You’ve no doubt heard the claims that online learning or eLearning and the learning management systems that make it possible at any business or school offer a significant return on investment in both cost savings over traditional methods as well as reaching performance goals. But these claims do also beg the question of how eLearning impacts the learners themselves. How does online education benefit students and other learners, and how does it create and maintain the right kind of educational environment?
One of the most powerful benefits of online education is how it allows learners to engage in self-paced learning. When students and other learners have to attend a particular class at a particular time and place, they don’t feel any control over their learning and development. If you’re not in the mood or not feeling engaged or excited, retention of the learning content literally plummets, and the hoped-for benefits will remain unrealized. But when companies do online education right, then learning content is going to be available whenever and wherever it makes the most sense for learners to engage with it. The full benefits of self-paced eLearning hinge upon the content being web-based and accessible on any device, from desktops to laptops to tablets to smartphones. It also helps to break the content up into smaller chunks that can be completed in short sessions. When online education is crafted with these characteristics in mind, students and learners can work through chunks of content whenever and wherever they like, whether that be during the day on a break, commuting to and from work, traveling on business trips, or in-between meetings. The benefits of self-paced online earning are hard to ignore.
Nobody likes sitting in uncomfortable chairs in a classroom, wishing they were anywhere else but there. But now imagine your company or school’s learners having the freedom and convenience to engage the learning content online from wherever they want, with the only constraint being an Internet connection and web browser. Maybe they will listen to audio content as they drive or take public transportation to and from work. Maybe they’ll kick back in their favorite chair and do a few short sessions after dinner at home. The key is that they have the ability to exercise control over where they engage in learning, which means they can choose the physical space that is most conducive to their personal learning style and needs. When learners can be physically comfortable, learning, understanding, and retention of content are significantly boosted.
One of the other benefits of online education is that it allows a company or institution to quickly generate a large collection of courses and modules that offer learning opportunities well beyond required compliance trainings. When learners are given a robust array of offerings and the freedom to pursue content or new skills that interest them, they are more likely to do so, and your company or school will reap the benefits. Those who show initiative in taking up these additional non-required learning opportunities present a unique avenue to identify the go-getters who are motivated to achieve more. Your top talent will shine all the brighter if they have the development opportunities they want through online education.
Online education that is offered through a good learning management system (LMS) allows for robust tracking of learning data, both for the school or company, just as importantly, for the learners themselves. When learners have easy access to dashboards and snapshots that show where they’re at relative to various learning milestones and targets, including assessment scores, it helps them take further control over their learning. They can easily see in concrete ways how they’re doing and what their strengths and weaknesses are, and then focus more on the opportunities that will advance them towards the ultimate goal.
When cloud-based online education is done right, it can foster high levels of collaboration among learning peers. Discussion forums, online chats with instructors, group assignments, and other opportunities for teamwork help expose learners to a wider range of viewpoints, perspectives, ideas, and opinions that only enrich the learning experience, especially when you consider that people from all over the planet can engage with each other in the same online education content.
Online education allows for much greater variety both in the topics available as well as the ways in which the content is delivered. Whatever content topics learners want, you can bet that there is an online web-based platform offering it. This topical variety in content allows for more well-rounded students and workers. And the variety of ways in which content can be delivered gives learners the opportunity to choose which delivery method best suits their personal learning style, whether it’s videos, slideshow presentations, games, audio content such as podcasts, and so on. A delivery method that works best for each learner is possible with online education – another benefit.
The goal of all learning is to get the highest retention rate possible among learners, so the content sticks and can therefore be applied when and where it’s needed most. Learners who are highly visual are going to retain the most information when it’s delivered through online videos. Learners who learn best through listening will do better with podcasts. Whether it’s seeing, hearing, reading, or writing, retention skyrockets when learners can engage the content in the methods that best suit them. This makes all your learning program efforts far more efficient while at the same time increasing learner engagement in ways that boost retention. It’s all about letting learners exercise control over what they want when they learn, how they learn, and with whom they learn.
Ready to give your students all of the benefits of online education? look no further than eLeaP’s quality business training courses. With our platform, you can put the power of online education into the hands of your students in ways that benefit them and you.