The benefits and drawbacks of e-learning

Training staff in the digital age

To retain your employees, you have to continually enable them to do their jobs well by providing training and development. E-learning, or learning that is conducted through electronic media like computers via the internet, provides benefits for both the employer and employee.

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Organisations can provide their employees with standardised training that is flexible and also cost-saving; there is no need to fly in staff from various locations to be trained by a trainer or facilitator, sometimes over a number of sessions – everything is online and can be accessed at any time, from any location that has a computer and an internet connection.

This same flexibility is what appeals to employees, especially in this generation that strives towards achieving a work-life balance; learning can take place at work, in between projects, without full days having to be set aside for training. E-Learning assignments usually offer immediate feedback, allowing employees to evaluate their degree of understanding of the topics discussed soon after they’ve completed a module.

Because e-learning usually takes place independently, the learner may feel isolated and removed from team mates, encouraging the use of e-learning discussion forums is key in helping to prevent this concern.

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It’s also important to note that e-learning is dependent on good quality content, and what may be seen as the drawbacks of e-learning in comparison to traditional training, is that it requires good technology and internet connections, as well as willingness from the learner – learning can only can take place in this space if users fully apply themselves. This drawback can be managed, though, by incorporating theory or practical tests after each e-learning module. Through proper facilitation, e-learning will benefit the organisation, the employer and the employee.

Try e-learning for yourself; enrol for course or two, and tell me about your experiences in the comments section below.

These sites offer a number of FREE e-learning courses, covering many disciplines and areas of interest:

Open2Study
Coursera


References available on request.

 

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