eLearning is technology-enabled learning and can be of two types: synchronous and asynchronous. In asynchronous eLearning, learners can learn at their own pace accessing learning material anytime anywhere.
Asynchronous, self-paced eLearning addresses the need for training to be available at the moment of need. It is consistent in the sense that it is not dependent on the individual personality of a trainer and the same standard of the content can be maintained across various locations.
It is faster to deliver through various means such as the intranet, email and so on. Especially for learners who travel frequently, such as sales people, courses can be made accessible on their PDAs and mobile phones, thus enabling learning on the go. Deploying a learning program across a wider audience across different geographical regions is quicker when using this method.
The major shortcoming of this is the high-dropout rate. As there is no physical monitoring or motivating factor, it is seen that employees tend to drop out mid-way. To be successful learners, learners need to be self-driven with very high motivation levels – which cannot be expected as a norm.
To overcome these shortcomings, a blended approach is adopted where personal instructions are interspersed with online courseware content, especially relevant when complicated product features need to be explained. If the instructor is using multimedia such as a video or online simulations, especially with respect to product features, it reduces the monotony of a classroom instruction method and makes the learning engaging and interesting.
Sales people are usually on the move and it is difficult to coordinate the schedules of multiple persons to organize classroom training. Therefore, eLearning is a viable alternative which gives the flexibility of reach and ease of access to sales people who spend more time on the field than at the desk.