Since the start of the century, e-learning has been transformed from a fringe application to becoming a major contributor to programmes of training and career development in industry worldwide. As you can see from the image above, the growth rate for the adoption of e-learning throughout the world from 2011 to 2016 has been staggering.
What are the factors that have caused this dramatic expansion?
Briefly, excellence and convenience.
The courses are designed by experts in their own fields of industry – people with many years of experience but insufficient time to pass that experience on in the conference hall or lecture theatre. The available subject matter ranges from the general to the highly technical, from Health and Safety or Safeguarding Compliance Training to, for example, recent developments in biochemistry for the Food Flavouring and Colouring industry.
Courses can be modular, and standardised across whole subject areas with wide applications, or tailor-made to meet the needs of particular sectors or companies. The best are highly interactive, offering feedback and continuous assessment as well as a wide range of media illustration and quizzes to enhance motivation and retention.
A reason to be?
Most courses offer certification: this benefits the employer, who is assured that training requirements have been met to the required standard, and also the employee who, apart from his increased knowledge and expertise, now has a valuable addition to his CV. The convenience factor is equally obvious. Instead of off-site courses which involve travel expenses and absences, the training is delivered direct via PC or smartphone.
Individuals tend to have their own preferences for learning situations – the time of day, the duration of study – and not all learn at the same pace. If a topic seems simple or familiar, they may wish to hurry through it; more challenging material can be studied slowly and repeated if necessary. E-learning is adaptable to all of these needs and styles: it is individual earning at its best.