For some people, the term “elearning” immediately conjures images of the inscrutable internet, complicated learning platforms, and technology beyond the grasp for those who are well out of school.
But before you decide whether or not elearning is good for you, consider these five interesting elearning facts:
1. ELearning is not as Complicated as it Sounds
Since the first internet-based courses began in the late 1990s, elearning has come a long way.
Most course providers now include user-friendly tutorials that gently walk even the most timid of newcomers through the process of using their online learning tools.
If you use email, watch YouTube videos, or organize your photos on your computer, chances are you can learn online without any problem at all!
2. ELearning Doesn’t Have to be Isolating
Most modern elearning courses provide plenty of opportunity for learners to interact with instructors and other learners.
ELearning tools such as discussion boards, bulletin boards, breakout rooms, real-time live lectures, and interactive games and activities allow learners to be a part of a learning community, share information, ask questions and engage with others.
3. ELearning is Environmentally Friendly
Consider the effect of one 12-week class with 30 students. This course then requires travelling daily to and from a classroom by car (or bus), and collecting an average of 10 pages of paper handouts at each class.
That’s a pretty big environmental impact.
Now compare that with those 30 students working from their own homes and reading their learning resources from their computer. It has been suggested that a course conducted online will use an average of 90% less energy and produce 85% less CO2 than the same course conducted in a classroom.
4. ELearning Can Help Retention
Our working memory, or the memory we use to work with and process new information, becomes overloaded very quickly. Remember the last time you were in a crowded classroom with a lecturer providing reams of notes, key points, and overhead slides while other students asked questions and talked to each other? How much of what you learned do you think you retained?
The self-paced nature of most elearning courses allows learners to take in new information in small doses, reflect on the information, apply it to their own experiences, and then store it away in their long-term memory.
5. ELearning Can be FUN!
Modern elearning often includes a variety of multimedia tools—video, audio, interactive activities, even learning games. It doesn’t matter if the learner is nine years old or ninety, we learn best when we are having fun!