Technology has impacted various industries and markets on a global scale, and advancements are still being introduced, changing the way we live, work and study. Higher education has undergone significant upgrades since the expansion of the eLearning trend, and it seems like things are going in the right direction.
Expecting to deliver revenue of over $325 Billion by 2025, the eLearning sector is booming, and there are quite a few powerful reasons why. Students, alumni and corporations are all benefiting from this high education digital trend. As author and eLearning researcher Donna J. Abernathy says “Online learning is not the next big thing; it is the now big thing.”
But what exactly are the aspects that bring so much appeal to eLearning in the first place?
With no geographical boundaries involved, one of the main advantages that come into discussion is accessibility. For some students, moving to another country for study purposes is simply not an option. ELearning eliminates all restrictions, allowing individuals from all over the world to complete the courses or training they’re interested in.
Those who are either physically or psychologically unable to be present in a classroom can continue their educational development through online courses.
Combining education with work or other activities can be often challenging for many. One of the factors that has brought so much appeal to learning methods influenced by technology is the mobility involved.
ELearning gives students the chance to study at any place and at any time, accommodating their needs perfectly. Today’s learners want a personalized, mobile approach to education, and that is exactly what this option provides.
Educating employees and students in traditional learning environments involves a wide range of resource requirements. A single instructor isn’t able to teach a high number of students in just one classroom or at a corporate training institution.
With eLearning, on the other hand, the reach of educators is virtually infinite. With money and time saved, more resources can be preserved as well. Scalability enhances the effects of learning and teaching processes, helping both parties involved.
It has been shown that online education can often be more effective. More students are able to grasp the information received when they benefit from increased flexibility. The positive nature of eLearning practices also brings better results to organizations training their employees.
- Improved scores on evaluations (tests, certifications etc.)
- Retaining information for longer periods of time
- More students can obtain “pass” levels
While traditional education methods still have their undisputed role, online learning comes with a leaping advantage in terms of schedule freedom. Keeping up with a strict curriculum might inconvenience many students, preventing them from achieving academic improvements.
Online courses allow learners to enjoy a self-paced training schedule. They can study according to their own time, being easier to incorporate learning in their busy life, regardless of specifics.
Full-time employees or individuals who simply don’t have the necessary time to attend physical classes are no longer left behind. Learning and completing courses after work, in the evening, on the weekends or when they have spare time is possible through this digital mode.
From recorded lessons and written content to collaborative learning software and webinars, possibilities are multiple and anyone with an internet connection can easily access them.
As reports at Class Central indicate, in 2017 alone, around 27 million individuals on a global scale took their first Massive Open Online Course, rounding up a number of 81 million online learners at over 800 universities.
Even universities with high reputation, such as Harvard and Yale, are embracing learning technologies, supporting students who benefit more from a self-paced learning process.
Quick lesson delivery cycles
When comparing traditional classroom teaching with this digital mode, it’s easy to spot the positive difference in lesson delivery cycles. ELearning facilitates a reduction in learning time by even up to 60%. ELearning reduces study time from the following considerations:
- A single learning session wraps up the entire lesson.
- Students don’t have to keep up with the learning speed of the entire classroom group
- Learners don’t have to travel to a certain institution – eliminating commuting.
- Students can focus solely on learning material areas relevant to them.
Tracking how effective a traditional training program actually is can be challenging in traditional learning environments. Evaluating results, keeping a close tab on student progress and taking action based on results cannot always be possible in a physical classroom. ELearning, on the other hand, provides a more effective learning management system. An online course curriculum comes with improved metrics. It’s easier to spot study results, which are later measured and improved through necessary changes.
Individuals need to maintain their skills set relevant to the current demands of the industry they work in. Considering that we live in a technology-driver climate, staying up-to-date on different tech trends is a priority for organizations and their staff. Upskilling has thus become a necessity for many individuals, allowing them to upgrade their current skills and perform different professional roles better.
More people are interested in pivoting mid-career and accessing better employment opportunities, as well. Going back to school is however not an easy-to-reach possibility, and that’s when online education comes to the rescue. Diversifying their area of expertise is far easier with eLearning.
The high expenses of traditional education can often prevent individuals from accessing the academic journey they desire, or the career boost they target. A strong advantage of online learning, which has been linked to the popularity increase of this trend in recent years, is a reduction in costs.
Because learning time and resources are reduced, eLearning is the more cost-effective alternative. Learning through this mode is fast and easy, so naturally a decrease in expenses occurs.
For larger organizations, this also comes as an optimal solution for employee training. Corporations can improve the skills of their workforces regardless of economic climate.
Helps students stay relevant in quickly changing environments
We live in a fast-paced word, and traditional learning is often an obstacle, due to outdated learning resources. Digital learning makes it possible to update study materials fast and in real time, keeping content fresh and relevant in quickly changing environments.
When students are taking an online class, they can be certain the information received is updated to the current climate, whereas in traditional settings, textbooks may still contain outdated, irrelevant content.
One last thing to remember here is the impact eLearning has on the environment. Activists are encouraging sustainability practices in all industries and markets, and education isn’t left behind. More organizations are highlighting the eco-friendly nature of digital learning. ELearning is a paperless way of studying. According to certain statistics, digital learning also consumes up to 90% less power, so those who are interested in a more environmentally-conscious way of studying have certainly directed their attention to distance-based learning opportunities.
The subject of eLearning is a cast one, addressing a wide variety of aspects. While at the time, digital learning technologies cannot completely eliminate the need for traditional learning, these have become essential for the modern student. With powerful advantages, eLearning is driving more interest than ever and things are likely to go uphill from now on.