e-learning and the New Digital World

The world is moving to a digital way of doing things in all fields, and education is not being left behind.  Online, distance, or e-learning is allowing people with busy lifestyles to get more convenient access to educational resources or company materials like training programs.  There are good reasons for an organization to switch from traditional methods to e-learning, but it is important to know when to use e learning to get the maximum impact, and when to stick to more traditional learning methods.

Major benefits of e-learning

There are four major benefits of using e learning which have been pushed to the forefront as a result of the credit crunch.  These advantages include:

  • lower organizational costs of learning and communication delivery
  • more effective learning for students and employees
  • faster delivery of content and information
  • a reduced carbon footprint for business

Reduced costs of staff training

There are companies that have seen reduced spending on training by up to 80 percent.  A company like Dow Chemicals saved $34 million by switching to e learning through reduced costs of training their employees.  So if you are a big organization with a huge staff spread over various branches and with a large turnover, this could be a good time to go down the e learning route.

Fast learning delivery

Fast delivery is another thing that you can look forward to with e learning because the number of classrooms and trainers available does not impact learning.  There is also less time wasted on social interaction, questions or discussions that are irrelevant, travelling to the venue and back as well as elements that a learner already knows.  It has been proven that the time it takes to deliver e learning training is less than that of the classroom training by between 25 and 60 percent on the same topic.

With the faster delivery an organization is also able to train its workers all consumers throughout the world. A company that deals with software may need to teach customers how to use their product and e learning has a wider reach than conferences or publications.

More effective learning using new technologies

A company that deals with information and knowledge or processes and procedures is more likely to benefit from a conversion to e-learning.  According to a report released in 2011, learning gains were noted in the following areas; long-term retention of provided information, learner’s attitudes toward training and the new format, learners’ ability to put into practice the knowledge acquired in the workplace, learners’ scores on evaluations and certifications, and the number of people who passed or achieved mastery of the information provided.

Reducing an organization’s carbon footprint through e-learning

The carbon footprint of a large organization can be astronomical.  With classroom-based training the travel involved, the energy consumption in the situations, the amount of paper used and the amount of CO2 emissions of each student contributes to this.  Although computers may not be considered the most environmentally friendly appliances they do help save trees by making the training compact and also lower the amount of CO2 emissions attributed to a company because the learning takes place in a learner’s home.