Why Online Learning is Good for Learners

Switching to online learning will benefit learners

 “The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.” - C.S. Lewis

The education landscape has changed a lot since the British novelist wrote these words in 1943, but the essence still rings true. Today’s educators are spreading their knowledge by using technology, and online learning is making it possible for them to reach learners all over the world.

“Modern educators” are no longer the traditional teachers and lecturers of Lewis’ day. They are business people and subject matter experts who want to share their knowledge outside the traditional classroom.

Despite the massive expansion of the eLearning industry in recent years – which will grow a further 17.8% globally from 2016-2020 – learners and businesses alike are often sceptical of its true benefits.­­

We’ve gone through some recent research to bring you a snapshot of the latest online learning trends and how online learning is benefitting both businesses and learners.  

What does the research say?

Recent research points to online learning as the way forward for businesses, with organisations who adopt learning technology boasting a massive 40% increase in revenue.

But what are the benefits for your learners?

Better learner experience

Online learning gives you the opportunity to engage your learners on a completely new level. You can use videos, images, quizzes and interactions to give your learners a much more engaging experience than traditional training methods. 

Improving the learner experience can also lead to better outcomes. One study found doctors learning about advances in treating heart attacks had a much better experience learning via online tutorials with self assessment. The same study found these online tutorials were more efficient in training the doctors than simply studying printed materials.

Making your learner experience engaging doesn’t need to be difficult. You can draw on educational online resources like YouTube, or even create your own videos using software like Camtasia or free tools like Jing and Biteable.

Read our tips on including YouTube videos in your online course here

Better knowledge retention

Your learners retain 80% of what they see and do, and just 20% of what they learn. Because of its engaging nature, online learning improves your learners’ ability to retain knowledge by thoroughly involving them in the learning experience.

Including interactions for your learners can boost their retention of information even more. A recent Harvard study found that online learners who were tested in between modules were less likely to get distracted. They also retained even more knowledge than those completing the same course without tests.

Interspersing your course with short multiple choice questions (MCQs) or quizzes is an easy technique for getting your learners to connect with your content. They allow you to check your learner is digesting the most important elements of your course. MCQs also provide your learners with immediate feedback on how they are going – as well as an immediate sense of achievement.

Read our tips on how to write great MCQs here

Active online learning helps learners remember 60% more

It boosts performance

Online learning helps you transform the learning experience from passive to active, which improves the outcomes for learners. By delivering even some of your training online, your learners will perform better on average than those taking the same course face-to-face, or so says the US Department of Education.

Another recent study found students who studied at least one active learning module had an 18% higher chance of passing than students in traditional lecture-style courses. By creating an active learning environment – with all the bells and whistles eLearning can offer – your learners can even achieve a 6% higher average grade than passive listeners.

Provides equal learning opportunities

If, like most modern companies, your team is scattered across various locations, online learning could be exactly what you need to give every employee access to the same learning opportunities. It will also help your staff who work flexible hours, or who travel frequently, to access their courses when it suits them.

Two top trends in eLearning right now – microlearning and mobile learning – can make it even easier for both you and your learners to find the time to train. Not only do you not need to be physically present, but your learner doesn’t even need to sit down for an extended period of time to learn vital information. Learners can take advantage of mobile learning platforms on their commute or any time they have a minute spare, turning downtime into learning time.

Online learning gives your learner more responsibility for their learning experience and allows them to access high quality education anywhere and anytime using the most up-to-date delivery methods.

Read our top four benefits of training staff online

What do the people say?

If you don’t trust the research, there are other ways to test the water.

Jason Van Schie, from People Diagnostix has been a training provider for more than 10 years. He says that before finding the platform they currently use, they were unsure about the best way to convert their engaging programs into impactful eLearning. “We love how easy it is to convert existing material into an online format with no previous experience in this area,” Jason says.

Liza Jones, WHS and HR Manager at Ecoya uses the CourseGenius training platform to onboard staff and also for continuing development within the organisation. “Being able to write your own training modules enables you to deliver tailored training to your organisations particular needs,” Liza says. “It also provides a great way to look at training gaps within the organisation and can be used as part of an overall training program.”

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