Most people who know me know that I like to keep things simple. At least, I try to. So, when asked how e-learning differs from a regular website, my initial response was that e-learning takes an in-depth look into one specific subject while a website is just general information. It’s a simple answer, but not really complete. There are websites wholly devoted to one subject, but it doesn’t make it necessarily e-learning. If you think of all the components that make up a learning environment, a website doesn’t usually contain all of them. So, what does e-learning look like? What does it comprise?
E-learning is a way of educating people electronically. The essential elements of learning remain the same no matter what the method of education. Elearning, just like it’s traditional classroom counterpart, is a means of guiding a student from the basics through to more advanced concepts in a particular subject. It is a step-by-step guide through a course, if you will. In a traditional setting, it is up to the teacher to lead students through the material. Unfortunately, having a class being led through, the course can only go as fast as its slowest member. While e-learning is also a guided tour through a subject, it is primarily student-driven, rather than instructor led. The advantage of that is the course will go at each individual student’s pace, thereby facilitating more actual learning.
If we look at a specific topic, such as Microsoft Word, the difference between the website on Word and an e-learning course would be that the website would do little more than state what Word is and what it can do. They could even have an in-depth manual on all the buttons and functionality. It is possible to read through the website and glean some useful information from it, though cumbersome, whereas an e-learning course on Word would start at the very basics, giving us the building blocks we would need for more advanced functions before progressing to the more difficult maneuvers. Instead of having to search for information from the website, the e-learning course would just present it to us in a logical, easy-to-search manner to be consumed at our individual speed.
There is always instruction involved in learning and e-learning is no exception. While there is no instruction involved in a regular website, we all know there are teachers in a traditional classroom, but there are also teachers in an e-learning course. No, you won’t see mean old Mrs. Wallace’s beehive head pop up to remind you to pay attention when you aren’t clicking fast enough. The instruction in e-learning is more implied than physical. What I mean is that the “teacher” is more in the way the course is designed and presented.
Instructional Design (ID) is a key to a good elearning course. The purpose of ID is to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of a course. This is accomplished by analyzing the student base as well as the goal of the course and then throwing all that information into the development of the actual training material. As the course is being developed, all the objects that are put into it, whether they are animations, avatars, pictures or other interactive methods, have all been decided by the ID department so that every aspect of the course is geared toward the benefit of the learner.
If assessments are required, the ID guys are the ones who decide not only how they should be presented, but in what way they would best benefit the student. So, this non-physical “teacher” in the e-learning course is actually a room full of people all working toward bringing the student a course that is not only engaging, but will help each learner maximize their retention levels.
Websites are useful, don’t get me wrong. They can even help a person learn something. I use websites for research all the time, as I’m sure many people do. However, if I wanted to learn how to do something in particular, like learning to speak Russian, I would take an e-learning course over wading through heaps of Russian websites, which would be a nightmare if you didn’t understand their alphabet first. You see, those basic building blocks are coming into play already!
In the final analysis, a website in Russian or on the Russian language would help with some information on the topic, but that’s about it. An e-learning course would help you navigate through the subject, starting with basic words and the alphabet for instance, use various stimuli to keep your brain on topic, reinforce the knowledge being given through assessments and, by the time you’ve finished, you’ll actually be able to speak and read Russian!
What’s also nice about that e-learning course is that after it’s been completed, it doesn’t end there. It then becomes a handy reference tool that you can go back to, if you get stuck. Since a course has an outline or syllabus, it’s easy to navigate and find what you need quickly, rather than having to wade through web page after web page in the hope of finding the answer.
So, I wish you all a good day and happy learning!
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As we know, every organization follows a set of rules and regulations. Employees need to be trained on those rules and regulations to have a basic knowledge of their standards toward the organization and customers. And, they have a clear understanding of what they can do and what they cannot. So, organizations may not be at risk when their employees know about their legal duties.
E-learning is a cost-effective and an easy way to train employees, when compared to the traditional methods of teaching. So, most of the organizationsare using eLearning to fulfill their training needs. The healthcare industry makes extensive use of the online training medium.
Training managers put a lot of effort while rolling out an eLearning project, as it involves many complex tasks.
As an eLearning professional, I often work with many training managers and admire their managerial skills. It involves a lot of work like training needs analysis, collecting content, dealing with Subject-matter Experts (SMEs) and developing the course for the stakeholders and learners.
Every organization needs to use their resources well to meet business goals and enhance productivity. As we know, the pharmaceutical sector is highly regulated and non-compliance to applicable laws and regulatory norms could be costly. So, you have to train your employees about rules, regulations, standards and recommended guidelines to avoid mistakes.
In my last blog, we have seen how E-learning, webinars and Mobile apps can be used to impart product training. In this blog, we will look at some more methods.
E-learning is the continuous process of learning through electronic media. Instructional design is a systematic process of learning, and this learning facilitates achievement of the intended goals. Many think that instructional design is all about using technology, but this is not the case.
“A major challenge we face today, therefore, is to create a desire in people to learn; and to foster and facilitate this desire throughout their lives.”
- Bryn Holmes(Author, eLearning Concepts and Practice, 2006)
One of the most important factors for organizations to succeed in today’s competitive landscape is the speedy launch of new products. The time-to-market of new products is critical to survive and succeed. Furthermore, the life cycles of most products are getting shorter due to rapid advances in technology.
On the other hand, if your sales employees are not rightly trained on your products, they will not deliver the right message to your potential prospects making it a competitor’s gain.
We all have a child in ourselves, energetic, fun loving and having zeal to explore and win games. In this state, we learn the best because our emotional state is very positive and retention of learning will be at the peak.
How do we bring out the kid in ourselves, while learning a new skill or acquiring knowledge?
Introducing new processes and software applications can be quite a daunting task. Employees are not receptive to change and teaching all the details and minute steps can be time consuming. Conducting classroom sessions might not be a very beneficial solution. Learners will need to set aside time from their busy schedules, and often, this might not be feasible. The limited number of facilitators will also slow down the learning process. Facilitators will also need to travel extensively to teach learners spread all across the globe. All these arrangements take up considerable efforts, time and financial resources.