With the global e-learning industry market set to tip over the $100 billion mark in 2015 and 42% of leading companies seeing an increase in revenue through online learning alone, the power of e-learning is certainly being realized the world round today more than ever.
As e-learning authoring specialists, we’re often looking at and talking about more technical aspects of e-learning – like analytics and cloud technology – but we take little time to remember exactly what it is that organizations can gain from e-learning.
I’ve compiled some of the high level benefits of e-learning because it’s important to remember that many still think of it as a boring, static exercise which does little more than tick a box (and cost money). The battle for many HR and L&D teams is convincing senior budget holders that e-learning can be so much more than that, taking on many forms, increasing speed to competency, upskilling staff and having a real bottom line benefit.
(Just some of) the benefits of e-learning
E-learning takes a user through a load of material on a particular subject, encompassing stuff like video, quizzes, games and so on, in order to improve their knowledge of whatever the course might be on. Where e-learning is being used, you can be sure that all staff have received the exact same message and tuition, despite the fact they might be in different departments, locations or even speak different languages.
Face-to-face tuition can get expensive
It’s an age old argument in the learning space, but taking a whole department out of the office for a day’s worth of training not only impacts the day-to-day, but the venue, transport and facilitation will all cost money… repeat that across a business and consider how many different topics staff need to be trained up on and the cost continues to rise. E-learning allows training to take place at desks, during quiet times or for an allocated period. Add a multi-device element to e-learning and that training can take place at home, on the move or be used as a refresher once completed.
Despite planning and best efforts, businesses can’t predict what they might face tomorrow. Whether that’s an acquisition, recruitment drive or busy period , there are a load of times your business need to train or refresh hundreds or thousands of staff in one go. A major benefit of E-learning courses is that they can be taken by as many people as necessary without any additional cost, so the longer a course is in use/ the more staff go through it, the better value for money it will be.
If you’re dealing with workbooks and classroom-based learning, it’s difficult to change messaging to reflect new business goals, or even to make minor text edits, once things are sent out and being used. Doing so means reprinting everything, making sure the old ones are out of use, and so on. E-learning, being digital, can be updated, added to or improved at any point, leaving you safe in the knowledge that staff are picking up the latest and greatest version of any particular course, giving them the best and most up to date knowledge.
Put downtime to use
Whether it involves a bus, train or even a flight, there’s an element of travel in many jobs. E-learning, especially multi-device e-learning, is a great way of giving travelling staff something to fill their time with. One of the benefits of e-learning is the fact it’s online at all hours of the day – we all have a quiet hour here and there every few weeks, which is a perfect opportunity to seek out some personal development through e-learning.
Without going into too much detail, if the correct learning infrastructure and tracking is in place, courses can be effectively measured and analysed, which is a major benefit of e-learning. It’s possible to see what percentage of learners have completed (or failed) a particular course, how they interact with courses across devices and much, much more.
There are loads more benefits of e-learning we haven’t even to touching on yet. If you can think of any yourself, be sure to let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear them.