E-learning is hot. And for good reason. If done right, it can produce great results by decreasing costs and improving performance. Also, unlike a one time classroom session, the e-learning course is available for others. This includes the static e-learning course as well as any ongoing conversations in networked communities.
- Improved training costs. Producing learning content is time consuming whether it’s online or not. With e-learning, each time the course is accessed your return on investment improves because you are dividing the fixed production costs by number of uses. You also have savings through decreased travel, reduced material, and hopefully improved (and more efficient) performance.
- Decreased material costs. Let’s say you have to train how to arrange equipment in a sterile environment like an operating room. If you had to use the real environment, it would be costly. Even setting up a fake environment has material costs and labor. By creating the environment online and letting the learner practice, you never have to worry about the costs associated with set up, use, and clean up.
- Increased productivity. Because elearning is not bound by geography or time, you can control training’s impact on production by training people during down times. In addition, with the current economy, you’re asking people to do more with less. So elearning is a great way to give them the tools and skills needed to enhance their performance.
- Standardization. You may have a great facilitator, but that’s no guarantee that the courses are presented the same across sessions. E-learning allows you to create a standardized process and consistency in the delivery of content. It also compresses delivery time. I’ve combined e-learning courses with facilitated sessions. E-learning delivered consistent content. Live sessions were interactive case studies that applied the information.