A company’s need for training employees will never disappear; however, the means of training delivery has taken a turn. In the past decade, the need for, and use of, online learning (eLearning) has soared. Companies are implementing eLearning and reaping extensive benefits. Because traditional, instructor-led training is more familiar, some companies have been hesitant to venture into this delivery arena; but the benefits of online learning are quite noteworthy. While instructor-led training is still valuable, eLearning may prove more advantageous for you and your company.
Time is valuable. Few people can afford to dedicate an entire day to a training course. With this in mind, online learning can be completed at any time, in any place. In addition, eLearning courses are divided into modules. Because courses tend to vary from 5-30 minutes in length, they do not have to be completed all at once. Employees can complete modules when and where it best works according to their schedules and priorities.
For delivery of each instructor-led training course you must; secure and pay an instructor, reserve a venue, purchase materials, and provide refreshments. Maintaining consistent, effectual training using an on-site instructor incurs repetitive cost for these necessary components each time a course is taught. However, in the case of online learning, the company only need purchase the customized course once, constituting a one-time cost. Delivery of the course is repeatable, as many times as desired, to as many audiences as needed, for no reoccurring cost.
Even if the same instructor delivers a course, he or she will inherently alter word-for-word likeness if giving the course more than once. However, by pre-recording eLearning; Delivery of the message and explanation of concepts are identical every time. This invaluably ensures each employee who participates in the online learning receives the same instruction.
ELearning delivery is auditory, visual, and interactive – intentionally inclusive of the three learning styles – to reinforce focus for the duration of the training. Each module’s purposeful time calculation increases knowledge retention. Online learning avoids some known limitations of Instructor-led courses. Each student hears the course only once. Additionally, the course period limits the teaching time. Online learning can be accessed and reviewed as many times as needed by the learner to master the content.
Online learning provides an efficient and productive way to train all new hires in NEO. Traditional instructor-led training, while beneficial in certain areas of new-hire orientation, requires training an instructor who then must take time to train others, at a specific time and day. With eLearning, orientation modules are easily accessible and alleviate removing people from their jobs for extended periods of time to conduct training in order to facilitate delivery.
When evaluating providers of online learning development, remember that a good partner should encourage an Iterative Development Phase between you and the creators to ensure each course message aligns precisely with your goals and course objectives. From the initial Discovery and Analysis meeting, to storyboard development, through final production, the creators should remain aligned with you to ensure that the course effectively meets the needs of your company.
Instructor-led training ultimately relies on the instructor’s ability to effectively transfer his or her knowledge while communicating your message. Instructors prepare in advance, but it is difficult to refine real-time training once delivered. Conversely, online learning provides greater control over the messaging and ensures that each topic precisely delivers what you envision.