e- Learning Benefits
One of the impacts of the credit crunch has been a fresh look at the potential of e-learning. We decided to take a look at some of the research and examine the benefits of e-learning, including evidence of:
• Lower costs
• Faster delivery
• More effective learning
• Lower environmental impact
In addition to lower delivery costs there is a strong argument that e-learning is more cost-effective because there is a reduction in training time known as learning compression. This is because the single largest cost of training in organisations is the cost of staff attending the training course, rather than the direct delivery costs in terms of trainers, course materials, travel and accommodation. E-learning can deliver benefits by reducing the time it takes to train people because:
• Learners can go at their own pace, not at the pace of the slowest member of a group
• Time in classrooms can be spent on questions / topics introduced by other delegates that are irrelevant to the needs of the individual learner
• There is less social interaction time
• It takes less time to start and wind up a learning session
• There is less travel time to and from a training event
• Learners learn what they need to learn, they can skip elements of a program they don’t need
According to Brandon Hall (2001) these factors can add up to an average compression (saving of learning time) of 35-45 percent when a course is taken out of the classroom and delivered as e-learning.
(a) Higher retention and faster learning
• Individuals who take e-courses experience significantly higher rates of retention than those taking classroom courses – in less time. Content is delivered in smaller, more manageable units. Individuals can skim material they know, and review material that is new to them.
• According to various published studies, individuals taking e-courses retain up to 100% more than if they take comparable classroom courses.
• Taking an e-learning program typically requires 30-60% less time than attending a comparable classroom course.
(b) Self-paced learning
• Students can convert information to knowledge at their own pace.
(c) Less intimidating than classroom courses
• Trainees can ask My Learning School Client Services without having to worry about what others in the class might think. They can also work through exercises in private, without fear of failure.
(d) More interactivity than classroom courses
• According to studies, students in classroom courses typically ask about .1 questions per hour. Students taking e-learning programs can interact with the courseware via question and answer up to 1 Month.