eLearning can simply be described as learning with proper utilization of advanced electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. In most cases, it refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online.
There are many terms used to describe learning that is delivered online, via the internet, ranging from Distance Education, to computerized electronic learning, online learning, internet learning and many others. Virtual classrooms provides the perfect blended learning environment, offering anyone the chance to take their online training to the next level.
In the early days, e-learning received a bad press, as many people thought bringing computers into the classroom would remove that human element that some learners need, but as time has progressed, technology has developed, and now we embrace smartphones and tablets in the classroom and office, as well as using a wealth of interactive designs that makes distance learning not only engaging for the users, but valuable as a lesson delivery medium.
Benefits of e-Learning
The flexibility of eLearning and courses making it easy to learn whenever and wherever you need to is gradually making people re-think spending four years of outrageous tuition on a big collection of courses that may or may not be relevant to their lives.
Most people prefer the advantage of watching a video lecture with buttons for speeding up, slowing down, or asking the tutor to repeat that last point. The online forums also improve over the old seminar rooms where only one blowhard could dominate the discussion at a time.
It also enables us to get fresh information when we need it and we do not have to clutter your brain with quickly rotting ideas.
You also have access to thousands of journals, textbooks, papers, materials, handouts and even online book libraries which are readily available to aid our learning process.
Some other benefits of e-Learning are:
• It is most times cost effective
Due to the rate of speed and ease in which e-learning can be delivered and acquired, the costs of learning and development for an organization are drastically reduced.
There are the immediate cost-effective gains of e-learning in terms of reducing training time as well as cost-effective savings in terms of trainers, course materials, travel and accommodation. However, it is equally important to highlight that e-learning, when done right, can also improve an organization’s profitability.
Companies such as McDonald have been able to save £5million over 2 years with their Business Controls E-learning, as well as seeing a 10% sales growth as a result of the training.
• Its faster and saves time
At a time when change is faster than ever, a key advantage of e-learning is that it has quicker delivery cycle times than traditional classroom-based instruction. In fact, research indicates that e-learning reduces learning time by at least 25 to 60 percent when compared to traditional learning. eLearning cuts down on the teaching time required because:
–it does not a lot of time to begin and complete a learning session
–learners set their own pace, rather than the pace of the group
–no travel time is needed to get to and from training events
–learners can focus on elements of a programme they need to learn and can skip what they already know
• More effective
Various research conducted has shown that e-learning is actually more effective than classroom learning. Learners are believed to exhibit:
–better attitude toward the e-learning format and training in general
–improved scores on tests, certifications or other evaluations
–increase in number of learners who achieve ‘mastery’ level and / or ‘pass’ exams
–greater ability to apply the new knowledge or processes on the job
–better long-term retention of information
• It’s discreet
E-learning also allows each individual to tackle the subject at their own pace from their own comfort zones, with interactive tasks being set in place to ensure a thorough understanding throughout each module.
• It helps to reduce environmental impact and hazards
e-Learning also serves as an effective way for organizations to significantly reduce their carbon footprint meaning that it:
–cuts down on the travel and accommodation costs associated with undertaking a course
–reduces the need for a campus site and the accompanying costs of maintaining the facility and equipment
–eliminates the need for paper, thus saving trees
• Learning 24/7, anywhere
Unlike the traditional system of classroom learning where there is a fixed time for classes and lectures, e-Learning is however readily available. You can decide to take your lectures on your own terms that is at your comfort time or leisure time.
• No Age or Gender Limits
Anyone is allowed to take any online course, no age limits or gender inequality problems with e-Learning.