Regardless of any concerns, online education has made great strides in recent years. In the latest survey’s, 78% of respondents reported having taken online courses and 48% said they would be willing to. There are some definite benefits to online learning over traditional classroom training. While the most obvious are the flexibility and the cost savings from not having to travel or spend excess time away from work, there are also others that might not be so obvious.
Online learning is generally self-paced and the majority of e-learning programmes can be studied when needed following a module-based design that allows the learner to go through smaller chunks of training that can be used and absorbed for a while before moving on.
E-learning courses can also progress up to 50 percent faster than traditional courses, partly because the individualised approach allows learners to skip material they already know and understand, and therefore move on to the issues they need more in depth training on. It can also lead to increased topic retention and a stronger grasp on the subject since learners can revisit or replay sections of the training that might not have been clear the first time around.
E-learning also provides a consistent message by eliminating the problems associated with different instructors teaching slightly different material on the same subject. For company-based training, this is often critical and ensures that everyone across the business is receiving the same message. For large businesses, it also provides a shorter timeframe when a large number of employees are going through the same programme since it can work from any location and at any time. This Just-In-Time (JIT) benefit can make learning possible for people who never would have been able to work it into their schedules prior to the development of e-learning or provides businesses with the ability to provide training without having to take the majority of their workforce out of the business at a set time.
So, is online learning the future of education?