Gloucester (UK), August 2018 - Bob Little, an internationally known expert who writes about and comments on the global online learning technologies sector, has written a guest blog post for the eLearning provider Engage in Learning.
The blog post outlines and amplifies ten key benefits of eLearning:
- Faster delivery - Online materials are easier and quicker to disseminate than anything delivered via a classroom.
- Faster learning results - Unlike learning in a classroom, eLearners can focus purely on the elements they need to learn - and can learn at their own pace. A classroom instructor must cater for the needs of every learner, must cover everything on the agenda regardless of whether the learners already know it, and can only progress at the pace of the slowest learner.
- Faster application of the learning - Since the learning materials are available online all the time, learners can access - and re-access - them exactly as, when, and where they need the learning that these materials contain.
- Access to specialists - eLearning provides a way for anyone to access - relatively cheaply - the knowledge, skills, and expertise of the world's best exponents or specialists in a particular field.
- Consistency of message - eLearning materials provide consistency of content and presentation style. This can be particularly valuable to organisations employing a large number of people, perhaps around the globe.
- Access to vital data - Many eLearning materials focus on imparting information that learners need to know so they can keep their jobs. Furthermore, their employers need to know that they know because of the employers' compliance and regulatory obligations. Making this learning available via eLearning that is distributed via a learning management system (LMS) or learning content management system (LCMS) enables the learners' employer to collect the data needed to prove to the authorities that each learner continues to comply with the regulations. This can save employers vast amounts of money and hassle in unlevied fines and court cases that are never brought.
- Always up to date - eLearning materials can be updated in one “central repository” - an LMS or LCMS - as and when necessary. This should provide peace of mind for administrators, who must ensure that all learners can access the most up-to-date information for compliance and regulatory purposes.
- Lower environmental impact - In climate-conscious times when people and businesses are keen to reduce the adverse impact of any activity on the environment, eLearning offers an extremely low carbon footprint; it is a “green” way of imparting knowledge and skills compared with classroom-delivered learning.
- Lower costs - The costs of developing and delivering eLearning can be extremely competitive because, among other things, eLearning
Ø dramatically reduces the cost of learning materials per learner compared with the costs of classroom-delivered learning;
Ø saves the costs involved in classroom-delivered learning, including the opportunity costs of the learners' lost productivity from leaving their post to go on a course
Ø enables materials to be accessed, learned, and applied more swiftly than knowledge and skills disseminated by a classroom-delivered course. This means the learners become more effective, efficient, and productive sooner. This, in turn, lowers the costs associated with rectifying corporate mistakes and satisfying customer complaints.
- eLearning is popular - Today, everyone seems to own or have access to a number of devices - from laptops to tablets to mobile phones. Any, and all, of these technological devices can be used to deliver learning materials, on demand, as, and where required. For the learner, eLearning is simpler and cheaper than having to rearrange your commitments so that you can spend time and money attending a classroom-delivered course. eLearning is also likely to be more personalised, that is, relevant to the particular learner's needs, and it's available as, when, and where the learner wants to learn.
In the article, Bob comments that, "in its (relatively) short history, eLearning has been hailed as both the greatest and the worst advance in learning. That debate rests upon the quality of the learning materials and their suitability to the learning challenge they're intended to meet. But quality and suitability issues aside, eLearning has much to recommend it."
Kate Carter, Engage in Learning's Operations and Marketing Manager, commented, "Bob's article is the first in a series of thought-leading pieces we hope to publish on our blog to help L&D practitioners grasp the concepts of their sector and promote their activities to the senior executives in their organisations.
"Bob's right about eLearning," Kate added. "As a learning-delivery mechanism, it has a great deal to recommend it, provided that the eLearning materials are of a high quality and are suitable for their intended audience.
"That's certainly the message that Engage in Learning is hearing from its growing list of customers for its portfolio of programmes.
"These programmes include 'essential' courses related to industry compliance and statutory regulation requirements, as well as and 'fundamental skills' courses. The fundamental skills series includes courses such as Leadership, Performance Management, and Customer Service."