Online learning for organisations and schools is growing at a rapid pace with now 57% of students having access to digital learning. Global elearning adoption is rapidly growing more advanced, engaging and effective then ever before.
This article is a full crash course on all things e Learning and why you should adopt sooner than later. Before searching or choosing an e Learning platform this is a must read:
To be concise, electronic learning or eLearning is often theoretical rather than practical education distributed online opposed to a face-to-face classroom environment.
This can be applied through various different learning methods including taking knowledge tests, watching interactive videos, playing learning-based games, taking online courses and engaging in teaching through live video platforms.
eLearning allows the user to learn from anywhere without being tied down to the confines of a classroom or seminar. Learning can range from a bitesize format that takes a few minutes to digest through to higher education courses where participants receive certification.
eLearning is conventionally delivered via a learning management system (LMS) which allows administrators to customise each student or employee's training program. To find out more about precisely what LMS administrators do and how they help automate learning, look at myAko’s comprehensive guide here.
Due to an eLearning platforms adaptability and a wide variety of courses, a blended training and development method is often a prefered choice by schools, corporations, charities and government bodies to name a few.
In the past, all forms of training and learning were conducted in a traditional classroom environment. The industry is showing an annual 18% annual growth rate which is expected to increase over the coming years.
An eLearning platform is the umbrella term for different types of education delivery. We look at each of these below:
Most commonly used by enterprises to deliver training to employees or pupils, this solution is fast becoming the most widely used form of providing eLearning as it is quick and easy to scale, anywhere in the world. Depending on the provider, you can access a high level of functionality and customisation. In exchange for a monthly or yearly subscription fee, you get to access a wealth of learning resources with solutions usually boasting thousands of different pieces of training and courses.
Automating your organisations learning is made easy by using authoring tools to bulk allocate training to groups or individuals and send notifications of new learning to be completed by your learners.
The systems will also allow you to analyse data and results of courses, use your branding, download custom reports, automate learning and most importantly, track usage, outcomes and participation.
These eLearning platforms are hosted on cloud services meaning that they don’t take up space on your hard drive. All of your training material is kept in one place, whether it be games, videos or workbooks.
Check out our comprehensive guide here.
Software-based LMS systems were one of the first ways to manage e learning from your computer. The software is licenced to your organisation for a one-off or annual fee.
You get access to a similar amount of features as you would with a SaaS platform but generally with less customisation. To make any form of changes, you will again have to pay a fee to the provider to grant you those updates.
Likewise, locally hosted solutions usually require that you have an in-house IT department to deal with the software's day-to-day running and software upgrades. All your training files are stored locally on your hard drive, which gives you an added security element but does take up more space.
These websites have become more popular in recent years as the consumer seeks further knowledge. Individuals or the owners of websites can upload teachings and sell these in exchange for a fee.
Consumer learning websites are mostly in video format and are more suitable for the individual learner. You could think of these sites as similar to an eCommerce marketplace but purely for digital learning. You can access a broad array of teaching materials by different teachers and taught in varying styles.
The delivery form is ever growing, with more helpful content being uploaded by the hour. With so much available, consumers have to sift through the courses to find the ones right for them, and with the teachings hidden behind a paywall, this can often be hard.
One of the champions of this type of learning is the platform Masterclass, where they get industry titans to teach their secrets through video. The widely successful platform has gained popularity with the consumer partly due to the big names they have managed to get onto the platform.
This solution comes with bare-bones functionality since they are free of charge but have built-in vendors that can help you create your own system. Think of this type of platform as providing bricks to build a house, you have some of the materials you need, but there is a lot of work to do.
A plus of this type of LMS system is that you can sculpt and create a fully optimised system for your needs. Although this does come with some work and sizeable upfront investment.
Vendors on the platform sell you training content or work with you to build the customised solution you desire.
With the rise of SaaS platforms being ever more flexible open source is becoming less commonly used.
Not everyone learns the same, some learn visually whilst others prefer reading and writing or listening to an audio. eLearning can be consumed in different formats, so whatever your style of learning, you can maximise its effectiveness. We look at the various methods available below:
One of the most common training methods is through pre-recorded structured videos. These videos are generally animated to make them more interactive but can also be delivered by a teacher.
Videos based learning can be broken down into different sub-topics of a more expansive topic, following a course structure or individual subjects diluted into one video. Videos on LMS platforms can also be interactive, with the videos pausing to ask the user questions, to engage and ensure learner participation.
The content has to be condense and relevant to keep the watcher engaged. The videos are typically structured to keep the focus on the screen and minimise distractions.
