In the digital world we live in, classrooms are no longer filled with a blackboard and some chalk, this method of teaching was soon replaced with whiteboards and interactive screens, and now digital methods are reigning supreme as we turn to online to teach us.
Moving away from classroom-based learning, eLearning tools remove barriers to education by allowing people all over the world to access learning materials provided they have the software and technological capabilities to do so – classroom or not, eLearning content can be consumed wherever required.
Whether it’s learning materials for schools or in the workplace, eLearning is beneficial to a range of industries and learning environments, improving skillsets, knowledge and job opportunities, and has grown by 900% since 2000.
Below are seven reasons why eLearning is beneficial, as well as advice from those who have taken a course which was taught via eLearning and how it has aided their career paths.
By using eLearning tools, the accessibility of learning materials is increased. No longer do people need to be locked in a classroom all day to learn, and instead they can take control of when and where they learn thanks to eLearning.
Accessible on the go and via a laptop, tablet or smartphone, providing learning materials through digital means that those who want to learn a new skill but work full-time can do so in their free time and from a location which suits them. Or perhaps a course is in an area which is too far to travel – eLearning once again saves time for those who are time short.
It’s not always physically possible for all employees to be present in the same place at the same time. However, eLearning enables organisations to provide the same level of teaching to all employees, while also providing flexibility as to how training is completed.
With new recruits joining a business sporadically throughout the year, eLearning provides consistency by providing employees with the same materials to learn from when they join the company. This ensures that all new starters receive the same basic training and ensures that the same quality is provided each time.
It also reduces the time that would need to be allocated to support each employee when they begin at the company, allowing businesses to place their efforts into other areas of hands-on training that is required.
Reduces time out of the office
Employers understand the importance of continual training, but there are times when being physically away from the office is not possible due to timings or monetary constraints. However, eLearning allows individuals to learn without taking time out, saving both time and money in terms of travel or additional course fees.
If employees need to be taught about new industry developments or a new piece of software, for example, eLearning also reduces the need for large numbers of the workforce to be removed from their daily tasks at one time. Instead, allowing businesses to stage the times that training is completed.
“I decided to take an e-learning course due to starting a new role and not wanting to take physical time out of the office. By completing the course through e-learning it meant that I could be on hand in my new role as well as book time out to complete the course” comments Dan Bartle from Life of Dan.
In fact, one study found that learning via an eLearning course reduces employee time out at a classroom-based setting by 40–60%.
Training can be costly for employers; with trainer fees, classroom costs, travel and catering bills to pay, the cost of learning can soon rack up; especially so when there are multiple people required to attend a course.
With eLearning, these costs are significantly reduced, as while you’ll need to pay for the initial course outlay and perhaps some support if required, you won’t need to pay for a venue or any of the other associated costs.
IBM reported that once they switched to eLearning based materials, they saved $200 million.
Information can be revisited
Taking notes at a fast pace when being talked to often leaves them illegible, and with the likelihood that learners want to refer back to their notes once they return to their desk or want to put what they learned into practice, they may find that they struggle to understand what they had noted down.
With eLearning, learners can take their time to learn – and note take – at their own pace, meaning that there’s no more messy handwriting to decipher and they can refer back to the eCourse whenever they need to.
Provides instant feedback and guidance
Employers want to be able to see how well employees are performing and eLearning enables real-time monitoring and the ability to build reports. This allows employers to gain an insight into employee performance and which areas they perhaps need more training on.
Instant feedback and guidance means that learners are able to see how they are scoring if completing a task and learn as they process through the course. Rather than waiting weeks for feedback, the learning process is more instant and allows for evaluations to be made throughout – automating the whole process from start to finish.
Improves retention rates
Engagement with learning is key for businesses otherwise its time and money that could have been spent elsewhere. However, eLearning has been found to improve retention rates by between 25% to 60%, and when compared to the fact that face-to-face training has a retention rate of up to 10%, it’s clear why many are making the change to eLearning.
With the option to create more interactive learning tools with interactive slides, quizzes, videos and more, eLearning is able to facilitate a fun style of learning which engages a user with even the dullest subject matter.
Learn something new
For some, eLearning is the chance to learn a skill which allows them to change careers or join an industry which, although they have a passion for, the lack all of the skills or qualifications required.
From testing out a career before the switch is made to learning more about a required topic which an employee has no prior experience with, eLearning is able to broaden knowledge without impacting a person’s career choices negatively.
“I always wondered whether I should have chosen a more creative career path but was comfortable in my corporate job and doing well. Eventually, I decided to take an online course in interior design – it was a way to try an alternative career path before fully committing to making a change and joining a postgraduate course. I really enjoyed the learning journey, and it didn’t feel like a chore in the evenings to plug in my headphones and log on to my computer even though I’d already had a long day at work. It made me realise that my interest could lead me to a new career choice if I committed to it.” Comments Mary Middleton, who works as a trade show reporter covering many interiors exhibitions.
eLearning is a tool which can be used to benefit a range of industries, people, skillsets, and organisations who are looking to create learning materials which have a positive impact on the learner and the wider sector or business. Whether learning tools need to be presented as a slideshow or in a more interactive format, taking on an eLearning course will allow you to expand how you teach.
If you would like to develop skills to build your own eLearning projects visit the eLearning training courses page for options including Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline.