Let us continue our quest. We’ve already discussed “How eLearning is Different from Classroom Learning” and we’ve carefully analyzed the definition and nature of learning. It is now time to classify the advantages that eLearning has to offer – to the client and to the audience, and then analyze them to identify the real advantages and separate them from others, which masquerade as advantages, but actually aren’t!
It is important to remember that the Client’s Advantage is different from the Audience’s Advantage (though in some cases it might become one.) The Client of an eLearning Developer is usually an organization or a department of an organization; while the Audience is the individual (or group of individuals) who “consume” the content – and so can be understood as the consumers.
So here are the advantages of eLearning – For the Client and for the Audience!
ELearning – The Client’s Advantages:
- Create Once, Implement Always
- Create Once and Integrate as per Requirements
- Cost Reduction of Different Kinds
- Standardization of Training Quality
- Centralization of the Training Function
Create Once, Implement Always:
This results in reduced management and maintenance. It helps eliminate the logistic issues completely.
Create Once and Integrate as per Requirements.
Content can be created once, in form of small sharable fragments called the Learning Objects, and reassembled. Client organizations that are big oceans of employees in different departments at different positions; use this policy and implement it through the LMSs by applying the sharability principles.
Cost Reduction of Different Kinds:
Save on trainer costs, training costs, and also on the opportunity cost of work hours lost in training.
Standardization of Training Quality:
eLearning content can be standardized for big, geographically scattered organizations, which is usually not possible in classroom trainings where the trainer’s personality and training methods have a distinct impact on the quality of training.
Centralization of the Training Function:
Training quality control can be centralized, and it becomes much easier to manage and implement across-the-board changes. This also helps in conducting audits and rolling out new programs faster.
ELearning – The Audience’s Advantages:
- Flexible Learning Hours
- Anytime, Anywhere Availability of Training
- Reduced Commutation
- The Comfort of Anonymity
- Flexibility in Submission Deadlines and are Easier to Complete
Flexible Learning Hours:
Of course! In a world where with each new invention that helps us save time, a new time-guzzling issue crops up – we want to save time and energy. ELearning provides this option to the learners. Also remember that the extraneous load drops considerably when the learner learns in an environment he or she is comfortable with – so learning turns more effective.
Anytime, Anywhere Availability of Training:
As long as the learners can access the Internet, they can learn. The Web has now been woven almost everywhere (Enterprising individuals from the US, South Africa, and even from the Far-Eastern mountains of India take the IDCWC Online…without missing a beat!) eLearning erases the time-zones and the geographical/political boundaries from the list of constraints faced by the audience.
The cost of commutation goes beyond what you pay for the gas. It includes the time that you could’ve spent playing with your kids or your friends, but which you spent playing “Need for Speed” on jam-packed roads that didn’t just allow you to go beyond a measly 10 mph! Think about the others costs: a date canceled, less time with your family, aching knees – I leave this exercise to you:-)
The Comfort of Anonymity:
The comfort of making mistakes and learning from them – away from the hostile and competitive classroom environment is a boon for many. This comfort alone can turn a medium-paced learner into a fast-paced smart student.
Flexibility in Submission Deadlines and are Easier to Complete:
I know that you might not agree with this – but I should know. The number of people who call us trying to reconfirm their bias that the online course would be easier to do as compared to the corresponding classroom program, woke us up to this reality.
As you must’ve noticed, I’ve italicized some advantages in this post. These are what I call the Doppelganger Advantages. We will understand the nature of these Doppelganger Advantages in my Friday post.
(Read the concluding post, “The Advantages of eLearning (2 of 2) – The Doppelganger Advantage” here.)