The newest trend in corporate training is the move toward eLearning solutions to replace more traditional classes and other materials. According to a report from Roland Berger, 77 percent of companies in the United States use some form of eLearning to train their employees. That the number is so high is no surprise considering all of the advantages that electronic learning styles hold over traditional learning.
Any time, any place
The first and most important of these advantages is the portability of an eLearning process. Because electronic education can be accomplished on a variety of platforms, from a computer to a tablet to a smartphone, it can be done anywhere and at any time. This means that the learner can partake in the coursework on their own schedule, which makes them far more likely to engage with the material in a productive way. When a person is forced into working on training at a specific time or in a specific way that may not work for them, it hurts their ability to retain the information presented. When they can work on it when it suits them, they are far more likely to be productive in their learning.
This portability has been put to use in a myriad of ways both in and out of the corporate world. According to the Indianapolis Star, some school districts in Indiana are replacing traditional snow days with eLearning days. That means that on days when the winter weather prevents students from coming to school, the students are able to continue to do some coursework via electronic means, allowing classes to continue on days that formerly would have been lost.
"An eLearner chooses what material to focus on and in what order to do it."
Because learners are more self-directed in eLearning settings, they are more invested in what they are doing. An electronic learner chooses what material to focus on and in what order to do it, this agency allows students to feel more involved in the learning process and helps them keep at what they are doing. In Australia, the government produced an new type of apprenticeship learning for electrical workers that blended traditional learning with some eLearning principles. It was an incredible success according to The Register, and it improved student retention rates to over 90 percent in the first two years of the course.
The self-directed style of eLearning courses also allows students to be more efficient in the learning process. In a traditional classroom setting the instructor sets the pace, and decides how much time each section or topic will be covered for. The electronic learning process puts the learner in charge of pacing. The learner can decide which sections of the material to focus their attention and efforts on based on what they need from the course, while skimming through sections that they need less work on. In addition to being more efficient, this keeps the learners more engaged. They will be able to work on exactly what they need instead of being bored by time spent on what they know or intimidated by quickly moving through challenging sections.
For these reasons and more, eLearning will continue to grow as an industry, and as a part of corporate training. Electronic learning allows students to be more efficient, engaged and involved in the things they need to learn. Though a high percentage of American businesses already use some eLearning, it is likely that they will use it more often and in more arenas as time passes.