Lifelong Learning: How Online Learning Becomes an Element of Personal “Infrastructure”

In different periods of development of civilization, the process of studying has been characterized by different levels of accessibility, tools, goals. Today, the main distinguishing feature of the educational system in different countries is a certain hierarchy of education (primary, secondary, secondary vocational, bachelor’s, master’s, post-graduate, doctoral studies). At the same time, the main unifying feature of education around the world is the trend of lifelong learning.

With the advent of online education in our lives, we have access to many services that can help with studying. For example, online assignment writing services from StudyEssay’s experts, which help students with assignments and give a clearer idea of the structure of written essays.

The Way of Development of E-Learning

This is a fairly new trend in education. The concept itself in its modern meaning emerged in 1993 (Professor Leslie Votkinsk). Lifelong learning is lifelong learning, an ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for personal or professional reasons. It not only promotes social integration, active position, and personal development but also self-sufficiency and competitiveness in the labor market.

The emergence of more and more tools and technologies, including Web 2.0, has created a great potential for the development and global expansion of the lifelong learning concept. In particular, it allowed users to study every day, being geographically located anywhere in the world.

The very high speed of changes in the information environment and the development of technologies became the catalyst and the driver of the evolution of this trend. Continuous learning has become the new norm. Hundreds of changes are taking place in the world every day.

To survive and thrive, organizations and individuals must be able to adapt and refine their knowledge and skills to meet changing needs. This means that the most important thing a person should learn is to learn. Because of the speed of change, tens of thousands of companies have emerged in the online education segment in 15 years. They make continuous learning accessible, possible, and varied.

What is MOOC? What is Its Impact on E-Learning?

The question today’s researchers are asking themselves is: what was the impetus for the intensive development of lifelong learning? Many believe it was MOOC. Perhaps MOOC really was the “explosion point” that worked, because technologically the world was ready for it.

Massive online courses were a response to a long-standing need for people to get the knowledge they needed, not in a short period of time, but over a lifetime.

As for, MOOC, which appeared in 2006 – this educational technology made it possible to organize the training of several tens of thousands of people simultaneously. According to J’son today MOOC is used by 35 million listeners, 570 universities, and 12 providers.

The number of courses has been growing +75-100% a year for the last couple of years. But, alas, online courses have not revolutionized the principles of knowledge transfer from teacher to student, they have simply moved them from offline to online. Everything remained within the old paradigm: lecture – exercise – test.

However, MOOC has changed the very approach to fundamental education, erasing the boundaries of time and place. Anyone anywhere in the world could access the world’s best knowledge.

But it is easy to change any paradigm online. Here, in order to improve the quality of knowledge and student engagement, it is simply necessary to use technology. We can distinguish two main technological directions: the adaptive course outline and the creation of interactive exercises on new mechanics.

New Trends in Online Education

In addition to adaptability and interactivity, there are other trends that have also appeared with the development of technology:

Asynchrony of learning: the teacher and the student are not engaged at the same time. There are more and more students and learning formats. Learning must become more convenient and accessible.

The desire for asynchronous learning is increasing. Users/students are already mentally ready for this, no one is seeking to study only in person, with an “online head” and synchronizing schedules and convenient times in advance during business hours.

Flipped learning (or flipped classroom): we learn the theory on our own, and in the “lesson” we practice and practice it all together. As a result, there is a demand for systematic/convenient online consumption of theoretical knowledge, as well as a need for convenient interactive mass training. Without the development of adaptive learning, it is unlikely that flipped learning would develop – it would simply be very difficult to organize.

Gamification and edutainment: there is a lot of talk about this. And it’s impossible not to take into account the fact that gamification is one of the main tools that has made learning more engaging and easier.

As a consequence, the trend of contextual education – education has become integrated into your daily routine and its processes: vocabulary is learned by taking pictures of signs, and mathematics by doing quests around the city.

Open Educational Resources – More and more content can be found in the public domain. The content itself is no longer worth anything. Knowing the facts themselves is no longer valuable. Techniques, tools, programs, and courses are needed, which means there will be businesses to help “put understanding in your head.

What To Do With All These Trends?

From philosophy to practice. All of the above trends suggest that the growth of motivation and need for education, the need to learn will bring more students to the online education market, more providers of this service will follow. We are talking about a fairly close perspective: 5 to 10 years at the most.

Education will become more and more integrated into people’s lives, as an element of infrastructure. With all of this in mind, we understand that the online education market is a promising, fast-growing segment that is not yet saturated with players.

Actually, when deciding to create a new edtech project, one of the deciding factors is the market. “Yes” – market volume, growth dynamics, comparison of these indicators with other markets, the number of players, etc. become the factors. At the end of 2016, the global education market is $4.5-5.0 trillion, and in the coming years, it promises to increase to $6-7 trillion.

(Education International data). The share of online is about 3%, or $165 billion. (EdTechXGlobal, IBIS Capital). The U.S. is the largest̆ and most maturĕ market in EdTech, and its growth rate is slowing at about +4.0-4.4% annually. The second-largest region is Southeast Asia, primarily China and India, which is growing much faster (+17%).

In 2016, this region overtook Western Europe: $11.7 billion versus $6.8 billion. (GSV Advisors, Global Market Insights). While Eastern Europe, with $1.2 billion, lags behind Western Europe in terms of market volume, it is gaining momentum much faster (+17%) (Docebo, Global Market Insights).

5 Promising Directions In Education Today Are:

Preparing for standardized exams. The five largest investments in such projects have totaled more than $175 million in the last couple of years.

The main argument is that this is one of the few areas in education where motivation is organically high. This suggests that if a company makes a good product, the company can’t fail because they just don’t have to address the biggest issue – user motivation.

Preschool education. Today’s children perceive information differently in both form and speed. This is a generation that already lives in a different world. Parents are willing to invest in their children’s education because they realize that basic education does not give children everything they need to get and that children can “consume” more.

In 2015 alone, $741 million was invested in U.S. startups related to the digitalization of preschool and general secondary education (K-12). The online education direction of preschool and schooling saw particularly rapid growth in Southeast Asia in 2016. In Q1 2016, 62% of all Chinese EdTech investments were in preschool and general education companies.

Language Education. In 2015, the global English language education market was $60 billion, with online penetration at 2%. (Ambient Insight data) In 2017-2021. The “digital” part of the market promises to grow at an average annual rate of 23.36% – faster than the industry as a whole.

(Technavio) In Russia, the share of online language education is about 2.2 billion rubles. The positive dynamics of digital penetration predicts a further increase in the share of online to 11% of the market in 2021 (today it is 1.1%)

Corporate education. The corporate segment is the heaviest share of non-state education. Meanwhile, solutions and technologies that incorporate education are used quite old. This is not the most flexible segment. That is why the potential for growth is enormous.


Education is a very promising market:

  • All educational trends only “pump up” the attractiveness of the industry in the coming years
  • The long-term movement towards lifelong learning strengthens the natural motivation, imposes an imprint on the development of businesses in online education
  • A period of crisis always pushes for increased competitiveness
  • There are segments in the market where high technology has not yet come (eg, corporate training), and it adds to the attractiveness of the market due to the huge growth potential.

But, of course, there are disadvantages, too. It is still not proven that the existing business models for education work. But in this case, even this disadvantage is more of a plus – it will force companies in financially difficult situations to think more systematically and originally, to test new approaches, and to become more competitive. This will push the industry even further.


Author: Rebecca Carter works at as an essay writer. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and during her study developed an enthusiasm for writing articles about her experience. When she is not writing Rebecca enjoys being in the mountains, gym, and volunteering.