The world is a busy place. With the average attention span of an average human now being 8 seconds (goldfish's attention span are 9 seconds), short-form learning can be incredibly beneficial. It makes teachings easily digestible and great for taking in information on the go.
Typically conducted via video content no more than 10 minutes in length and covers one aspect of a subject. Due to its short length, the users can take onboard information and complete this without interrupting a busy day. Some courses can follow this format with a series of bitesize videos to digest in their own time and in a safe place of the learners choice.
Computers used to be the main form of accessing the internet. However with the average person spending 5 hours on their phone a day, eLearning has transitioned to making training more accessible.
SaaS LMS and other learning platforms now allow phone access to their users so you can access learning in your own time from anywhere. You can complete training relevant to you in the learning environment of your choosing, ultimately making the process more efficient.
Learning online is not the only tool available to your organisation. More organisations are finding a blended approach, which is adaptable and easy to implement a more effective way of meeting your organisation and learner needs.
For example practical skills like first aid training or basic life support are more suited to face-to-face training where you can practise the skill supported by a highly experienced trainer. With eLearning complimenting this training by reinforcing best practise and techniques. With recent world events over the past few years, more organisations are embracing this form of learning.
Blended learning can also refer to training through two different forms of online content. For example attending a virtual classroom or breakout area preceded or followed by an eLearning course or knowledge assessment.
Also known as distance learning, the classroom is moved from bricks and mortar into the digital sphere. Instructors and teachers facilitate classes online where students can participate much as they would in an in person-environment without physically being present.
Tutors can provide practical training to address the class directly, or screen share a prior built presentation. Students and learners can ask questions like they would in a regular class by virtually raising their hand using built-in features.
Saving time is part of the benefit of the virtual classroom. Learners don’t have to travel to a classroom or seminar and can participate in the comfort of their own home. You can even record the class to refresh your memory on the subject for later use. Within LMS platforms, you can manage the administration side of the event including sending out invites to virtual classrooms and reminders of when they are due to happen.
With attention spans dropping, eLearning companies are coming up with new ways to keep users engaged. Gamification is the industry's latest fight against boredom and distractions. Playing games whilst learning creates a fun experience for the user, increasing engagement and helping to change attitudes towards learning. It can also create a competitive spirit amongst learners, pushing them to digest more information.
This method provides real-time feedback on user progress as they advance through the game and can help them experience real-world applications.
It is not one size fits all for eLearning courses. Now used by most industries, providers have found ways to cater for a wide variety of needs.et's take a look at the different ways they are doing this:
The most used form of eLearning is through premade structured and in-depth courses. Either pre-recorded or animated, the courses are formulated to deliver the information needed in the amount of time available.As course creation is completed before use instead of being delivered live, there is less wasted time and the teachings are concise and without distractions. It also means that the user can go back over the course to refresh their knowledge.
They also cater to all types of industries and cover broad topics and relatively obscure niches. An off-the-shelf package helps save time and likewise spend on your training versus creating bespoke courses.
eLearning platforms make sure that all your learning needs are covered for whatever industry you might be in. Providers boast catalogues of 1000’s different courses catering to sectors from healthcare to construction. You will find courses where employees can pass compliance tests, undertake annual training and many industry-specific niches.
The benefit of delivering this type of online training via an LMS allows you to track the completion of industry specific training for audit purposes. Therefore it's quick and easy to prove what training was completed by who and when.
Sometimes the industry you are in or the subject you want to cover is so specific to your organisation processes or procedures, therefore it is not practical to utilise generic training. When this happens LMS companies or learning providers can create bespoke courses tailored for your needs. The industry average time for course creation is 240 hours with animations which can be labour intensive, thereby expensive. Hence this is normally only accessible to medium/large organisations due to the investment required.
Some LMS providers do come with templates for course creation helping you to ease the time burden and financial costs.
eLearning facilitates extensive higher education learning courses for universities, post graduate degrees, or extra qualifications. Normally lasting over a 3 to 12 month period, the learner will get access to learning material released to them on a consistent basis.
They will learn in different forms, from video to interactive workbooks and gamification. Normally with multiple tests at the end to gauge if participants have consumed and retained the course content. Currently 4.8% of higher education courses are taken online and this number is likely to increase over time.
eLearning is becoming increasingly prevalent in how we gain education with a treasure trove of information available at our fingertips. It can be used as a platform for all of your learning or as a powerful supplement to existing in-class learning.
The technology in eLearning will only get better, more intuitive and increase engagement with the industry finding new ways to captivate users. It has a wide range of use cases, from students in school to higher education and corporate learning.
If you want to learn more or speak with an LMS expert then reach out to the team at myAko who are happy to support you.