E-learning is not exactly a new concept. It has become more popular over the past decade, especially after COVID-19 changed how we live, learn, and conduct business.
Owing to the rapid advancement of technology, e-learning is a part of numerous institutions’ course offerings worldwide. Online learning essentially offers the perks of attending a university with the convenience of a learning experience that suits your schedule.
With online courses in nearly every subject and flexible timings to suit any lifestyle, many students choose e-learning as a practical alternative to on-campus courses.
For example, nurses deciding between an MSN vs DNP can consider pursuing an online degree at Walsh University. The online university offers insight into which career path is best for aspiring nurses looking to explore their careers further.
Although some may see e-learning as requiring a higher level of motivation and self-discipline, institutions know that academic support is just as crucial as instructor feedback. They ensure students receive the same support they would expect from on-campus classes.
E-learning has become the future of education, and we’ll take a look at how e-learning can help you progress in your chosen career path.
What is e-learning?
E-learning, also known as electronic learning, refers to delivering education and training via digital means. Even though e-learning is predicated on formalized learning, it is offered and carried out via electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and computers connected to the internet. This allows for easier learning and is free from time, place, and other restrictions.
Put simply, e-learning refers to learning, training, or education provided online via a computer or any other device connected to the internet.
The origins of e-learning
As mentioned, e-learning is not a new concept. Elliot Masie was responsible for coining the term in 1999, marking the first time the phrase was referred to professionally. In the years that followed, the phrase’s reputation has only grown. What factors have helped e-learning become the most widespread way to deliver training today? Let’s take a look!
Before the internet became what it is today, many had to use CD-ROMS, printed manuals, and other somewhat limiting methods for learning. The internet’s popularity paved the way for organizations to drop restrictive practices and take advantage of the flexibility and convenience of e-learning.
The growth of multimedia
As e-learning evolved, integrating elements such as video, images, audio, and graphics became a better way of grabbing learners’ interest than conventional learning.
The affordability of digital devices
Keeping in mind that the first-ever IBM computer cost the equivalent of nearly $5,000 today, it makes sense that the popularity of e-learning rose as digital devices became more affordable. Mobile learning has also aided the popularity of e-learning.
Learning Management Systems (LMS)
Learning Management Systems (LMS) are now more sophisticated than ever, evolving from local installations to cloud-based systems. More and more organizations apply them to facilitate numerous forms of training. Many considerations go into choosing an LMS, but it needs, at a minimum, the functionality to meet the course’s objectives and those of their learners.
How e-learning can help you progress in your chosen profession
You may discover at some point in your professional life that you need to obtain more training or education for a particular job. You may want to update your knowledge or skills to excel in your current profession, obtain certification to perform a specific job, or require a specified degree for a higher-level position in your career.
If you have a full-time job, you might wonder how you will find the time to attend classes on campus. This is especially true if you have family responsibilities or late working hours.
Once again, technology allows you to take courses and study online. At this point, many universities and colleges offer their complete programs online. Moreover, many professional workshops and certification classes take the form of online webinars.
Below are the details on how e-learning can help you move forward in your career and facilitate your ongoing education while maintaining your lifestyle.
Online education is highly respected
Employers hold as much respect for an online degree as they do for one that was earned in person. They know that with today’s technological advances, an increasing number of employees opt to get their training and education online.
Since recruitment managers value the pursuit of professional development and education, the suitable courses in your resume’s education section could show that you are resourceful and opt for staying ahead of the curve and improving professionally.
You can continue focusing on your job
There often comes a time when people have to quit their jobs or cut back on their work hours to go back to school, mainly when it is a full-time program. Through e-learning, you can attend class when it fits your schedule.
By staying employed, you will not have an employment gap on your resume, which your prospective employers may view negatively despite it being for a return to school. Another benefit of continuing to work while you take online classes is that future employers will acknowledge your practical time management skills.
Flexibility and time saving
The great thing about e-learning is that you save time and energy by not being forced to commute to class. With online learning, you have the ease of sitting down at an internet-connected computer or any other device without having to leave your home.
In addition to letting you finish coursework when it fits your personal and work schedule, e-learning allows you to choose how much time you wish to spend on it. You can register for a full certification or degree program or opt for courses that only take up a few of your hours each week. Considering the variety of online courses, you can enroll in a class or multiple courses at any point in your career. Numerous courses are self-paced, letting students speed through them or take their time.
E-learning is more cost-efficient
Many online degree programs are much less expensive than those available at conventional land-based schools. Through e-learning platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and edX, you may come across stellar courses and programs from top universities and professors, either at a fraction of the usual cost or completely free.
Additionally, by taking online courses, you can save on the expenses of accommodations at brick-and-mortar institutions and the costs of commuting to classes. The additional damage to your vehicle from driving also counts.
You can apply what you learn online to your job
As you go through your online classes, you will notice that you are learning new things that you can immediately apply to your present job. That will help boost your value to your employer, proving that e-learning can enhance your productivity and performance.
Quick lesson delivery
Compared to the conventional classroom-based teaching approach, e-learning boasts fast delivery cycles. Here is a look at some of the ways learning time is decreased via e-learning:
- Lessons begin quickly and are concluded in a single session, enabling training programs to roll out in a few weeks, sometimes even days.
- It saves plenty of time as students are not required to commute to the training venue. They can attend classes from the comfort of their homes.
- Students can establish their own learning speed instead of following the whole group.
- Learners can opt to study specific areas of the learning material rather than having to cover every area. For example, they may skip areas they do not wish to learn or participate in.
Helps the environment
Since e-learning, for the most part, is a paperless mode of learning, it helps the environment to a considerable extent. According to a study on e-learning courses, distance-based learning courses consumed nearly 90% less power. They were responsible for 85% less carbon dioxide emissions than conventional brick-and-mortar classes. There is no tree-cutting involved for paper with e-learning. Therefore, it is safe to say that e-learning is an eco-friendly form of learning.
You might think that e-learning offers no networking opportunities, but many courses are built to be interactive in real time. Video calling and social networking tools like blogs and wikis allow students to interact with instructors and classmates. Online instructors often find innovative means of engaging students, creating more opportunities for them to become acquainted with and work with other students.
The bottom line
E-learning helps you stay focused and sharp and offers you the skills and knowledge needed to tackle workplace issues. It also lets you continue adding value to your employment. Moreover, it is now more flexible than ever. With so many benefits and opportunities, e-learning has gained popularity among students worldwide, and its value is only expected to continue to climb.