The question here is whether the e-Learning development methods of today will be relevant in the future.
I firmly believe that web based applications and content will always use the base HTML markup similar to what they use today. I don’t see any major revision of the markup that would render any work already done obsolete. This, I believe, will always be backward compatible.
However, I see the rich-media development methods changing over time. With more and more penetration of mobile apps and web applications that use raw content, the development model will need to change a bit. I don’t see a future with all content stored in databases and being accessed from applications, but, I do see a whole lot of content being stored outside of the HTML / DOC / PPT format, accessible through web services and delivered to both Internet and application environments. This content will be ultimately reusable and will not be confined to the Internet-browsed-by-a-PC world many still develop for. Many of us are already there using XML for content storage and definition and real-time transformation based on requested output. The non-proprietary content is marked up with some semantic structure and it becomes truly portable to any digital format to be then processed, viewed, printed… This is what the future holds for content.
The last thing that will need some rethinking is Flash. What place in the development environment of tomorrow will Flash have? I’m not supporting the idea to abolish it, I like Flash, it’s lightweight, fast, rich, relatively easy to use. However, Flash is becoming more of a game/presentation tool and less of an integrated style thing. Gone are the days, or should I say, going are the days of Flash menus, titles, and entirely Flash developed websites. They’re still pretty, but there are too many limitations with regard to portability. jQuery and other such frameworks can handle all the interface wow-factor that user’s can endure and can add movement that Flash was once champion of. The added advantage of these frameworks is that they take advantage of HTML markup and leave the content readable by braille readers and search engine robots. This becomes a make it/break it point for the new internet landscape that is highly reliant on the semantic and social associations within content.
All-in-all, I’m not a great teller of fortune or a seer into the future, but this is my opinion. I’ve started to modify my development environment to deal with these issues. Perhaps I’m trying to “create” the future in the way that I envision it? Perhaps. Of course I am, it’s not just going to happen that way on it’s own.