E-learning is simply the transfer of skills and knowledge using computers.
The big question is... So What!? How can e-learning be more effective than sitting in a training room listening to a trainer, or picking up a book?
This is a very real, measurable benefit. How much does it cost to take your people from their day jobs and put them in a training room for a period of time? You lose productivity and may have to pay for temporary replacement staff, the trainer, training materials, travelling expenses, accommodation, catering, equipment and room hire.
E-learning simply delivers more training to more people for less money.
Reduced learning times
Studies have shown that e-learning can reduce learning times by 40 to 60 percent. This is largely due to the appeal to different styles of learning plus interaction and feedback in a self-paced learning environment.
Research indicates retention increased by between 25 and 60 percent. I.e. the trainee will remember this much more of the course content. This is due to the control that trainees have over their own learning, the delivery of content in ‘bite-size’ units and the interactive nature of the medium. You can’t replay real-life training as many times as you like!
Spaced repetition is also a predictable way to increase learning. A single exposure to learning content may have a retention of as little as 2% after 15 days. Six exposures over six consecutive days can lead to a retention rate of over 60% after 15 years. E-learning content can be replayed as often as you like!
E-learning is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Training can be accessed when and where it is needed, at your own pace – physical attendance in a classroom not required! Speed through or skip the course if you understand it, slow down and revisit it as often as you like if you don’t! Whether you are a slow learner or a quick one you won’t get hurried or held back by others.
E-learning material can be updated centrally and distributed over the web or network almost instantly. Content can readily be refreshed and kept up-to-date. Use it when you need it.
Distributing content centrally means that the same quality information can be delivered in the same way to trainees and at the same time. It’s like having the best trainer in front of everyone all the time!
E-learning offers personalised instruction and can be developed for the specific needs of an organisation or group. Much easier to update than printed media it can target specific requirements or subject areas with relevant real-life examples.
Providing feedback is a necessary condition of effective learning. Feedback can be given to the trainee before, during and at the end of an e-learning course through tests, quizzes or learning interactions.
The progress of participants can be tracked by both learners and advisors, including performance and proof of course completion, with the results used to identify and target future training requirements.