E-learning, like no other training methods, assures a single experience that encapsulates the three distinct learning styles of visual, kinesthetic and auditory learners. It makes sense to consider the advantages and limitations of developing an eLearning exercise, in light of the above.
In conjunction with assessing needs, it can target specific needs. eLearning is not a mere “trend,” nor is it a learning solution that should be overlooked. In fact, since 2000, the eLearning industry has grown exponentially, and it continues to deliver unprecedented interactive, learner-directed and engaging training solutions customized to the needs of today’s adult learners.
Unlike in-house training, the need to dedicate an entire day to the training can be done away with; it can be suited to fit around your daily schedule where learners can advance at their own pace with a more personalized experience across geographies, and sometimes nationalities. Research shows that a typical eLearning requires 40–60% less training time than traditional classroom learning. As you aren’t using a trainer’s time or any room or equipment, eLearning tends to make more sense than its traditional counterparts. With a device compatible for training, the savings can be considerable. Especially with companies having thousands of employees, the cost reduction per head particularly on areas such as Compliance, Money Laundering etc. is considerable.
The computer based nature of training means new technology, apps and forums reinforcing the learning leading to increased interaction and engagement. From an organization’s standpoint quality eLearning provides learner-directed training. It increases retention rates 25–60%, vis-a-vis face-to-face training at just 8-10%. This in turn translates directly into an increase in revenue, even if learners are not in revenue-producing positions. To put it simply, since learners aren’t taken out of their jobs for extended periods, eLearning is far more cost-effective, and eventually responsive and consistent.
eLearning tends to carry higher upfront costs than traditional instructor-led training, but lowers delivery costs. Therefore, it’s hard to justify eLearning not only if you don’t need to deliver a large quantity of training units, either through single sessions for a lot of learners or multiple sessions due to turnover or refresher training but also when the content requires significant ongoing changes. In these situations, you never get out of the design-and-development phase, so you can’t capitalize on the scalability. This is where it makes sense to gauge the advantages and limitations of developing an eLearning exercise. The impersonality, suppression of communication mechanisms such as body language, and elimination of peer-to-peer learning mean individuals end up demotivated without support or reassurance. Since, delivery of eLearning courses mandate computer literate learner groups coupled with devices compatible with the training modules, scope is compromised on several accounts. Furthermore, deadlines need to be routinely organized for each individual and progress regularly monitored. Despite being self-paced, people may be disengaged and see the activity as a tickbox exercise. Additionally, the inordinately long time for incorporating changes might be incongruent to a changing business model. Students with visual or physical impairments may be disadvantaged. The need to identify the learner environment prior to development is crucial for the success of a tradeoff between the advantages of eLearning development vis-à-vis its limitations.
The vast movement towards e-learning is clearly motivated by the tradeoff it offers. What is important to know is exactly at what point the advantages and limitations of eLearning development outweigh one another. Many businesses have embraced e-Learning is an incredibly powerful tool over the last decade. But are some organizations relying on it too much? And to their detriment?