Why “e-learning” matters for Business
What precisely does “e-learning” mean? E-learning is the act of engaging in an educational course in an online setting. E-learning courses can exist in a diverse of forms, using a gamut of technologies. usually used in organizations like schools and corporations, e-learning can help learners complete education and training objectives with greater ease and flexibility than they can with traditional classroom-based learning. E-learning courses can use a variety of techniques, including audio and video recordings, presentations, quizzes, surveys, games, discussion groups and more.
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How E-learning works
E-learning courses can be published online through a learning management system (LMS). An LMS allows for course creators to streamline e-learning content into one easy-to-access location. An LMS that is SCORM-compliant (shareable content object reference model) allows for easy integration of content and tools, and extends the availability of courseware to include courses authored by third parties.
The History of E-Learning
E-learning stems from the ongoing incorporation of technology, specifically computer systems and mobile devices into learning and education environments. While the first e-learning systems were more concentrated on the delivery of content and information from teachers to students, as technology evolved, e-learning began to incorporate more interactive, multidirectional tools. Uniformity and integration became more efficient, and systems started to feel more natural and easier to navigate.
E-learning methods continue to expand. Learners now have access to an abundance of information and e-learning opportunities. While schools were the first to adopt e-learning technology en masse, businesses have also recognized its benefits and rapidly adopted e-learning in order to train their employees. Workers of all experience levels are now able to capitalize on online training and resources to increase their professional knowledge and skills, resulting in more efficient business practices and higher employee engagement.
Benefits of e-learning
E-learning has explicit benefits over traditional classroom training. While the most apparent are the flexibility and the cost savings from not having to travel or spend surplus time away from work. Additionally let’s look into more advantages on both learners and trainer’s perspective:
- Less expensive:e-training is virtually free once you reach the break-even point. Synchronous programs will have continued costs associated with the instructor managing the class, but will still be lesser than traditional courses.
- Self paced:Most e-learning programs can be taken when needed. The created module-based design allows the learner to go through smaller chunks of training that can be used and assimilated for a while before moving on.
- Moves faster:According to an article by Jennifer Salopek in "Training and Development Magazine," e-learning courses progress up to 50 percent faster than traditional courses. This is partially because the individualized approach allows learners to skip material they already know and understand and move onto the issues they need training on.
- Provides a consistent message:E-learning eliminates the problems associated with different instructors teaching slightly different material on the same subject.
- Any location, any time:E-learners can go through training sessions from anywhere, usually at anytime. This benefit can make learning possible for people who never would have been able to work it into their schedules prior to the development of e-learning.
- Updated easily and quickly:Online e-learning sessions are especially easy to keep up-to-date because the updated materials are simply uploaded to a server. Traditional Learning programs may be slightly more expensive to update and distribute, but still come out cheaper than reprinting manuals and retraining instructors.
- Increased retention:This is because of the many elements that are combined in e-learning to reinforce the message, such as video, audio, quizzes, interaction, etc. The ability to revisit or replay sections of the training that might not have been clear the first time around is a huge boon.
- Manageable:Allows corporate training directors, HR managers and others to keep track of the course offerings, schedule or assign training for employees and track their progress and results. Managers can review a student's scores and identify any areas that need additional training.
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With focus shifting to business outcomes, companies are looking at strengthening the knowledge for their employees in different, myriad areas. By having a uniform platform, learning material helps ensure everyone in the organization is on the same page.