Guest Blogger, Kyna Bowers discusses what the use of e-learning can do for your employees and your business.
Your brain. One of the most complex and demanding structures on this earth, changing daily, adapting to evolving surroundings, twisting and flexing in order to keep up with what society asks of it. It’s difficult to focus on mundane tasks when there are so many other daily and often more urgent preoccupations. Sometimes, though, mundane tasks are [the most] important and meaningful tasks. It is difficult to compel ourselves to invest time and energy in things which seem formulaic and “necessary”. Being difficult for ourselves as individuals, it follows that large companies may also suffer the same difficulties. How do you deliver information objectively, amongst many employees, with an even outcome?
Perhaps the answer to this is e-learning, that is to say learning conducted via electronic (usually internet based) media. E-learning can provide an array of benefits in terms of the transfer and retention of information.
To begin with, it is flexible.
- The complexity of the brain directs complexity of learning; everyone learns differently. E-learning can provide visual, audible and verbal material to help display information in a way that will benefit the student. Instead of learning from a PowerPoint or word of mouth, e-learning enables the user to engage with the material and learn from their individual experience of the programme.
- There is an opportunity for reflection and contemplation, which promotes higher retention levels and bestows a richer learning experience.
- It avoids boredom caused by repetition, as users can often select and discard segments that they may already be familiar with, hereby customising the structure of the course to fit their needs.
- Learning individually also removes our human, and very inherent, fear of failure – it affords the student the opportunity to focus entirely on themselves.
- If they fail a task, it can be redone without embarrassment, and courses often have access to forums and subject specific experts to aid the student should they encounter difficulties.
It is easier to deliver material quickly.
- E-learning may reduce learning time by 25-60%  compared to traditional methods. Learners can set their own pace, slotting in to free time within their working day without inconvenience.
- It is not dependent on availability of teachers, resources or classrooms, and it entirely eliminates the loss of travel time.
- Furthermore, it can be modified easily and uniformly. Legislation is constantly evolving and companies must adapt training to comply with it, often with immediate effect.
- It also means that the information can be shared with external contractors and secondary employees.
For these reasons, it has become an attractive option for large firms who need to distribute information and training to employees. In 2015, 74% of companies were using some level of e-learning and 91% of the participants reported it to be very useful when combined with other methods .
Technological progress is likely to see these figures increase over the coming years. Companies may benefit from other aspects of e-learning, too, such as cost reductions. Sending employees to training days and seminars is extremely expensive when considered as a whole (travel expense, accommodation, teacher wages, loss of productivity). E-learning limits these costs considerably. It is also cheap to modify as modifications can be tailored and specific and do not require an entire overhaul of information.
So, if this kind of learning means students can adapt, select information to suit their needs and brains, it is likely that these students will be able to apply information on a daily basis with greater ability and a better attitude to staff training in general.
 Due to a study on http://www.kineo.com/resources/new-to-elearning/the-benefits-of-elearning
 CIPD study, “Learning and Development Survey 2015”, full text available here: http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/survey-reports/learning-development-2015.aspx