What is E-Learning?
Did you know that almost everyone who uses a computer has completed some type of e-learning? Perhaps it was called web-based training, or online learning, or computer-based training, but it’s all under the same e-learning umbrella. It can encompass a wide variety of online initiatives.
A good, broad way to think about e-learning is the use of electronic devices (computers, tablets, or phones) to deliver educational or training content to learners.
This blog will focus on e-learning course development and content authoring, and then explore what it is, why it’s valuable, and much more. So if you’re interested in finding out more about e-learning in general, you’ve come to the right place.
How Do We Define E-Learning?
Many people would recognize a basic online course as a slide-based online activity that contains simple navigation buttons (such as Next and Back) and incorporates quizzes with true/false or multiple choice questions.
But not all online courses share the same fingerprint. For example, it could be an inherently responsive web-based course that allows learners to have a great learning experience no matter what device they’re using to view their course. Or maybe it’s a software simulation that demonstrates the click-path through an application. Or an interactive course that features role-playing and complex decision-making.
In this blog we’ll take a deliberately broad view of e-learning, and appreciate its near-infinite and ever-evolving forms.
Why Is E-Learning Valuable?
Online Learning offers many benefits that more traditional training options, such as facilitated sessions or lectures, don’t provide. For example, e-learning
Can be either an asynchronous or synchronous activity: Traditionally, e-learning has been asynchronous, which means there is no predetermined time for the learning to take place. Everyone can go at their own pace, and take their time to learn what they need to know, when they need to know it. However, more synchronous e-learning is now being offered through web conferencing and chat options. The great thing about e-learning is it gives you the option to do either or both.
Has a global reach: Online learning can simply be placed online and easily accessed by people around the world. There is no need for expensive travel or meetings across multiple time zones.
Spans multiple devices/mobile: Online Learning can work on computers as well as on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This means e-learning courses can literally be in the hands of the people who need them at all times.
Is just-in-time/needs-based: Online Learning authoring software is so easy to use that anyone can create, publish, and share a course within a few hours, allowing you to provide people with resources and training they can access right when they need it.
Is more efficient: With Online Learning, you can develop a course that can be distributed electronically to thousands instead of having to organize in-person training sessions whenever people need to be brought up to speed.
Reduces costs: All of the above mentioned factors result in a cost savings for organizations that use e-learning courses to replace some of their traditional instructor-led training.
Allows for consistent quality and content: When you develop an Online Learning course, you can deliver the same message to all learners consistently. In classroom training, the message, equipment, and other conditions can vary widely from one session to the next, which can affect the outcome of the course.
And that’s just the beginning! As you can see, e-learning can be an extremely valuable asset to your organization.
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