The Thing About eLearning. Why it Works.
Most things around us can easily be classified under two categories- ‘must have’s’ and the ‘not required’, or to the most into a third group of – ‘good-to-haves’. We often use this categorization for choosing software, or other tools within the organization, looking for the quantalities based in the priority list. During recent years, we have observed that eLearning for sure falls in the Must-have category for most organizations.
So, what is it about eLearning that works? While most attribute it to the improved performance and continuous growth of organizations, there are a few other factors or ‘things’ as we like to call it, that makes eLearning click.
Any training program begins with the aim of developing certain skill sets- be it knowledge based, interpersonal skills or psychomotor skills. eLearning is conceptualized and designed so as to allow the learners to learn by doing- through interactions that are meaningful. In comparison to traditional face-to-face sessions, complex concepts, procedures etc. are learnt better through eLearning more easily.
The learners today are often termed as tech-savvy, with access to more than 2 devices at any given time. eLearning gives the freedom to learn anywhere, anytime and on any device (multi device eLearning), even at places with low or no connectivity (offline-downloadable content). The best thing about eLearning is that it makes re-learning easier. The learners can re-run simulations, scenario-based courses etc. to try out methods, learn from failed attempts (without inhibition of being in a room full of people). Visuals and media rich content allows the learners to learn better and to retain more of what they learn. With all those aspects and more eLearning gives each learner a sense of control and personal connect, which makes eLearning a necessity for any organization.
eLearning brings down cost in many ways. Though there is an initial investment towards eLearning development, once deployed ROI comes in form of each click or number of times the eLearning is accessed. No just that, it brings down travel costs (learn anywhere), material costs (no more hard-copies), cost related to training rescheduling, re-training etc. It also creates a consistent pattern of learning for all learners, which can be modified by the learners or trainers themselves without added cost.
The above-mentioned factors are the most positive aspects of eLearning. But, that’s not all. eLearning helps in creating a learning ecosystem within the organization. Knowledge collaboration, knowledge sharing, learning from peers through discussion, gaining additional knowledge from Wikis, sharing through social media tools etc. can be done easily using eLearning modules and learning portals etc.
At an organizational level eLearning is a must-have. Employees/learners feel that the organization values their personal development too, and hence retentions increase considerably. And the cherry on top is that, eLearning is good for the environment. Britain’s Open University’s study found that producing and providing e-learning courses consumes an average of 90% less energy and produces 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student than conventional face-to-face courses.
What in your opinion is the best reason? Do share your comments.