E-learning is an idea whose time has come. There are certain key benefits which have transformed the scenario of learning and training.
In comparison to traditional, classroom based learning, it is evident that e-learning delivers:
- What learners desire
- Quicker delivery
- Reduced cost
- Better effectiveness of learning
- Low environment impact
WHAT LEARNER’S DESIRE
Studies reveal that given a choice, what learners want are relevant, mobile, self-paced and personalized content at the point where they need it. But what they really get is face to face, same content.
The digital boom and arrival of tablets and smart phones have brought about a transformation in the way we access, share, discuss and use content. This has naturally impacted learning. More and more people are learning at their point of need, far away from classrooms and work stations and on evenings, weekends, and while commuting. E-learning information can be accessed at point of need.
E-learning has arrived because you can access learning content online and through multiple devices like tablets and smart phones. This is sync with what is desired by modern learners. By catering to needs of learners, you can achieve best results. Staff can apply what they learned in the actual situation.
In modern times, when there is quick and fast change, a crucial benefit of e-learning is that it has faster delivery time than traditional instruction through classrooms. Research has revealed that learning time will reduce by 20 to 60%, in comparison to traditional learning. E-learning reduces training time because:
- Not much time is required to start and conclude a learning session.
- Learners determine their own space, instead of the groups’ pace.
- Time is not wasted for travel to and from training venues.
- Learners can focus on what they need and skip what they don’t.
Also, classroom instruction faces the practical limitation on how fast learning can be rolled out as capacity for delivery is limited by the number of available trainers and classrooms. E-learning helps roll out content at a faster pace.
Because of the speed and convenience of delivering e-learning, it involves lower cost. There are immediate cost benefits like savings from lack of costs of course materials, trainers, accommodation and travel. But more important, e-learning improves the profitability of an organization. For example, there is the case of Mc Donald’s which saved 5 million pounds within 2 years by using e-learning for their training program as also a 10% growth in sales. This has resulted in growing popularity of e-learning content development companies.
Studies have revealed that e-learning programs can have a direct and positive impact on the profitability of an organization. This is because it makes it easy to learn and digest information. Positive impacts on learners include:
- Better attitude towards format of learning and in general, towards training.
- Enhanced scores in evaluations like tests and certifications
- Rise in number of learners who pass exams/ attain ‘mastery levels’
- Better ability to apply learning content on the job.
- Better retaining of information in long term.
LOW IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENT:
E-learning reduces the carbon foot print associated with traditional classroom training. This involves saving on paper (reducing tree cutting), less transport (reducing pollution) and avoiding need for accommodation (reducing energy for maintenance).
These are some of the benefits of e-learning for education and training.