A lot of people are wondering about this new educational phenomenon called eLearning. As technology changes, so does the world, and it is only fitting that the way we teach and learn would evolve with those changes. If you think about it, education has changed very little over the past 5,000 years. A professor teaches a class of students face-to-face. They use books, they write things down on papers, and the teacher writes things on a chalkboard (or something similar), and, well...that is about it. There have been minor advances over the years, most of which have come since the dawn of the 20th century.
The pencil, the overhead projector, ballpoint pen, the calculator, the computer, the interactive whiteboard, and the tablet computer. Even with all of these advances in technology, they have merely been used as tools within the classroom, which still has remained relatively unchanged.
Then along came eLearning.
Primitive versions of eLearning have actually been around for more than 100 years, but it was not until technology caught up with the idea that this concept really came to fruition. Now, thanks to the internet, we can remove the classroom and students can learn from anywhere in the world. Teachers can ditch the traditional lecture format or jotting notes on the chalkboard, and now they can make learning more engaging, interactive, and fun than ever before.
While eLearning has been taking off in recent years, it still makes up just a tiny fraction of the educational curriculum. So why is eLearning considered your best choice? Below are just a handful of the numerous reasons you should consider eLearning over the traditional classroom.
- eLearning is convenient. You can teach or learn from your couch or on your back porch, in your pajamas, while eating a roast beef sandwich. How awesome is that?
- eLearning promotes knowledge retention. Since almost all eLearning gives the student the ability to re-watch the content over and over again, the student can revisit the class when they forget something. Many eLearning courses also add knowledge reinforcement quizzes to the course. Rather than waiting days or weeks to test the student, this makes sure the student is paying attention and understands right away.
- eLearning is good for the environment. eLearning uses 90% less electricity and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 85%. 1
- eLearning cuts instruction time by 60% And if a teacher's instruction time is cut down, they would be more available to help the students. They would also have more time to prepare these awesome eLearning courses! 2
- eLearning forces students to be independent and take responsibility for themselves. I am sure some people need the interaction that comes with a traditional classroom, but for many others, this form of learning will give them the kick in the butt they need to become accountable for their education, without relying on a teacher.
- It's mobile! You can learn from almost anywhere. If you are going on a trip for a week and don't want to miss class, you no longer have to. Just take along a mobile device, like a laptop or tablet, and you can keep up with the rest of your classmates while relaxing by the pool.
- eLearning is self-paced. Well, not ALL eLearning, but most of it is. Even if there are live lectures, the teachers almost always records and posts those lectures online for people to watch and re-watch. This is a great fit for the busy, on-the-go lifestyles to which most of us are adapt.
- eLearning is easy to customize for your specific organization! Learning no longer has to be about the basic principals. You can dig deeper and more industry specific, and train new employees EXACTLY how you want them to be trained. The terminology, the images on the screen, even your company's branding, can all be easily included in an eLearning course. Best of all, the cost for customization is modest in comparison with traditional schooling.
- Gameification is a proven method! Students learning through gameification scored 15% higher in skill-based knowledge and 9% higher in knowledge retention than those learning by the traditional methods. 3
- eLearning is great for businesses. Companies using eLearning to introduce and reinforce behavior see 26% higher revenue-per-employee. It practically pays for itself! 4
- eLearning is affordable. Actually it is incredibly cheaper than traditional schools. You will pay an average of $85,000 for a traditional degree at a physical school. An online degree averages just $30,000. 5
As you can see, there is a reason for all the hype. eLearning is an all-around better educational experience than the 'old way' of educating. It is more convenient, more affordable, and produces better results. As technology advances, new products are being released every day, which make our lives a little easier. eLearning is another feather in the cap of great conveniences, thanks to the technology of this digital age.
As more and more classes move to this eLearning format, it is more important than ever to find great developers who also have a strong understanding of how the content applies to your organization. Gone are the days of traditional training and education. Open your arms to eLearning and embrace all that it has to offer you.
1. Open University
4. Bersin and Associates
5. The Guardian