E-Learning is a growing trend. Both schools and businesses are using computer-based and online technology to deliver high-quality learning content. The flexibility and speed of e-learning provide the real-time impact of classroom instructions while eliminating the need for the participants to be physically present in a classroom.
The right employee training software will allow organisations to streamline their existing training and development initiatives, while academic eLearning platforms allow an uninterrupted delivery of learning even in chaotic times like today.
However, adopting a new technology always has some attached disadvantages. From reduced human interaction to learners’ resistance to change, implementing eLearning solutions can pose a series of complications.
So, how does one decide whether or not to adopt such tools? The answer is – by evaluating the gains and losses impartially, and that’s exactly what this article is about.
Here is a list of the top 3 pros and cons of using eLearning solutions:
1. Reduced Time and Cost
The first direct impact of implementing eLearning solutions is the reduction in the expenses that are otherwise required to be incurred in case of an in-person training session. This includes rent of an offsite location, cost of transportation and hiring an instructor, etc. Learners can simply log in from their respective devices and attend the training. Plus, once successfully implemented, eLearning solutions can be used repeatedly. This means you do not have to incur extra costs on training every time a new employee joins.
2. Unlimited Access
E-learning solutions offer unlimited access to learning material. Learners can attend scheduled lectures from anywhere anytime. They do not need to be physically present in a classroom. Furthermore, most of these solutions are compatible with multiple devices such as laptops, PCs, mobiles and tablets. This allows learners to complete online courses on the go. This is particularly advantageous during the current state of the pandemic.
3. Improved communication
E-learning solutions such as learning management systems improve the communication between learners and instructors, making the learning process more engaging and interactive. Various types of quizzes, assignments and online forums can be used to exchange one-on-one feedback. Instructors can also use dashboard reporting options to track the progress of each learner individually which can be a daunting task in the traditional classroom setting.
1. Technological limitations
Not every organisation may have the right infrastructure to implement eLearning solutions. Lack of funds and technical expertise can make this change a nightmare especially for small businesses. A mismatch between the features of the implemented tool and actual training requirements can also frustrate the employees. Such situations can not only raise the cost but also cancel out the true purpose of implementing the eLearning solution in the first place.
2. Reduced Human Interaction
Though popular, eLearning is a fairly new concept. Thus, many learners may be hesitant to use these tools as they are used to learning in a physical and interactive environment. Reduced human interaction may make them feel lost and uncomfortable.
Many employees may want to ask questions or interact with the trainer while taking up the course. While with the traditional method this is easy, online learning may not always allow this. E-learning platforms do allow learners to ask questions or leave comments but the answer to these questions may not always be received immediately.
3. Long Transitional Period
Shifting from offline mode of learning to online requires businesses to fulfil a handful of prerequisites. Every instructor and administrator needs to be trained on how to operate the implemented system. Secondly, learners need to be informed about the course enrollment process, navigating through the menu, undertaking assessments, etc. This may be costly depending on the type of system or tool being implemented in the system. This can also result in a long transitional period.
E-Learning solutions allow organisations to optimise their employee training programmes. However, there still isn’t a perfect replacement for traditional in-person training methodology. Thus, till the world does not become fully automated, organisations should strive to utilise the benefits of eLearning while overcoming its disadvantages with traditional methods.