Despite its share of skeptics and at times somewhat outlandish expectations, eLearning has managed to deliver the goods since its grand entry onto the corporate learning landscape. Opinions swung in extreme directions initially, but with the state of eLearning maturing and reaching stability, even the most hardened critic may be forced to admit that there are multiple benefits to implementing eLearning. Let’s explore a few of these.
The most obvious benefit that comes to mind is the fact that learners across the world have anytime, anywhere access to learning. Think of what this flexibility and freedom means for an employee who has to contend with changing priorities, changing schedules, multiple deliverables and still has to squeeze in time for training. His/her very survival and success depends on being ahead in terms of skills and knowledge. For such a learner, the freedom and flexibility eLearning offers is the icing on the Learning cake. This is a key factor that continues to attract learners to this mode of learning.
Now a look at an organizations’ perspective towards eLearning – costs can be brought down significantly by going in for eLearning. There is a reduction in expenses for travel, trainers, training administration, facilities, development of courses and maintenance etc. What is more, because of there being such a huge saving in the time spent by learners on training, it gives employees that much more time to invest in their actual work. No employer would like to bear the brunt of lost opportunity costs.
eLearning is especially useful when an organization needs to roll out training on new products or services globally, with the same consistent quality and learning experience. Variations of quality that arise from class room trainings are done away with in this mode. This consistency also results in better brand management and sending a cohesive and standardized message across to employees, who in turn communicate it effectively with customers and the outside world.
eLearning implementation in particular brings substantial benefits when there are mandatory trainings that need to be rolled out across organizations, with very short timelines for completion. Imagine the logistical nightmare if an organization with 3000 employees or more had to be trained in 3 months on certain mandatory trainings spanning 16-20 hours of individual learning! The fact that eLearning can be developed once and deployed multiple times over at no additional cost is surely one of the best benefits that organizations can reap from it.
Most organizations harness the power of eLearning and team it up with a small classroom component to make it a perfect blended learning solution. Whatever cannot be imparted online is take care of in the instructor led classroom sessions (virtual or on site). So whether used as a standalone option or as part of a blended solution, eLearning clearly packs enough power in its punch – if implemented correctly.