socialization, and our schooling. According to Forbes, even before the pandemic, Research and Markets forecasted the online education market as $350 Billion by 2025. Now, although many students are back in the physical classroom, online learning is still here to stay. Online learning offers many benefits to students and can supplement or in some cases replace physical classroom learning.

If you want to jump right into online learning and improve your child's computer science knowledge and skills, begin with our most popular entry-level class, Scratch Ninja coding!

Today, we’ll examine ten of the hottest online learning trends in 2024, from gamification to personalized learning with AI.

1. Microlearning

Does your student become anxious when assigned a huge, multi-faceted project? If so, microlearning may be extremely beneficial. Microlearning is a technique that involves chunking up work into small, manageable pieces. Rather than giving students a two-hour lecture followed by a problem set, a teacher might break the lecture into four, half hour chunks each of which is followed by a number of supporting tasks.

Microlearning is well suited for Online Learning, as there are many tools that allow teachers to chunk and divide work into manageable pieces and easily make it accessible for students. Students can then access the material when they are ready, and often see as much as an 80% improvement in long-term retention.

2. Live, Online Classes

This one is pretty self-explanatory. While video lectures can be excellent at delivering information, it is substantially easier to provide an interactive experience for students through live classes. Students may also be held more accountable for their work, and have the opportunity to ask questions, get immediate feedback, and enjoy a more dynamic classroom. At Create & Learn, we’ve found a ton of success in hosting live online classes, and have seen firsthand how beneficial it can be for student learning.

3. Social Online Learning

As we’ve all learned the past several years, there is no good substitute for human interaction. This is especially true in the classroom, where students learn from one another and build relationships. Facilitating social learning online has gotten substantially easier with the advent of well-moderated digital forums, collaborative editing (think: Google Docs), and even live classes that allow for students to share ideas and build off of each others’ work. Through social online learning, students can share their struggles and their successes, and even practice their networking skills.

4. Project-Based Learning

Project-Based Learning is a popular technique both on and offline - and it’s easy to see why. Studies have shown that Project-Based Learning, or PBL, can improve academic gains among students by 20-60%. In PBL, students don’t just complete projects at the end of a unit or topic; they learn through completing projects and collaborative work. This technique is so effective at engaging students and driving learning that Create & Learn has adopted it for all our classes: students learn coding and other concepts while creating their own games, puzzles, and more.

5. Personalized Learning with AI

Netflix uses artificial intelligence to recommend TV shows you might like; Amazon serves you up products based on your interests. Now, AI is being used to help provide the best content for students. In an online setting, an AI can determine a student’s strengths and weaknesses and recommend lessons, tasks, or supplemental work that can help them improve. Students essentially get a personalized tutoring session at a fraction of the cost. Software like MATHiau boast huge academic growth, and while they cannot substitute fully for a classroom experience, are worthy supplements.

6. Gamification

One technique for online and in-person learning that has caught on in the last several years is gamification. Teachers or online programs take lessons and convert them into interactive games, with features like leaderboards, badges, and rewards for hitting tangible targets. Gamification, if used properly, can incentivize and motivate every student in a classroom to participate enthusiastically. A well-studied method, gamification has been shown to up student engagement by 35%, and two thirds of students who studied in gamified classrooms found it more engaging than in traditional classrooms.

7. Augmented Reality

It may sound futuristic,  but augmented reality, also known as virtual or extended reality, has developed a lot of momentum in online learning classrooms. Using headsets and a myriad of specially-designed apps, students gain a more immersive learning experience. AR/VR can be used for everything from safely working with digital versions of dangerous chemicals to simulate a laboratory experience to exploring a fantasy world to develop a love of storytelling.

8. Learning Management Systems

With a multitude of apps, games, and other educational resources, it can be hard for everyone to keep track of your student’s online learning progress and assignments. Learning Management Systems such as Google Classroom aggregate all your student’s resources - think of them as a digital desk where everything is stored, organized, and easily accessible. The quality of LMSs has improved rapidly over the last decade, making online learning easier to manage and allowing for more student-teacher interaction. That’s why Create & Learn relies on a robust LMS classroom for students to share their work.

9. Timing Flexibility and On-Demand Classes

While online learning has traditionally been more flexible in its scheduling, parents are often faced with a choice: pick an inconvenient time for a live class, or solely rely on less engaging video lectures. However, with the advent of better video platforms and learning technology, live classes are becoming increasingly more available at any hour of the day. Create & Learn, for example, offers its classes during a 12-hour window, allowing parents to choose the best time for their schedules.

10. Optimized Learning

Finally, optimized learning has become increasingly popular with the rise of excellent digital tools and a wide set of options. Students can choose when they learn, how they learn, and even whom they learn from. With a combination of video and live lessons, students and parents can put together a complete learning experience that fits their needs and work style. No two students learn in exactly the same way, but the flexibility and range of choices of online learning affords all students a way to learn that is well-tailored and engaging.

In this article, we’ve covered some of the buzziest online learning trends we expect to see more of in 2024. As a strong e-Learning platform, Create & Learn takes advantage of many of these techniques to ensure we’re delivering awesome content to your students. Sign up for a free introductory coding class today!

Written by Sarah Rappaport, who graduated from Northwestern University with undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering and music. She's now working on a masters in data with Georgia Institute of Technology. She taught math and computer science with Teach for America for two years, and now works as a Systems Engineer.