In short yes but by how much?
In 2019, the term “e-learning” celebrates its twenty years anniversary. Back in 1999, could Elliott Masie – an ed-tech expert who first coined this term – imagine that in only two decades e-learning would revolutionize the world?
Today, traditional classrooms are not yet obsolete, but they are steadily going that way. Young children learn to use tablets or smartphones before they even properly learn to read. HR managers can barely imagine their professional routine without online employee training platforms. What else would they use to introduce newcomers to their responsibilities or to foster the professional growth of employees?
Yet, not everyone has already been decisive enough to implement an e-learning platform in their business. Talking about the opportunities that you receive together with an e-learning platform, these considerably outweigh the cost of this solution. Your HR, Partner Engagement, and Sales managers will give you a huge “thank you” for facilitating their job.
E-learning can be used in the adaptation process of new employees, online learning, corporate training, compliance training, customer training, professional and personal development of current team members, engagement of partners. When properly adapted to certain needs, such a platform gives you a possibility not to teach but to inform others on what you need them to know.
Here are a couple of benefits.
E-learning is much more cost-efficient than traditional classroom education. As a business owner, you do not have to pay salaries for teachers and trainers, to pay rent for a classroom, or to pay for catering and learning resources. You pay only to a team of developers working on your online training platform. Nobody said that software development is cheap. But it is definitely a worthy investment, which eventually covers all these expenses associated with the traditional classroom.
According to eLearning Industry, businesses save at least 50% in expenses when replacing traditional education with e-learning. The amount of saved costs is projected to grow even further when considering that e-learning decreases instruction time by 60%.
As for individual learners, the situation is quite similar. When the first computers cost thousands of dollars and were available only to the richest and the smartest, an e-learning system would certainly not work. However, today, when smartphones are priced by many times less and can be found almost in every pocket, the cost of e-learning drops to the point where an entire course can be cheaper than a single paper book.
Elearning benefits employees as an online course can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and from any possible device, should it be a cellphone, a tablet, or a laptop. One can study while commuting to work, traveling on vacation, staying ill at home, or waiting for a friend at a coffee shop. What is more, e-learning courses are more personalized than traditional ones since students are able to choose their own studying pace, to skip topics that they are already proficient in, or to repeat a lesson that they failed to acquire at the first try.
In turn, e-learning platforms enable businesses to promptly collect feedback from learners or to inform them about the most recent changes. E-learning is easier to manage and update because course changes can be implemented almost instantly. In particular, it comes in handy when the company introduces new products or services or updates information about them. If the government changes laws, e-learning platform is the fastest and easiest way to get your employees acquainted with these legal changes. Moreover, learners can communicate among themselves and share their experience. If there is a mistake in your course, a certain page or material cannot be accessed, or some information is outdated, your employees can easily notify you about it.
3. Improved Performance
People are always looking for opportunities to grow. Online training allows employees to quickly get up to speed on new processes. One major complaint about traditional training methods is that the time consuming nature of the programs takes away from valuable time that could have been spent on other work. With training management systems, employees can participate in their online courses at any time—including at home or during down time at work—so learning doesn’t have to conflict with other important or time-sensitive job tasks. Online training platforms also allow employees to revisit key information right when they need it.
The last but definitely not the least in the list of advantages of elearning is sustainability. E-learning platforms are zero waste. You do not need to print out endless piles of paper handouts, so using an online employee training system helps you save the environment. Moreover, since the users of your platform do not have to commute to the place they study, they do not release extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Surely, the production of electricity that you use to power the system does not go unnoticed for the ecology. However, this footprint is much smaller than in the case of traditional education. According to the statistics provided by eLearning Industry, e-learning is by 90% more efficient than traditional courses in terms of energy consumption and by 85% more efficient in terms of carbon dioxide emission.
As a business owner, you do not have to spend time looking for trainers, resources, or venue. Once you realize the need to educate employees on a certain subject, you develop a course and implement it into the system. Moreover, if it is a repetitive course, say, an introductory course for new employees, you do not need to organize it each and every time. Instead, you send out a single letter with some explanations and the link to a course. This is all the time and effort you need to spend.
As for your employees, via an e-learning platform, they are able to study without leaving their homes. Long hours spent commuting from home to school or from work to a learning center become a thing of the past. More than that, they can study at a pace that is most suitable for them personally. More than that, your learners have no need to flick through numerous reference books and manuscripts as any information can be accessed with a few simple clicks. All the information can be stored on your server or on a cloud-based platform, providing you and your users all the necessary storage, classification, search, access, and sharing functionality. Another important thing to keep in mind here is data security and safety. Then, your learning materials will be safe and sound until you decide to get rid of them.
6. Easy Access to Information
We all know that referring back to sloppy hand-written notes taken during training sessions is not the most effective way to retain information. Online training helps take paper out of the equation altogether. E-learning materials are stored online, so employees can access important resources any time they encounter a question or difficult situation. And really, isn’t that the point of the training anyway?
7. E-Learning Personalizes the Training Experience
Not every employee learns the same way. Even though the course material is consistent for all users, e-learning allows each individual learner to control the pace of the course. Because of the flexibility e-learning provides, users can also take the course in an environment more conducive to their learning style.
The advantages of e-learning are plentiful. But here’s where businesses may be the most interested: the bottom line. E-learning helps companies create a higher quality, more effective training experience for employees, at a more affordable cost. When employees can be more excited about training, their engagement carries over into the rest of their work, and when that engagement is multiplied across entire departments, the bottom line is impacted. A company’s ROI might be the most surprising—and most apparent—advantage of online learning.
Check out my related post: What are the 5 most important questions to ask for an organisation? – Part 1