According to The North Carolina Education Cabinet (2019) Understanding eLearning is simple. eLearning is learning utilizing electronic technologies to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. In most cases, it refers to a course, program or degree delivered completely online.
There are many terms used to describe learning that is delivered online, via the internet, ranging from Distance Education, to computerized electronic learning, online learning, internet learning and many others. We define eLearning as courses that are specifically delivered via the internet to somewhere other than the classroom where the professor is teaching. It is not a course delivered via a DVD or CD-ROM, video tape or over a television channel. It is interactive in that you can also communicate with your teachers, professors or other students in your class. Sometimes it is delivered live, where you can “electronically” raise your hand and interact in real time and sometimes it is a lecture that has been prerecorded. There is always a teacher or professor interacting /communicating with you and grading your participation, your assignments and your tests. ELearning has been proven to be a successful method of training and education is becoming a way of life.
Today's learners want relevant, mobile, self-paced, and personalized content. This need is fulfilled with the online mode of learning; here, students can learn at their own comfort and requirement. According to the ELearning industry (2019) here are the benefits of ELearning:
1. Online Learning Accommodates Everyone’s Needs
The online method of learning is best suited for everyone. This digital revolution has led to remarkable changes in how the content is accessed, consumed, discussed, and shared. Online educational courses can be taken up by office goers and housewives too, at the time that suits them. Depending on their availability and comfort, many people choose to learn at weekends or evenings.
2. Lectures Can Be Taken Any Number Of Times
Unlike classroom teaching, with online learning you can access the content an unlimited number of times. This is especially required at the time of revision when preparing for an exam. In traditional form of learning, if you cannot attend the lecture, then you have to prepare for that topic on your own; in eLearning, you can attend the lectures whenever you want with ease.
3. Offers Access to Updated Content
A prime benefit of learning online is that it makes sure that you are in synchronization with modern learners. This enables the learner to access updated content whenever they want it.
4. Quick Delivery of Lessons
ELearning is a way to provide quick delivery of lessons. As compared to traditional classroom teaching method, this mode has relatively quick delivery cycles. This indicates that the time required to learn is reduced to 25%-60% of what is required in traditional learning. There are some of the reasons why the learning time is reduced by eLearning:
Lessons starts quickly and also wrapped up in a single learning session. This enables training programs to easily roll out within a few weeks, or sometime even days.
Learners can define their own speed of learning instead of following the speed of the whole group.
Saves time as a student does not need to travel to the training venue. You can learn at the comfort of your own place.
Students can choose to study specific and relevant areas of the learning material without focusing on each and every area. For example, they can skip certain areas they do not want to learn.
ELearning helps in creating and communicating new training, policies, concepts, and ideas. Whether it is for formal education or entertainment, eLearning is very quick way of learning!
ELearning enables educators to get a higher degree of coverage to communicate the message in a consistent way for their target audience. This ensures that all learners receive the same type of training with this learning mode.
7. Reduced Costs
ELearning is cost effective as compared to traditional forms of learning. The reason for this price reduction is because learning through this mode happens quickly and easily. A lot of training time is reduced with respect to trainers, travel, course materials, and accommodation.
This cost effectiveness also helps in enhancing the profitability of an organization. Also, when you are studying at your own place, you are relieved from paying for travel expenses (e.g. accommodation) when training happens in another city/state and/or external learning materials.
ELearning has a positive influence on an organization’s profitability. It makes it easy to grasp the content and digest it:
It results in improved scores on certifications, tests, or other types of evaluation.
Higher number of students who achieve ‘pass’ or mastery’ level.
Enhanced ability to learn and implement the new processes or knowledge at the workplace.
Help in retaining information for a longer time.
9. Less Impact on Environment
As eLearning is a paperless way of learning, it protects the environment to a lot of extent. As per a study done on eLearning courses, it has been found that distance-based learning programs consumed around 90% less power and generated 85% less amount of CO2 emissions as compared to traditional campus-based educational courses. With eLearning, there is no need to cut trees for obtaining paper. Thus, eLearning is a highly eco-friendly way of learning.
Due to the wide set of benefits it gives to students, eLearning has become quite popular and appreciated among students all over the world.