10 Reasons E-Learning Is Better Than Classroom Learning

Online learning has shown significant growth over the last couple of years powered by increased penetration of the internet and the demand-supply gap in terms of skills in demand. There is an urgent need to get the workforce up-skilled and re-skilled to meet the demands of the business.

With technology becoming so pervasive–and the outbreak forcing schools, universities, and companies to remote working - eLearning is booming as the go-to option in many important ways.

While the eLearning primarily comprised, a learner going through reading content online, submitting assignments, and/or watching pre-recorded lectures. Today’s eLearning platforms include interactive features that allow for the social element found in classroom training, such as through live video conference classes, social learning, discussion boards, chats or virtual Q&A sessions. Based on over a decade of experience in the industry, here are some reasons online learning is better than classroom learning.

1. More Content Coverage
The learners can take more content using online content compared to traditional classroom learning. A report by IBM suggested that participants learn 5 times more material in online learning courses using multimedia content than in traditional face-to-face courses. As eLearning gives more flexibility and choice of pace to the learners, it allows them to run through parts they are comfortable with and spend more time on parts needing attention.

2. Higher Retention Rate
The Research Institute of America found that eLearning increases the participant's knowledge retention by as much as 25-60%. With the flexibility of taking the course anywhere, anytime, and more engaging content results in deep understanding not experienced in traditional classroom training. The recent concept of micro-learning even strengthens the retention rates even higher.

3. Less Cost
eLearning can be rolled out to very large audience irrespective of the geographies, time-zones, etc. once the course content and platform are created. While blurring the physical boundaries the cost spent on trainers, travel, training time, etc. are drastically reduced with eLearning. IBM saved approximately $200 million after switching to e-learning. Organizations have witnessed reduced development costs by 50% and increase the speed of development by 300% with micro eLearning courses.

4. Less Time Commitment from Participants
One of the biggest hurdles in organizing classroom training is managing the calendars across multiple people’s and their schedules. eLearning takes this challenge away by allowing the flexibility of taking the course at the participant's comfort and time schedules. 2017 Brandon Hall Group report found that eLearning can decrease employee training by 40-60%.

5. Transparent and Quick Assessments
Traditional assessments make it difficult to assess the learners frequently, and often the judgement could be impacted by the trainer’s bias. eLearning allows frequent assessments after every module in an unbiased manner. The step-wise assessments allow the learner to cement their understanding before moving forward or rush through the modules they feel confident about.

6. More Data-Points
The success of any learning program or individual plan depends on the observation of the trainer in a traditional classroom setting. This becomes a little arduous task if the batch size is even slightly bigger. With machine learning and data science, it has become easy to understand the learning patterns and provided contextual inputs to improve training courses with eLearning.

7. Unified Learning Experience
As every participant is different in their approach and knowledge, every trainer is different in their style of delivery and approach. While it’s a dream for any Chief Learning Officer to able to impart exactly the same learning experience, in reality, there is a difference despite the same content being used because of different trainers. eLearning removes the human element and makes sure that all the learners have got a unified learning experience and the knowledge level after training would be more equal than compared to classroom training.

8. Higher Engagement
eLearning with a choice of content options and micro-learning allows for higher engagement for the courses. Learning in stretches of 3-7 minutes match the working memory capacity and attention spans of humans and has shown 50% higher engagement with the learners.

9. Offers Personalization
Every learner is unique and has unique goals. Being driven by technology, eLearning captures a huge amount of data in terms of time taken, scores, peer-comparison, the efficacy of modules, etc. The analysis of these data points allow creating specific interventions for the learners and creating personalized learning paths as per the individual needs and goals of the learners.

10. Social & Collaborative Learning
In this age of social media, online learning allows learners to like, share, comment, discuss and collaborate over content components. Through discussion forums and chat boards, they can post their queries and doubts. This creates a collaborative learning environment which can extend the learning beyond the formal classroom environment.

In summary, eLearning offers its distinct advantages to both the learners and organizations. It would also be fair to say that classroom learning also has some positives. Therefore, the organizations are moving towards a blended learning environment where eLearning makes up a major chunk of learning path if not the complete path, and a smaller chunk is delivered via classrooms. But eLearning is the future and would continue to see faster adoptions after the pandemic.

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Manish is the COO and Co-Founder of GurukulOnline Learning Solutions (GOLS), an eLearning provider with end-to-end in-house capabilities in terms of consulting, platform and content development. GOLS is disrupting and creating waves in the eLearning industry both from corporate and educational institute focussed learning solutions. He is accredited with 100% successful project delivery and has helped clients win many prestigious awards for innovative eLearning solutions.

Manish has over 27 years of in business leadership, operations, finance, and strategy and is an acknowledged authority on eLearning having worked in this field for the last 15 years.
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