E-learning is the logical evolution of face-to-face training, just as smartphones and social networks changed the traditional forms of communication. Technology has always drawn the path.
E-learning is a booming industry, surpassing $300 billion in 2021, with an expected 20% annual growth projection by 2028. But do you know what e-learning is and how to take advantage of it in your company? In this article, we explain everything you need to know.
What is e-learning?
Surely you have heard terms such as remote training, online education, or virtual classes. They are part of the e-learning concept, which is nothing more than a learning model based on new technologies. In other words, a learning activity through a device connected to the network.
It’s not surprising that e-learning has gained so much popularity in recent years since this learning modality is compatible with our current lifestyle, where we constantly rely on technology and the digital world. In the same way, companies can trust e-learning to enhance their employees’ training and obtain more benefits.
E-learning’s origin and its growth through the years
E-learning’s origin dates back to education through correspondence, around the mid-1900s. Two or three decades later, educational programs began to be broadcast through the radio, relieved later by television broadcasts.
However, it was not until the internet’s birth that online education began to take shape. In the 1980s, the first virtual campuses appeared, and by the 1990s, the term e-learning materialized.
The first e-learning content had the problem that it required a lot of technical programming knowledge and could not be reused or shared. But in the 2000s, OLAT was launched, the first open-source learning management system, and the SCORM standard or Shareable Content Object Reference Model emerged immediately after.
Since then, online training through learning platforms has become more accessible, and the creation of e-learning content was standardized to be shared and distributed more efficiently.
Technology keeps evolving, and e-learning growth doesn’t stop. Nowadays, smartphones have become the preferred way to access online training due to their versatility.
What is e-learning used for?
Some of its main characteristics include the use of technology and educational resources, the physical separation between the trainer and the student, and the use of devices with a network connection, such as mobile phones, tablets, or computers.
But if we ask ourselves what it’s for, Elliot Masie, creator of the term e-learning, answers this question very well:
“E-learning is the use of network technology to design, deliver, select, manage and extend learning.”
- Corporate training: Both in employee training and the onboarding process. E-learning offers the advantage of adjusting to the availability of time and the learning pace of the employees, unlike a face-to-face teaching method.
- Distance education: E-learning has played a significant role for universities, educational centers, or training institutes that offer distance education. It gives students autonomy when deciding what content to learn, at what times, and at what pace, allowing them to combine studies with working hours.
- Collaborative learning: Since it offers spaces to participate, debate or share knowledge with other students, such as virtual classrooms, forums, chats, or training apps, with the versatility that this educational modality offers.
- Micro-learning: It’s a learning modality that uses briefer and more powerful content. The training is provided in mini-courses or express courses that allow quicker learning and adaptation to different lifestyles.
How do companies take advantage of e-learning?
Besides revolutionizing the field of education, e-learning has marked a before and after in the corporate sphere. Every day there are more companies, large or small, that seek to innovate in the way they develop their employees, and these are some of the opportunities it offers:
- Employee training
E-learning is perfect for employee training. It offers an easy, efficient, high-quality, and uniform learning solution, especially in big companies with headquarters in different countries. Employees can learn online, from wherever they are, at their own pace and consistently. Also, e-learning allows companies to keep track of progress, attendance, and results.
- Lower costs
Have you thought about the time and money it takes to organize an employee training meeting? E-learning offers the opportunity to train everyone through an online course, which is more affordable and results better than hours and hours of expensive sessions.
- Onboarding strategies
Because everyone knows how difficult it is to start a new company without a good onboarding plan, e-learning lets you develop an inspiring, efficient, and 100% virtual online onboarding process that achieves better results.
- Employee retention
Training with e-learning content allows employees to get involved and participate more, guaranteeing better results. Offering your employees the chance to improve their skills continually, develop new competencies, or even develop personal skills and foster well-being is one of the most effective ways to empower and retain your workforce.
- Knowledge and compliance with legal regulations
Almost all companies must conduct compliance training to ensure that all employees comprehend company policies in security, conduct, and privacy, among others. An online course is the easiest way to get this information to all workers, especially in the circumstances such as updates or policy changes.
- Fulfill ESG criteria
Corporate sustainability currently plays a vital role in the future of any company, whether large or small. All departments must collaborate to meet ESG criteria and achieve sustainable development goals.
