E-Learning – What are the benefits?

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we live, the way we work – and also the way we learn. Businesses across the UK have all had to adapt quickly as restrictions have been imposed and then relaxed repeatedly. Many will now be returning to offices, either flexibly or full-time, but the effects of the pandemic still linger, and are likely to do so for some time.

While the pandemic has resulted in a shift towards remote and flexible working, traditional classroom-based training has also been affected. Learning has gone online, via webinars and e-learning modules. As the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic continues, perhaps it is worth looking at alternative models of learning as an opportunity to embrace something new.

What are the benefits of e-learning?

Delivering learning online has many benefits. It is flexible, socially distanced and can work alongside face-to-face training, where required. Learners can engage with the material at their own pace and can adapt the time spent studying to fit around busy work schedules or other social commitments.

In recent years, online training has seen a greater emphasis on personalisation. Learning and development plans can be tailored specifically to the needs of individual learners, incorporating both technical and soft skills that are required for them to be able to carry out their roles more effectively. The ability to personalise learning pathways also means that learners become more invested in the provided content and use the appropriate tools to filter out unnecessary material or to add subjects they have an interest in that could potentially further their career.

Another advantage is its accessibility. Different tools such as screen readers or audio-enabled content can help level the playing field for people with varying abilities. Content can also be adapted to suit different learning styles, ranging from short, bite-sized modules with tips and tricks to improve time management skills, through to scenarios that encourage the learner to look at situations from a different perspective and develop greater empathy with colleagues and clients.

When delivered correctly, e-learning is an efficient and engaging training tool. It is cost effective (cutting back on travel or other expenses associated with traditional learning), accessible 24/7 and on the go, has a global reach and, as previously mentioned, caters for a wide range of learning styles.

So, how is this achieved?

There are several stages in the e-learning design process, which are:

  • Concept: the idea behind the course - what will its focus be?
  • Objectives: what do we want our learners to gain from the course and what will they achieve by completing it?
  • Design: the style of the course - including the text, colours, images and animations used to bring it to life
  • Quality control: ensuring that the course is presented to the highest standard

Of course, some people might miss the social aspect of classroom-based training. This is where a blended approach would help. At a time where people are more distanced than ever, it is crucial to ensure that a suitable level of communication is maintained to allow learners to discuss topics with teachers and fellow students and therefore achieve a better understanding of the course.

In an age driven by technology – and fuelled by the lingering effects of a global pandemic – it should come as no surprise to find that e-learning is here to stay.

About the author

Jessica joined RWA in 2018, having graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Film Studies. Her role as a content designer involves developing new and engaging e-learning modules as well as assisting in the creation of articles for Insight. 

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