What is e-Learning? Types of e-Learning Training for Your Organisation
The changing landscape of the business world has seen technology take over a lot of the things we used to do manually. This has even occurred in the learning and development space, with e-Learning becoming an extremely widely used tool to keep employees skilled, happy and engaged.
What is e-Learning?
E-Learning is a pretty broad term that can be used to describe all types of online training courses. We’re now seeing e-Learning used by schools, universities, training providers and businesses all over the world. Whether you’re studying for a degree or you want some useful online modules to improve staff capability, the options are almost endless.
Many organisations are beginning to favour e-Learning over traditional training methods because it’s cost-effective, flexible and accessible for remote workers. But there are more benefits than just that. If you’re looking to improve or enhance your learning and development programs, e-Learning is a smart way to go about it.
The benefits of e-Learning
Many businesses use all types of e-Learning to great effect for all manner of topics. From custom-designed modules for specific internal learning to external professional development, there are so many ways e-Learning can be used. Organisations are always looking for ways to achieve quality training outcomes, and that’s not always possible with classroom-based training.
e-Learning gives companies an opportunity to change how they approach staff training. It’s more flexible, cost-effective and many people prefer it over traditional training methods. Here are just some of the reasons organisations are now using e-Learning delivery for their training needs.
- Cost-effective: Classroom-based training has a lot of overheads attached, but e-Learning is much simpler. Staff don’t need to travel, and they can even learn from their desks. By partnering with a training organisation, you can access hundreds of courses for a fraction of the cost of other training methods.
- Flexible: Many forms of e-Learning don’t even need to be scheduled. Staff members can access modules, videos and training programs at a time that’s convenient for them. However, you can also schedule them if you need to, for example, a facilitated virtual classroom.
- Less time away from the desk: Employees can often become stressed if they have to attend half-day or full-day training because of the workload that piles up. It also drives productivity down for businesses if their staff aren’t available. E-Learning can be done at the desk, and people can get straight back to work when it’s finished.
- A huge range of courses: Variety is another huge reason to embrace e-Learning. Most classroom-based training topics can be covered through online learning, but there are also plenty of other options. For example, companies can create internal training programs unique to their business, which would be less effective if hiring an external training provider to facilitate this type of training.
- Self-paced: A lot of people love the fact that some e-Learning varieties are self-paced. In a busy world, it’s not always possible to block out a whole day for training. But e-Learning allows staff to complete modules when they can, and at their own pace. This is great for people who like to take their time with training and find they don’t retain as much information in a fast-paced classroom environment.
- Interactive: e-Learning has evolved in recent years with better technology, meaning it’s now a very interactive experience. In the history of e-Learning, it wasn’t always that good, but now you can include a whole range of different ways to engage.
- Great for remote workers: Finally, we can’t forget that the business landscape has changed dramatically in recent years. More people are working from home or in remote locations. E-Learning allows staff members to stay up to date with training no matter where they are.
When you look at all of these benefits, it’s little wonder that organisations are turning to e-Learning. It should be mentioned that you don’t need to completely stop using in-person training methods because these are also effective. But having virtual training as an option ensures that everybody’s learning needs are met.
Different types of e-Learning
Because the term ‘e-Learning’ is so broad, it’s important to understand there are many different types available. Everybody learns differently, so it’s great that you can provide a range of training options that appeal to everybody. Of course, you’ll never make everybody happy, but implementing e-Learning in your workplace is a great way to address most people’s learning needs.
Here are some of the common types of e-Learning you might consider for your organisation.
Perhaps the most common, and certainly the first type of e-Learning is web-based. Through a learning management system, employees can access self-paced learning modules and work through them at their own pace. Back in the day, while innovative, these programs weren’t particularly user-friendly or engaging.
Fast forward to today and web-based e-Learning programs have evolved significantly. They now incorporate plenty of interactive elements and provide a much better experience for the participant. It’s also worth mentioning that there are almost no limits to the topics that can be covered through web-based e-Learning.
More basic programs will feature slides full of information that people can work through. More sophisticated programs now include quizzes, videos, images and all types of interactive multimedia.
The virtual classroom has seen a huge rise in popularity, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. They’ve been around longer than that, of course, but the necessity for this type of training was amplified when people simply weren’t allowed to gather in a room together for training.
Virtual classrooms, as the name suggests, bring the classroom to your computer. Using training software, users can log in at a designated time and participate in facilitated training no matter where they are, which is another huge bonus considering the rise of remote work.
All software platforms and training providers operate slightly differently, but a virtual classroom can consist of a facilitator delivering content, breakouts into groups for activities, video, polls, quizzes, chat functions and open discussion on topics. Basically, it’s just like a big digital classroom.
Another popular type of e-Learning is video-based training. It’s probably self-explanatory, but video training is a pre-recorded video designed to teach users a specific skill. In extremely simplified terms, it’s not much different to jumping onto YouTube when you need an instructional video on how to do something.
Many training companies offer pre-recorded video sessions, while organisations can also develop their own videos for internal training. This type of e-Learning is growing massively in popularity because of the freedom it offers to both organisations and users.
Video training is obviously self-paced. You can access it from anywhere with an internet connection, and it’s also often shorter than other forms of training. Rather than developing hours-long videos, the idea is to provide shorter tutorials that staff can access whenever they need to. Naturally, the flexibility of video training is appealing to many organisations.
Custom e-Learning can really be any of the above types of training. The difference is, that it’s specifically developed by organisations for in-house use. With the right guidance, you could create an entire onboarding training package using e-Learning, which is exactly what many companies do.
So many companies are hiring remote workers now, that online or virtual training is the only way they can provide the necessary training to new staff members. So, if you have an experienced training specialist in your organisation, you may be able to create your own courses. Alternatively, you can work with a training provider who can develop e-Learning packages tailored to your needs. As you can see, there’s plenty of variety in the world of e-Learning, and a huge number of benefits. Whether you seek out pre-designed e-Learning modules or you choose to develop custom programs, the scope is enormous. For effective, engaging and cost-effective training programs, e-Learning is the perfect modern solution.