Forget stuffy classrooms filled with bored managers and employees furtively stealing glances at mobile phone screens during in-person training sessions. Today’s learning encompasses an array of interactive platforms and blended learning opportunities – from virtual reality to screen learning – designed to boost engagement and support effective, organisation-wide learning. For organisations, managers and employees, the benefits of eLearning can be significant.
Remote access to interactive lessons, where employees can access and learn at their own pace and in their own style, has revolutionised the workplace and compliance programmes. It enables employers to consistently deploy learning across an organisation, spot and address knowledge and skills gaps, and provide evidence of training to support compliance requirements.
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What is eLearning?
At its heart, eLearning is a digital development and learning package featuring resources to enable flexible, on-demand learning that can be monitored, measured and used as part of an organisation’s compliance obligations and programme. The popularity of eLearning has grown substantially, with 90% of organisations using a form of eLearning in their training, a dramatic increase from just 4% in the mid-90s.
eLearning has become a key plank in effective organisation-wide, multi-channel learning to support compliance objectives and facilitate improved health and safety compliance outcomes within the workplace. Today, four in five organisations (82%) use online training as part of their compliance and development activities.
With flexible and agile working becoming more common, eLearning is an effective way to provide training and courses to work-at-home or on the move managers and employees, enabling organisations to monitor learner progress. Organisations should aim to train their workforce using consistent methods to ensure standardisation. While training needs vary by industry, some training, such as health and safety, fire precautions and cyber security is mandatory.
Benefits of eLearning
We’ve rounded up eight benefits of eLearning to help you take advantage of digital and blended training.
1. eLearning saves money
One of the main benefits of eLearning is that it’s cheaper over the long term than in-person training. Online learning reduces the cost and need of venue hire and travelling, such as catering, materials and a trainer. Training can be accessed using PCs and mobile devices such as laptops and smartphones, making it accessible for managers and employees. Accessibility tools such as screen readers and text-to-speech functionality can accommodate disabilities that cannot be catered for easily by classroom training, opening training to all employees.
It’s good for the environment, too – with printing costs reduced by 80% compared to classroom-style learning.
2. Reduces learning time
Adopting eLearning saves time and improves learning outcomes for both organisations and employees. According to research carried out by Hall and Rosenberg (2001), eLearning can reduce learning time by between 25-60% compared to classroom learning. In addition, retention rates are between 25-60%, compared to 8-10% with in-person learning.
eLearning removes the time wasted on travel, breaks, starting and ending sessions and teaching to a group instead of an individual. As these factors are eliminated, it allows the individual to focus on the training and their development.
3. Ensures training consistency
All organisations might encounter problems deploying the same level of training to all their workforce due to remote or flexible working, multiple departments, or global teams. A benefit of eLearning is that it’s a guaranteed consistent and standardised message, ensuring that all learners are taught the same course materials in the same way and important compliance and safety objectives are not missed out as can often happen with traditional instructor-led training. It helps to guarantee that the same high standard of compliance training is delivered in the same way to everyone and the results are captured and measured.
4. Convenient and flexible accessibility
Induction and onboarding programmes are becoming increasingly important but notoriously difficult to achieve in a flexible, agile and remote workforce. A good learning management system (LMS) such as Praxis42’s SHINE platform can provide all the induction and onboarding solutions that an organisation would need to successfully ensure managers and employees know what they need, are orientated and can understand the organisation’s risk profile and their responsibilities.
Daily work schedules can be busy, with face-to-face and classroom training challenging to coordinate – one that on-demand, learn when you can eLearning helps eliminate.
Flexibility and accessibility are one of the many benefits of eLearning. It allows employees to learn when they’re most comfortable without relying on other people attending. From interactive lessons taken during a daily commute on a smartphone to learning with a laptop in bed at night, training can be taken at a time and place most convenient or effective for each employee and helps ensure lessons receive full attention.
Just in time training, learning or reminders are also possible to help managers as they prepare for a meeting or when a worker may be just about to attempt a particular task, for example.
5. eLearning is scalable
Digital learning means that all employees can access training quickly, and large numbers of employees can rapidly be trained. This is particularly helpful when training needs to be updated, refresher training is needed, or in response to updated legislation or an incident such as an attempted cyber security breach or an accident.
Additional courses can be added to an organisation’s LMS for individuals to be prompted to start learning immediately and reduces the need to gather materials and sort out a venue for in-person training. Training content can be translated and rolled out in any language for sites in different countries. It can be adapted to help different disabilities such as hard of hearing and visual impairment.
6. Training can be measured
One of the benefits of eLearning is that it’s measurable. Using a learning management system (LMS) such as Praxis42’s SHINE platform, you can quickly and easily view data, such as competence frameworks, completion rates and grades, to understand how your managers and employees are progressing and achieving the level of competence required. You can monitor engagement using the LMS and generate reports to see how individuals, teams and departments are performing and send reminders. The LMS will enable you to explore which elements of the training individuals are struggling with or what needs more attention. Pulling data from the LMS will help you understand the effectiveness of the training, and can be used as evidence to support compliance requirements.
7. Benefits of eLearning – self-driven and self-paced
Some individuals can struggle to keep up with others in a training course, especially in a group setting. Personality traits, such as shyness and an unwillingness to join in, can hamper engagement and negatively impact learning. They may also be unable to maintain attention and some training approaches don’t support different ways people retain information. A benefit of eLearning is that the individual is in charge of their own progress; they can go at their own pace. Different learning techniques, such as quizzes, video, puzzles and imagery can provide different routes to aid retention.
The legal need to provide refresher training can be managed, automated and measured. A good LMS will be able to ensure that the workforce competency framework is always up-to-date via prompts, permissions and reminders.
Research shows that 95% of employees prefer eLearning because they can learn at their own individual pace.
8. Digital records and administration
Centralised, digital record keeping is a major benefit of eLearning. This feature reduces the need for administration and provides a more accurate report of the training. A complex job that involves keeping track of each employee and their progress is made significantly easier with an LMS. An LMS, such as Praxis42’s SHINE platform, will provide progress reports and feedback instantly. Keeping track of the training and each employee is reported on the system and eliminates paperwork.
Keep track of training compliance, onboarding and induction training across your organisation in real-time, on any device, at any time with SHINE – our personalised Learning Management System that can be tailored to your organisation.