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How e-learning in the workplace beats formal learning

11.21.2013
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E-learning is a practical alternative to formal learning. This novel strategy in teaching is also referred to as web-based or technology-based training, online learning and distance learning. It involves the use of electronic-based teaching in imparting knowledge or training individuals instead of having an instructor-led style of teaching. Common tools used in e-learning include videos, intranet, internet and a few other modern devices that learners can use whether they are at home, on the road, or any other place in the world. 

Key Facts on How E-Learning in the Workplace Beats Formal Learning 

When it comes to workplace learning or training, e-learning is one effective method that most team leaders and managers opt to implement. It offers a cheaper alternative to formal learning since there is no need to devote a huge budget to send employees to training held abroad or to invite speakers who can provide seminars or workshops. Employees are given an opportunity to learn at their own pace, which means they can choose the most convenient schedule to attend a webinar or watch training videos that you have provided for them. 

Unlike with formal learning, e-learning allows you to set your training sessions at a time that is within your employees’ work schedule. This way, employees can stay at the office in a designation location that is free from all sorts of distraction, so they can learn important skills and knowledge. Training is help on the company’s premises, which means it is hassle-free to locate them when you need them to address and resolve an issue related to their task.

E-learning in the workplace also promotes independence and self-reliance among individuals. It gives them an opportunity to experience how hands-on/self-pace learning works, which also allows them to improve their internet navigation and computer skills. Since they are able to learn at their own pace, this increases their chances of retaining and grasping information better. 

Most importantly, e-learning does not require you to hire instructors who can conduct classes to participants. Instead, you can focus on choosing suitable learning materials and tools that your employees can use during the e-learning process. Most materials are also cheaper, as compared to hiring a distinguished speaker or sending employees to trips out of town just to master a new skill. This translates to more savings to your company while keeping your employees updated with the latest techniques relevant to their current tasks.

Important Considerations

Although e-learning in the workplace offers several benefits, there are minor issues that are linked with it. For instance, it is an isolated form of learning that may not be suitable for all types of people. Learners who lack computer skills, or those who prefer to receive prompt responses to their inquiries about specific content may be more comfortable with traditional learning. Others believe that e-learning can be somewhat tricky to evaluate, as compared to formal learning strategies. Nevertheless, by anticipating these concerns and properly addressing them, you can make e-learning in the workplace advantageous to your employees and the entire organization.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Shany Dembak.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)