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eLearning’s impact on our lives

Schools, universities, businesses and more all utilize eLearning as part of a wider learning and development strategy. In this post, we’re going to take a look at how eLearning has developed, the benefits of embracing it, and what’s in store for the future.
Mike Jeavons, Content Writer

The impact of eLearning is huge. Schools, universities, businesses and more all utilize eLearning as part of a wider learning and development strategy. It provides students with access to course materials anytime and anywhere and allows teachers to support them with ease.

eLearning opens up new opportunities that might otherwise have not been possible if learning was still confined to books or the classroom.

In this post, we’re going to take a look at how eLearning has developed, the benefits of embracing it, and what’s in store for the future.

What is eLearning?

eLearning, or electronic learning, is the process of creating and publishing learning materials so they can be accessed digitally. Students are then free to access the materials using any device, including a PC, tablet, and smartphone, to engage with the course and learn new skills.

Many businesses use eLearning as an easily managed and cost-effective way to grow and develop employees.

What are the benefits of eLearning?

The benefits of eLearning can be seen throughout your business, both from the perspective of your business and of your employees. These include:

Instantly access a vast catalog of content

There are eLearning courses for every industry, covering a massive range of skills and topics. These courses can be accessed easily and instantly, especially if your business uses a learning management system. There are also many types of eLearning content, meaning anyone can learn and retain information, regardless of their preferred learning style.

Reduced costs for businesses

Because eLearning courses have already been produced by industry experts and can be accessed on any device, it saves your business considerable costs. eLearning is also simply and cost-effectively scalable, meaning either one or one thousand employees can learn from the same materials.

Consistent learning

Unlike in a classroom setting, eLearning guarantees that all employees will receive the same high level of training.

Increased motivation

Growth and development can stall if students don’t engage with learning materials, or they feel like they’re being put under additional pressure. eLearning is completely self-directed, so employees can learn in and around their schedule, or during periods of downtime.

Flexible and convenient

The flexibility of eLearning means students can learn when things are quiet, during the morning commute, or even during evenings and weekends if they wish. Even if they have just ten minutes to spare, they can log in and access training, picking up from where they left off.

Ability to revisit content

Once employees have completed a course they’re then free to revisit the content as and when needed, so it can act as refresher training they can come back to.

Respects employees’ time

Learning and development is important, but it can be difficult to find the time, especially for employees with heavy workloads. eLearning ensures employees can learn, without having to take them away from their day-to-day responsibilities.

Retain top employees

Developing existing employees ensures your business is more likely to hold on to top talent. By being encouraged to learn more knowledge, employees will have a greater level of job satisfaction, too.

Use thorough analytics

If your business uses an LMS, you will be able to view instant, thorough and accurate reports so you can see how your employees are engaging with their eLearning. This also allows you to see which employees may need additional support and measure the impact of eLearning on your business.

How has eLearning changed in recent years?

eLearning has been used since the 1990s and has been a steadily growing industry since. However, since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, businesses and educators have embraced the many benefits of eLearning and now it’s an integral part of learning and development.

This also means that, as more businesses and students turn to eLearning, teachers and other educators understand the importance. There are now more digital courses available than there have ever been, covering a wide range of topics and subjects.

Learning management systems now allow administrators to pull together thorough reports to enable them to see how students are engaging with materials, and provide support to those who may need it. These reports can also be used to gauge the ROI of an LMS.

The introduction of “The Cloud” has also made eLearning more simple and collaborative, and not only improves access to online courses but also makes software more compatible with other software. This makes the utilization of different tools and techniques much more possible, which therefore makes course materials more engaging.

How has eLearning impacted businesses?

Before eLearning businesses had several options when it came to delivering training:

  • In-house training
  • External training
  • Books, videos, and manuals

While each can be an effective way of developing employees, they can also be time-consuming, expensive, and risk becoming outdated.

That’s why the benefits of eLearning for businesses are vast, and allow employers to provide up-to-date, expert training which is cost-effective and flexible. As a result, businesses can ensure they retain top talent by increasing engagement and promoting from within.

How has eLearning impacted students?

eLearning allows students to take charge of their learning experience. Most online courses are self-directed, so students can choose when and where they do their learning.

This greater level of flexibility reduces pressure on students, which improves engagement and increases retention, and makes the learning experience more positive.

Students can also have more say in what they want to learn, and administrators can choose to offer additional support and training to those who need it.

How has eLearning impacted teachers?

It’s important to highlight that eLearning isn’t intended to replace teachers and instead acts as a way of improving the overall learning and development process. For example, blended learning is a technique that utilizes eLearning and traditional classroom learning, and helps with engagement and retention.

eLearning also acts as an additional tool or resource that teachers can use as part of their overall strategy.

How do the results of eLearning compare to more traditional teaching methods?

A 2014 study of dentistry students found that an experimental group, which learned via eLearning, and a control group, which learned in a traditional setting, “did not significantly differ” when it came to how each performed.

That means eLearning can be just as effective as traditional teaching methods, with each being used to complement the other.

What does the future look like for eLearning?

As technology continues to improve and make online education more accessible to everyone, the future of eLearning is certainly bright. Some developments to look out for are:

  • Adaptive learning, which tailors learning to each student’s needs.
  • The use of artificial intelligence, including virtual tutors and suggesting learning strategies.
  • More uses of gamification, which incentivizes learning by introducing a competitive angle.
  • Microlearning, which breaks learning into small, easily-digestible chunks.
  • The introduction of augmented and virtual reality, which can bring additional context to certain subjects.

For more information check out our blog post on eLearning trends to watch out for.

Where can you learn more about eLearning platforms?

The impact of eLearning on businesses and education has been huge, opening up new possibilities that weren’t there before. At Go1, we have a wide range of online courses that can help upskill and develop your employees.

For more insights, subscribe to the Go1 newsletter to stay on top of all the latest L&D trends. Or, you can book a demo today to find out how Go1 can help with your team’s learning needs.

Go1 helps millions of people in thousands of organizations engage in learning that is relevant, effective and inspiring.
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