What are the Benefits of eLearning for entrepreneurs and companies?
New models, technologies and designs in education promise to make our learning experience seamless and more effective than ever. Hence, more and more people go online to elearn new skills or deepen existing ones. They seek a convenient, competitive and recognizable way of learning to be able to succeed in professional and personal life.
In this post we will outline some of the most interesting benefits of eLearning for online entrepreneurs, individuals and companies, and of course, how to get started easily. Please feel invited to share your experience or start a discussion by commenting on this post afterwards.
5 Benefits of eLearning – What are the advantages?
Accessibility, personalization opportunities, speed, and focus – here are the main features that make eLearning an increasingly demanded type of learning. But let’s take a closer look.
- Personalized to your needs
- Strong focus on a topic, individual learning speed
- Accessibility from anywhere, on any device
- Increased motivation
- Cost-effective and environmentally-friendly
1. Personalized and tailored to your needs
Learning at your pace is probably one of the most beneficial aspects of eLearning; you can stop, review and proceed at speed you feel most comfortable with. No fast or slow learners frustrate you with their learning speed (which is often a problem in traditional classrooms). In the result, everyone’s productivity is greatly enhanced.
2. Strong focus and flexible speed
Content brings to the table its own characteristics. Thus, digital skills are easier to learn in a digital environment. For instance, if you want to learn a programming language, a wiser solution will be to take a related online course rather than diving into traditional coursework on computer science and software development. Besides, college education needs months, sometimes years to include something into its program. However, high technologies change so rapidly that we need a flexible platform to keep track with recent updates and acquire corresponding skills quickly.
3. Accessibility from anywhere
With eLearning, you deviate from traditional settings. Your room is your classroom with your favorite cup of tea or coffee. Besides, you can use your smartphone, tablet and PC to join e-courses which make the learning process more personalized.
4. Higher motivation
Learners choose e-Learning consciously, having a particular career path in mind (which is not always true in traditional education). Learning, consequently, is not perceived as something distant and intangible. Corporate workers, for example, know that gaining specific knowledge will help them advance in their careers, which gives an additional spark to this process.
5. Cost-effective and environmentally-friendly
ELearning does not require expenses for campus sites, dorms, facility or equipment, and it enables to cut down on travel costs. Secondly, digital content is easier to manage; hence, it demands fewer resources for updates. Moreover, eLearning is environmentally-friendly: it eliminates the use of paper and printer cartridge.
Benefits of eLearning for Companies and Organizations
Staff trainings are essential for having qualified and continuously growing team of employees. As reported in the CIPD’s Learning and Talent Development Study 2015, “74% of companies use some level of e-learning with 91% of companies reporting it to be very useful when combined with other methods.” e-Learning is preferable for companies and organizations for a number of specific reasons:
A tool that is available 24/7 is a fabulous solution to help workers from different timezones join the same course.
2. Expert knowledge
Companies also benefit from instant connectivity to experts regardless of their location, thus cutting down on travel and lodging expenses.
Flexibility is another huge asset and benefit of eLearning. Companies may have certain deadlines for their employees to learn something; therefore, online learning comes to be the perfect fit to meet time requirements. Besides, companies will have hard time in finding a traditional college course to be worked into their workers’ busy schedules.
4. Tracking & evaluation
What’s more, by using a Learning Measurement System, companies can track their employees’ progress with no effort.
5. Motivated employees
Last but not least, in the 21st-century companies look for loyalty, and workers aim for lifelong learning and continuity in professional growth. Armed with eLearning opportunities people experience a greater sense of accomplishment that spark motivation and enhances retention.
Five Disadvantages of eLearning
Online learning also has some drawbacks you should be aware of:
1. Lack of in-person networking
In colleges and universities, you can enjoy the networking opportunities to make friends, liaisons, as well as get to know professors and alumni. This makes it easier to build a reliable network and be informed about internship and job opportunities.
2. Diploma that is not recognized
Although many online courses and trainings offer verified certificates, people and business are usually inclined to recognize degrees and diplomas from traditional colleges and universities. Hence, it is recommended to check if a provider of online courses offers certificates that really proof and show an achievement to potential employers.
3. Professions requiring traditional education
Certain professions and career paths will make traditional education a must (such as Nursing, Dentistry, Biology, Car-Engineering, which require certain facilities and equipment to gain knowledge and experience). Besides, if you want to become a researcher or a scientist, you will have to hold Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, and in some cases a Ph.D. to be able to proceed in your career.
4. Lack of control
If eLearning is your choice and you aim to learn exceptionally with this tool, you should make sure you dedicate the necessary time and commitment to your education. Remember that lack of control and no set times will require a higher sense of responsibility.
5. The feeling of isolation
Because the contact is only virtual during eLearning, you can feel isolated and demotivated to learn something. If you think you are the kind of person who needs interaction, choose courses that contain peer review assignment, real-time chats and conferences, so that you minimize the feeling of isolation.
eLearning Solution Tips
Select a course that has a relevant content, tailored to your specific needs and look for engaging and interactive methods to make your learning experience more rewarding.
Consider the learning pyramid, created by the National Training Laboratories in Bethel, Maine, which emphasizes the importance of participatory (active) learning methods: discussion groups, practice by doing and teaching others. If the online course has these components, you have better chances of success.
The following eLearning options should be useful to consider:
- Owing to the increasing demand of e-Learning, many colleges and universities offer credit courses for different specializations. Explore those opportunities.
- Online certificates at the undergraduate and graduate levels are also effective solutions provided by colleges.
- You can also browse popular Udemy Courses or the Coursera and EdX websites for a wide range of short and long-term courses (called MOOCS: Massive Open Online Courses) in various subjects, available for purchase and free of charge. Top universities of the world or renowned professionals of the field present courses to thousands of learners worldwide.
- Being relatively new, the concept of digital badges is meant to provide evidence for specific skills such as leadership or environmental stewardship.
Benefits of eLearning – Summary and Conclusion
Consult your needs, goals and preferences before you choose a learning path. As Donna J. Abernathy states, “Online learning is not the next big thing, it is the now big thing.” It leaves doors open for personalization of content and schedules, gives you a sharper focus and faster delivery, is available anytime from anywhere you have an internet connection, stimulates motivation, is cost-effective and environmentally-friendly.
Surely, you should also consider finding alternative ways of in-person networking, fight the feeling of isolation (if it arises), and have a higher sense of responsibility and self-control to be able to fulfill courses effectively. Make informed decisions about eLearning and, eventually, you will enjoy the ample reward for your efforts.
Based on your experience, what are the strongest benefits of elearning in your life? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments below.