What is eLearning?
eLearning is an instructional method that utilizes digital assets to deliver content to grow knowledge, shape behaviors, and increase motivation. While some assets may be text-based, eLearning often incorporates other forms of media such as audio, video, or infographics, Moreover, the continued development of eLearning technology has enabled more interactive learning experiences through immersive technologies like simulation, augmented reality, or virtual reality.
Why Do Organizations Use eLearning?
To scale, save money, and have a greater impact on learning outcomes. Without the cost of classroom logistics, and by allowing asynchronous eLearning, organizations are spending less, and learners are learning more. In fact, research claims “e-Learning saves businesses at least 50% when they replace traditional instructor-based training with e-Learning [and it] cuts down instruction time by up to 60%.” Modern learners want their learning experience to reflect their high-tech personal lives, which means greater accessibility and custom eLearning activities that resemble the user experience and user interface of common recreational technologies. eLearning modalities enable global delivery, capitalize on the rich media available with today’s technology, and, most importantly, apply instructional design principles to performance improvement.
What kinds of approaches qualify as eLearning?
There are dozens of modalities in the eLearning category. Your content will help determine what type of eLearning you want to use, as some will work better for your content than others. The following are some of the modalities that are considered eLearning:
How do you use eLearning?
1. BUSINESS GOALS
There are both off-the-shelf and custom eLearning solutions, but regardless of which you choose, it must align with the business goals. You must ask yourself:
- What changes am I trying to make?
- What behaviors do my learners need to change?
- Does the eLearning modality align with those needs?
- What would my audience most appreciate?
2. LEARNER EXPERIENCE
Next, it’s all about learner experience. You have to evaluate what your learners will expect and experience from the moment they encounter your learning program. You must think about your audience and analyze:
- How will they be accessing it?
- What metrics would you like to track?
- What would be the best use of their time?
- How would they learn best (not what are they used to)?
- How can it be most relevant to their day-to-day work?
According to Bersin, next-generation “e-learning can take on a much more interactive and social-oriented format that is embedded in the context of the learner’s work”
3. IN THE CLASSROOM
A blended solution is one that employs both classroom and on-the-job materials and some eLearning elements. You can target the types of content that would translate into eLearning the best, and create a pathway of learning with both in-person and web-based assets. According to the US Department of Education, “students in online learning conditions performed […] better than those receiving face-to-face instruction,” with blended results coming in as most successful (Means et al., 2010).
Some examples of successful classroom uses include:
- Flipped classroom model
- Rich media for classroom materials
- Modular curriculum
- Social element during classroom session
- Real-time polling and interaction
- Gamification and simulations
- Toolkit of web-based assets to use after the classroom session is complete
Learn more about digital and eLearning solutions we delivered to our clients.
How does technology play into eLearning?
Technology is the foundation, backbone, and catalyst of eLearning all in one. Technology provides endless opportunities for learning through apps, smartphones, videos, search engines, and other real-time information sources. However, in order to get the most out of your eLearning experience, you need up-to-date browsers and an LMS engine or hosting solution to track success.
Some of the best uses of technology for eLearning are found in new code, with things such as the following:
- Responsive design
- Social integration
- Just-in-time support
eLearning in the modern world
We now learn and access information anytime, anywhere, and on a variety of devices. Your learners expect highly engaging, relevant, and up-to-date content that’s available at their moment of need. At AllenComm, each learning solution we build applies best practices in learning technology (i.e., microlearning, gamification, interactive video, simulations, mobile learning, etc.,) to create engaging learning experiences.