Most of us were very skeptical of e-Learning and have preferred to organize classroom or workplace based training and coaching for ourselves and others in the past. However, in recent years, we all have realized how e-Learning can actually add real value for organisations and learners alike.The benefits most people associate with e-Learning when compared to conventional training are:
The lower costs to train large group of people
The quicker potential pace of delivery
The lower environmental impact due to less printing and travel for learners
None of us can argue these points, but do they really give us confidence? Yes, it is cheaper, can be done quickly and is kinder to the environment, but these three benefits are not focused on the quality of learning. So why is e Learning growing so rapidly? Is it simply down to these three factors?
We have witnessed other benefits as we have used and seen different e-Learning solutions in practice over recent years. The key benefits in addition to those above can be categorized in four ways:
1. STANDARDIZATION OF PRACTICES
Working across multiple sites and often across multiple countries, standardization of practices is difficult to achieve. e-Learning can effectively reach all individuals in an organisation and be accessed at any time of the day in any part of the world. If a new tool or practice is to be launched, this learning method ensures the same standard is shared everywhere. e Learning can, and should be, backed up with documents and other resources which are accessible to learners after their initial learning event.
2. COMMUNICATION & CHANGE MANAGEMENT
e Learning can be an effective communication and change management tool before change programmes commence. Giving employees some awareness and education of the change can help provide them with a real understanding and rationale for change. We offer e-Learning based on lean awareness and other operational excellence approaches to support wide-spread understanding and people involvement during consulting assignments with their clients.
3. FREEDOM TO FAIL
We often hear that learners feel they have less fear of failure from e-Learning, than classroom training. They don’t worry about getting something wrong first time as this is done in private. Tests and examinations, where you wait days or weeks to know your result, often add stress and anxiety to learners. Effective e-Learning will give live feedback on answers to questions, more effectively supporting the learning.
4. COMPULSORY PARTICIPATION
This doesn’t sound like a benefit but in reality only some of us are extroverts. Many introverts will allow others in the classroom to take part in the practical activities and answer the trainer’s questions. Well-designed e-Learning will have a number of activities for the learner which need to be completed.
Of course these four additional benefits assume the e-Learning is well designed, is
participative, has a variety of different media e.g. videos, games, puzzles, quizzes etc. and challenges the learner. There are many poor e-Learning programmes, which in reality are similar to PowerPoint presentations and simply talk through points as you click through the pages. However, it is evident that well designed e-Learning will continue to grow in popularity and both organisations and individuals will have a range of reasons as to why they are deciding to opt for this learning solution.
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