If you’re thinking about making the switch to online learning, the key questions you may be asking are what are the key benefits and will this provide value to my team or organization?
To get meaningful answers to these questions, we take a deep-dive approach with our clients by determining what types of training will transition well, what the outcome of the target training is, how it is currently taught, how we can keep students engaged by moving to online learning, and what benefits the transition will provide instructors.
Through our work, we have seen numerous benefits of online learning and the true value this approach brings to teams. The following is a list of 7 key benefits of online learning that we regularly come across that may help you decide if you are ready to make the switch.
1. Learn From Anywhere
Give your students the ability to learn from anywhere with an internet connection. This obvious benefit is why online learning is often referred to as “distributed learning”; trainees can engage from virtually anywhere in the world, learning the essential skills they need to perform their role. This means reducing barriers for those with mobility restrictions and the opportunity to reach audiences globally.
2. Save Time
It’s great for people with any kind of schedule whether they are students or parents, work shifts or full time. Online learning empowers people to schedule their learning to work with other obligations. It also eliminates commute times or time away from the home, giving more power to the learner to focus more on the learning. Think about all that time people spend commuting to and from work or travelling to a training centre in another part of the country or world for that matter. What impact on learning do you see if someone is late to their class because they are stuck in traffic, or the weather is bad, or the bus broke down…With online learning, you give your students more time to focus on their training, making them less stressed and more productive.
3. Learn At Your Own Pace
Everyone learns differently and at various paces. With online learning, you are allowing your students the freedom and flexibility to learn at their own pace and take as much time as needed on each lesson. With the ability to self-direct their learning, students can go back to sections of the course they did not understand and read through it as often as needed. Students can apply the tools they require for accessibility with ease from their homes to fully engage with the training. In addition, students can create their own training plan that works for them, and this can lead to higher engagement in the course, and better retention of information.
4. More Creativity, More Freedom
Creating lessons online gives the instructor more creative freedom. As educators, we are always looking for ways to boost student engagement and participation as well as keeping the content exciting. With online learning, the opportunity to boost engagement grows. Some of the ways you can engage students are to:
a) Incorporate video into the lessons (either house-made or external)
b) Create different visual layouts and interactions to suit each topic (topic tabs, image carousels, clickable icons, animated pop-ups etc.)
c) Implement quizzes throughout lessons to keep students engaged and to test their knowledge
Since the courses are highly customizable and can report data about student behaviours, this also allows you to go back into the courses and quickly edit or replace content as new information becomes available so your students always have the most up-to-date information.
5. Consistent Access to Information
Having an online course means that all of your students have consistent access to the same information. When compared to instructor-led or on-the-job training, students using online e-learning will all receive the same lessons, in the same format, in the same order. This is not to discourage on-the-job training because it is very crucial to have hands-on experience as well, however, if you want to ensure your students are all consistently learning the same material, e-learning provides an excellent solution to make that happen.
6. Cost Savings
While creating online courses may be more expensive upfront, in the long run, you will save money. Online courses can be re-used with students as many times as needed without the need to book a venue, hire instructors, buy refreshments etc. leaving you with extra money to re-invest in the course or re-allocate those funds for other projects. You will also save money on future costs as online learning solutions are scalable, meaning they can be edited, updated, refined and enhanced quickly and easily. Often this can be done with internal resources as well (and think about all that paper saved too!).
7. Unique Learning Opportunities
We live in a world of ever-changing technology and advancements, and e-learning is able to adapt to the majority of these changes. For example, with e-learning you can integrate various simulation models for your students to participate in such as Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), simulation training, gamified learning, and so much more. Utilizing this technology gives your students the opportunity to experience real-world scenarios from the comfort of their own homes.
When looking at the benefits of online learning, it offers new skills, worldwide opportunities, lower costs, and a more flexible schedule for busy people. We’d be happy to chat with you if you’re interested in taking your learning or training online and discuss approaches we can explore to create immersive, rich learning experiences for your teams.