E-learning is perfect for aligning your employees with your SDGs, not only with specialized training in sustainability or diversity courses but with apps that allow collaborative training, gamification use, and improving internal communication. Thanks to e-learning, you can develop a complete, practical teaching methodology with better engagement and incredible results.
Benefits of using e-learning in companies
E-learning for companies supports sustained growth, better engagement, and more commitment from collaborators and employees. But its advantages do not end there; it also allows:
- A more flexible schedule.
- Adaptation to specific needs.
- Reduction in training expenses.
- Continuous knowledge updating.
- Introduce new products to partners or customers quickly.
- Reduction of learning time.
- Control over performance and progress of the training.
Do you realize everything that a company can achieve with e-learning? And it’s because this educational system accomplishes much more than regular training. It ensures to cover all the aspects of a training plan for employees.
Different types of e-learning content you can use
An online course with static presentations and endless quizzes is bound to fail. That’s why e-learning uses interactive resources, multimedia, and the best technology designed to engage better with your students, generate commitment, and secure training success. These elements are called e-learning content; you can use them to create your courses. These are some of the most common:
They allow the training process to be much more attractive and entertaining. It’s a very easy-to-use format in which you can add questions or even storytelling. Also, you can go beyond the traditional form and use interactive videos to get more participation.
What this type of e-learning content does is reinforce the social skills of employees. The students complete tasks through a simulation in a safe virtual environment and comprehend the possible outcomes to learn to face real challenges in their jobs. Examples of simulations are linked scenes with points of interest, so students can complete a procedure, walk through a set and delve into various concepts.
They are also video conferences, virtual classrooms, or virtual classes. With this technology, you have greater capacity in your training and, at the same time, more significant interaction with the participants in real-time. It’s ideal for breaking the distance!
Exercises or games
Exercises and games should encourage interaction and participation, and the fun is varied. In e-learning, you can use question and answer competitions, group images, complete texts, complete questionnaires, and more.
If you want to know more about interactive resources for your courses, we’ll tell you which are the most addictive in this post.
How to implement e-Learning within your company?
Implementing e-learning within your company will save you time and money compared to face-to-face training. Still, it’ll also ease the balance between personal life, working hours, and your employees’ learning. But where do you start with your online training program?
Identify the training needs of your employees
Knowing what your employees’ weak and strong points are, you will be able to decide the courses you should include in your training program to improve the performance of your workers. Reskilling, upskilling, and power skills are currently in trend and are a good starting point for designing a training plan.
Define your goals
For example, acquiring new skills to fill gaps or weaknesses in the team, enhance the company’s competitive advantages, increase production or even improve the emotional well-being of your employees. In any case, you must know what the objective of your training will be.
Select your learning platform system
Now that you have clear objectives, you must have the right tool for training your team. A Learning Management System is software where you can create and manage your company’s training program. From adding collaborators, creating courses, and summoning training, to seeing results statistics and giving finish certificates.
Using an app developed for learning is an ideal complement to your training program. With an app, your professionals can access their courses whenever they want and learn at their own pace while having fun.
Plan and create content
It’s always a good idea to design a plan in phases and allocate a team and a budget. Once you do this, you can start creating your e-learning courses and distributing them to your students. Not sure where to start?
To create your e-learning courses, you can use authoring tools, which allow you to develop unique courses in a few minutes. A good authoring tool enables any company member to create powerful courses without knowing anything about instructional design.
You can always outsource to professionals if you don’t have the time or capacity to create in-house courses. You’ll only need to provide the educational guide, and they will make your e-learning courses with the best resources to meet your training objectives.
Another option to consider is acquiring a pre-designed course catalog for your LMS or accessing online training platforms with courses for team skills development.
Track training performance
To know your training program’s success, you need to track how many employees have enlisted, how many started, their progress, and their qualifications. The good thing is that LMSs offer built-in statistics that allow you to see the whole picture.
Trust e-learning solutions for your corporate training
The training needs of companies are constantly increasing, and staying up to date is a must. That’s why e-learning for companies has become a must, and it will help you develop your employees’ training program.
With the development of new technologies and e-learning, you’ll gain more and more ground; that’s why you should take the next step into online training. isEazy offers diverse e-learning solutions, from an authoring tool, content factory, and LMS platform; to a training app to give more freedom and engage your employees while they learn.
You can use our tools together or separately to help you at all stages of your training program.