Many organizations have embraced online learning, giving them a competitive edge over their competitors.
Online training offers a lot of flexibility than the traditional classroom setting.
The learner can choose their unique learning path. They can work during the day and learn new skills during their free time.
Web-based learning also offers versatility in terms of learning materials. The learner can select materials that are most relevant to the topic.
So, why is eLearning the way to go?
What Is eLearning and Why Is It Important in Online Education?
eLearning is based on formalized teachings but delivered using electronic media. The learning environment for online courses can be inside or outside the classroom. However, the classes are offered through the internet and computers.
Initially, people didn't widely accept online classes as they lacked the human element in teaching. However, technological advancements have led to more people and organizations embracing virtual classrooms over conventional ones.
The learning method makes it possible to simultaneously reach several modern learners across the globe.
The corporate sector is also embracing eLearning as the best staff training and development method. The employee can be productive in the office and still learn a new skill while relaxing at home.
If the organization has new equipment coming that requires staff to learn how to use them, they can do it anywhere at any time. Thus, the organization saves a lot in time and other costs.
eLearning also has a lot of benefits than the conventional classroom. Web-based training is through videos and pictures. Therefore, it's more effective as the human brain relates more to what is seen and heard. Thus, the classes are more fun and have a higher percentage of knowledge retention.
Levels of eLearning
eLearning comes in four levels that range from the basic to the most advanced. The levels include:
Knowledge databases are the most basic level of online training. Although they aren't seen as the actual training, databases are helpful as they offer explanations to various phenomena. They also provide detailed instructions on how to perform specific tasks.
Online support is more interactive than knowledge databases. It offers the learner an opportunity to ask more detailed questions on a particular topic/.
It can include instant messaging, chat rooms, and forums.
Asynchronous training is a self-paced learning management system that can include interacting with an instructor through online discussion groups.
Alternatively, you can access reference materials relevant to your topic if you are not interacting with an instructor.
Synchronous learning is the most advanced level of eLearning. It involves learning with a live instructor facilitating the learning.
Every learner attends the virtual classroom at a particular time, interacting with the facilitator in real-time. Synchronous training can happen through video conferencing or live broadcasts for students in a classroom.
Why eLearning Works: Advantages of eLearning
eLearning comes with a lot of advantages over traditional training methods. Some of the benefits of eLearning include:
eLearning saves you money and time compared to traditional classes.
Learners can take the training anywhere and at any time. Thus, you don't lose a lot of company time as your employees can still work and attend the training at their most convenient time.
Additionally, the online courses save travel costs, accommodation, venue, and materials for instructors and learners. There is no printing of papers as the study materials are available online, saving money.
Better Knowledge Retention
Online classes involve lots of visual resources used in training. The delivery method is also more fun and enjoyable than sitting through hours of conventional classrooms.
Most learners would rather watch a video or listen to a podcast rather than read through tons of book pages. The more interactive a learning method is, the more likely it is to remember the information they learn.
It'll also be easier to apply the concepts they learn at work.
In traditional training methods, every trainer has unique content delivery methods. Each instructor has a teaching style and is also susceptible to mistakes.
On the other hand, online learning programs are standardized, and every learner receives the same content irrespective of where they are or the time they log in. The study materials are also standardized globally, ensuring all learners meet their learning goals.
Scalability is another advantage of online courses. You can have as many employees take the training simultaneously, and it's a one-time investment.
Flexibility in online classes is a significant advantage. It helps save many employees time as they can work during the day and access the course at their own home at their most convenient time.
Additionally, learners can choose the course materials most relevant to the new skill they want to learn.
Online classes are easily accessible to anybody, irrespective of where they are.
Furthermore, the classes accommodate the needs of every learner. Everyone can access the courses, including office workers, homemakers, and anybody else who wants to advance their skills.
Unlike the conventional classroom setting, you can access the classes as many times as you want and learn at your own pace. If you don't get a concept clearly while reading the first time, you can find time to revisit the content as many times as you want. The accessibility is beneficial when you're preparing for a test.
eLearning also offers the most updated content.
Disadvantages of eLearning
Requires Self Motivation
Since there's nobody to push you, eLearning requires self-motivation to go through and complete the training.
It also requires that you have impeccable time management skills.
Reasons Why eLearning Has Become More Popular
eLearning has grown in popularity, with more people and organizations embracing it as a better option than the traditional classes. It's accessible to everyone, and it's flexible. But what factors have contributed to the popularity over the years?
- Development of learning management systems: learning management systems have undergone incredible sophistication over the years due to technological advancements. For instance, the introduction of cloud-based systems helps organizations carry out various activities.
You can choose a learning management system depending on your learning goals and the system's functionalities.
- Availability of devices: eLearning is also gaining popularity due to the availability of digital devices. Some years back, digital devices, including computers and smartphones, were rare and expensive. Thus, only a few people would afford them.
Today, the situation has changed. There's the availability of affordable and high-quality digital devices. Therefore, anyone with a digital device can access the online classes at their most convenient time.
- Internet: before the coming of the internet, most people would use printed media and other learning methods. The learning methods are restrictive as only a few people can access them.
Today, the internet is available globally, making it possible for people and organizations to access online classes and various study materials. Thus, more organizations embrace eLearning, leading to more productivity and profitability.
- Multimedia integration: with technological advancement, it's now possible to integrate various elements into online media courses. The trainer can include multiple aspects, including videos, images, and audio, that are more interactive and lead to more knowledge retention.
If you are thinking of getting a new skill, eLearning is an ideal alternative to the traditional learning methods. eLearning offers you flexibility as you can access the classes at the most convenient time. It also saves you costs in terms of travel, accommodation, venue, and printing materials. It's also an excellent option as it offers standardized content to learners worldwide.
eLearning is more interactive and engaging than the conventional classroom setting. It employs various elements, including video, images, and audio. The increased interaction also leads to better knowledge retention and effortless application of the concepts at work.