What is e-learning and what are its benefits?
Just as everyone learns differently, there are different ways to facilitate that learning. One of the key methods of acquiring new information and building knowledge is through electronic technologies and media channels, in what’s called electronic learning or e-learning.
In this article, we discuss what e-learning is all about and the advantages of this learning format.
Introduction to e-learning
While e-learning is nothing new, it’s gained a lot of momentum over recent years as society was sent inside during the pandemic and had no choice but to take their education online.
Originally designed for individual learning on computers, e-learning can be accessed on all sorts of portable devices, including laptops, tablets and smartphones. Unlike traditional learning where there’s a teacher presenting information at a physical place at a specific time, e-learning isn’t bound to a certain location and can be conducted anywhere, at any hour. This portability gives participants the freedom to learn where and when they want.
In a nutshell, e-learning involves participants engaging with learning materials on the internet to reach their learning obligations or goals. Whether it’s students studying a degree or undertaking vocational training, professionals wanting to upskill, or someone wanting to develop a new skill or hobby, e-learning can be used by anyone, for anything.
In terms of structure, e-learning can be used to support face-to-face learning, or as a complete replacement for it; if it’s a complete replacement, e-learning often takes the shape of online courses, online degrees, and online programs with either minimal in-person contact ( where the participant works through the content at their own pace) or synchronous contact through webinars and 1/1 sessions.
What is the definition of e-learning?
Due to the evolution and versatility of electronic learning, there’s no standard e-learning definition; however, the Economic Times defines it as “ A learning system based on formalised teaching but with the help of electronic resources is known as E-learning. While teaching can be based in or out of the classrooms, the use of computers and the Internet forms the major component of E-learning”(1)
E-learning can look different for everyone, depending on what they’re learning and why they’re learning it (i.e. for fun or to forge a career). No matter the reason, e-learning materials can range from written to visual, and from long-form to bite-sized.
Here are some of the key resources that can be found in e-learning:
- educational videos
- audio recordings
- interactive games
E-learning can also involve group settings, including tutorials and workshops, that are conducted in real-time.
What are the advantages of e-learning?
Now that we’ve covered ‘what is e-learning?’, let’s take a look at the core benefits of e-learning, and why it’s such a popular studying option.
Gives more people the option to study
E-learning provides the means for individuals to learn when a structured classroom or learning group isn’t possible or feasible. This means those who would otherwise not be able to learn a particular topic due to time constraints or geographical limitations, are able to.
E-learning is usually made up of short modules that can be paused. This means participants can work through the material at their own pace, and set aside time to learn when it best suits them – whether that be while commuting, in the evening, or on the weekends.
Set your own pace
Everyone learns differently, and at different speeds. E-learning gives individuals the opportunity to take their time to absorb the material in a way that works for them – instead of trying to keep up with the pace of in-person lectures.
A more affordable studying option
Since e-learning can be done from anywhere, it eliminates the need to commute to a physical learning location – saving costs otherwise spent on petrol or public transport.
With fewer trainers required, as the material is shared with a larger number of people at the same time, costs can also be kept down – making it a cheaper way to obtain a certificate, degree, or qualification.
Supplements traditional classroom methods
When e-learning is used as a supplement to face-to-face learning, it can be used to test the learner’s knowledge or as an interactive, stimulating learning aid.
Adapting to the individual learner
Conventional courses are designed to meet the needs of an entire group but rarely does an individual need everything that’s offered.
With e-learning courses, a participant should be able to hone in on what they want to learn – focusing on specific and relevant areas that align with their interests and goals. Having personalised content at their fingertips ultimately helps participants complete the course faster than if they studied every area, creating a much more efficient learning experience.
Keeping content consistent
Every educator has their own method of teaching and in face-to-face settings, this can mean each class receives different information. E-learning eliminates these consistency issues by providing standardised content and courses. Each participant goes through the same experience and is therefore on a level-playing field with their peers.
Freedom to revisit content
Unlike traditional teaching, e-learning allows you to access the content again and again. This is especially helpful if you need to sit exams as part of your online program, as you can use the content to revise.
Better for the environment
E-learning eliminates the need for paper learning materials, meaning it’s an eco-friendly way to be educated. E-learning can also reduce power and emissions, as less people are having to travel to traditional campus-based courses.
How can e-learning help students?
E-learning has turned education on its head and transformed the way individuals can learn, making it simpler, easier and cheaper – and more accessible to more people.
Ultimately, e-learning allows people to learn their way. They can access and consume information when and where they want to, in a way that makes sense for them and their lifestyle. This freedom can make it easier for participants to stick to their studies and reach their educational goals.
To find out about Fortress Learning’s e-learning courses, check out our TAESS00018 Deliver E-learning Skillset or book a time with our Course Advisor Alicia:
1: The Economic Times https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/definition/e-learning