Electronic learning is quickly becoming a commonly used method to educate in just about every area one can think of within the workforce. New technologies are lending companies the ability to save time, money and resources with the use of e-learning. Whether companies hire an outside firm to implement e-learning, or they create their own lessons electronically, e-learning should be considered a valuable educational tool.
Convenience is a main selling point of e-learning. With web-based materials, employees can access lessons anytime, anywhere. And they can study for as long as they want. Traditionally, the employee would only have access to the information for the duration of the training session. When employees have 24/7 access to this information, flexibility is truly appreciated. Employees today already have trouble with a work-life balance. Why not make things a little easier?
Quite often, when employees need to be trained, they end up going to a remote location, leaving the office a barren waste land, and impeding everyday work productivity. With e-learning, employees can stay in their work environment and divide their time better. So much time and money are wasted on conferences and training session, when the alternative saves time and money.
This convenience not only benefits the trainee, but also the trainer. When someone has to take time out of their day to train another employee or group, it slows the entire office down. Not to mention, there is training the trainer to consider. All of the resources that are saved in the trickle-down add up quickly.
Secondly, cost is a huge push factor for e-learning. Generally speaking, on-line training methods are far more cost effective than traditional means of teaching. When the cost is lowered, the company can then raise the bar of their training and expand their employee audience. By spreading knowledge further, companies are advancing toward their goals.
Smaller companies do end up with higher rates, as they need to be more tailored. However, when companies commission the creation of these e-learning tools, they are often used for years to come, and they make training easy and efficient.
E-learning is also great because it streamlines the information that everyone receives. Through the creation of good educational content, companies can offer a consistent method of training and teaching. When each employee receives the same information at the right time in their training, it ensures that everyone is learning the same things at the same rate. Traditional methods of training can get complicated and confusing when you consider different teaching styles and strengths. No two people are going to deliver the same lesson time after time.
When companies are considering implementing e-learning in their workplace, there are a few things to consider from e-learning expert, Trina Rimmer.
On choosing a designer: “When you pay for good design you’re buying more than just good looks. You’re paying for the expertise of someone who knows what to ask and how to ask you all of the hard questions so you’ll actually SAVE time, money and agony in the long run.”
On the matter of time: “One industry guideline many of us consult is a study from the Chapman Alliance which states that it generally takes 49 hrs to develop every 1 hr of basic, click & read eLearning. That’s just a guideline of course. Your goals may require the use of complex simulations or branching scenarios that push that timeline out, or your interests may be best served by developing another solution entirely.”
On considering e-learning a tech solution:“If you or your team are uncomfortable with technology, don’t force yourselves to become eLearning experts. Instead, invest some time and money into becoming better informed in the long-term, and in the short-term, outsource the design and development to experts who can coach you through the process.”
E-learning is rapidly growing and improving. From gamification to social collaboration and mobile apps, e-learning is the future of workplace education. This isn't a passing trend, so the quicker companies get onboard, the better.