Is E-learning the Right Choice?

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E-learning carries many benefits over traditional classroom-based instruction. But the decision to adopt e-learning will depend on the needs and capacities of each organization. E-learning is a powerful and cost-effective platform for delivering consistent and easily reproducible learning experiences to many participants across a wide geographic region. And even with its wide reach, new technologies are making e-learning tutorials increasingly personalized. Many asynchronous e-learning tutorials allow participants to progress at their own pace, and interactivities can incorporate instruction that appeals to all three learning styles: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. Still, e-learning is often not the best means of instruction. Skill-specific knowledge delivered to a small group of localized people is probably best delivered in a traditional classroom setting. And no matter how effectively designed, no synchronous e-learning can reproduce the interactive collaboration that occurs in the classroom. Finally, even if e-learning would seem to suit instructional needs, organizations must be sure that all participants have access to the requisite technologies for online instruction.

There are a number of factors to consider when deciding if e-learning is the appropriate platform to deliver instruction.

The pros and cons of e-learning vary depending on program goals, target audience, and organizational infrastructure and culture. An e-learning program might not make sense in situations where instruction is delivered locally to a small number of participants. However, when instruction requires repeated delivery to a large number of participants across an extended area, e-learning programs can cost-effectively achieve learning objectives.

A significant instructional benefit of e-learning is its ability to accommodate individual learning styles and knowledge levels of learners.

Within a single experience, e-learning can equally engage the three distinct learning styles of auditory learners, visual learners, and kinesthetic learners. The self-pacing allowed by asynchronous e-learning allows advanced learners to speed through redundant instruction, while novices progress slowly through newly encountered concepts. In addition, asynchronous e-learning, posted on the Internet, allows incredibly efficient distribution to an almost infinite pool of participants. Such is the potential of a well-designed e-learning program: it can offer increasingly individualized instruction to an ever-larger group of participants.

Click to open interactivity E-Learning for every learner

E-Learning for every learner

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Each organization must evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of choosing e-learning

There are three strong arguments in favor of e-learning:

  • It is extremely cost-effective.
  • It can tailor lessons and allow self-pacing to create a more personalized learning experience.
  • It can be accessed by innumerable users at their individual convenience via the Internet.

 

At the same time, organizations must consider the following concerns:

  • Your organization and its learning participants must have access to requisite technologies.
  • E-learning will not allow the same level of collaboration among participants, and between participants and their instructors.