The pandemic has forced many schools, businesses, and RTOs to close their doors and move to online learning. The spread of Covid-19 and its global challenges has undoubtedly seen a change in how we learn. Although this was a difficult transition for many, it has also shown that online learning can be just as effective as in-person learning. In this article, we will look at some of the benefits of online learning that make it here to stay post-pandemic.
The huge impact of the pandemic
With schools and universities closed, many students have had to rely on online learning to continue their education. This has been a big adjustment for many, and it has not always been easy. Schools have to adjust their curriculum, teaching methods, and even school hours to accommodate the needs of students who are either sick or too afraid to go to school. The pandemic has also had an impact on how people learn.
According to the World Economic Forum (2020),
“Even before COVID-19, there was already high growth and adoption in education technology, with global edtech investments reaching US$18.66 billion in 2019 and the overall market for online education projected to reach $350 Billion by 2025. Whether it is language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools, or online learning software, there has been a significant surge in usage since COVID-19.”
Overall, the pandemic has had a big impact on online learning. It has been a big adjustment to the detriment of many, but there are also many advantages to this type of learning.
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The benefits of online learning
Many have had to adapt to the shift towards eLearning with schools and businesses forced online. As daunting as it first appeared, eLearning has proven its worth for business and students, so let’s take a look at how these benefits assist with student retention and engagement. Here are five key points:
- Online learning is cost-effective
- E-Learning is accessible
- E-Learning is self-paced
- Less impact on the environment
- Digital administration and record-keeping
One of the main benefits of online learning for both the student and business is cost-effectiveness. With online learning eradicating travel expenses, instructor costs and venue hire, companies that utilise e-learning can expect to save 50-70% on overall training costs. Weekly or monthly payments are standard among RTO’s. A suitable payment structure and automated payments are key to continuity and motivation. Having an automatic payment set up is a motivation for the student to put in the effort and complete the training.
The introduction of E-Learning has increased your market access, offering courses and learning opportunities to those that may not have previously had access. Online education enables learners to train, retrain or gain new qualifications anytime, anywhere. In June last year, almost 995,000 Australian workers found themselves out of work. However, with the advancement of E-Learning, many people can train for a new career online. In addition, the ability to complete the training wherever is convenient leads to higher retention and completion rates.
A significant advantage of E-Learning is the ability to set the pace. Some people may be refreshing their knowledge and skim through specific topics, and some students perhaps need extra time. Differing from a classroom setting, online students can focus solely on their own needs, leading to increased student satisfaction and reduced stress. Students can become less engaged in classes where they feel out of their depth or where the pace is too slow. Having the ability to set their own working pace produces positive student engagement.
At a time where we all need to be more environmentally conscious, knowing that online learning is a positive change for the environment must be a selling point. Waste reduction in gas, pollution, paper and natural resources are important factors to the environmentally conscious. For example, studies have found that E-Learning consumed 90% less power and 85% less CO2 emissions than a traditional training environment.
Collecting training data within a large corporation can mean hours of exhausting administrative work. However, eLearning means admin staff can go into the LMS and quickly and easily retrieve any vital data. E-Learning needs to be beneficial for the business, but it also needs to reach business goals effectively. That is why student data can be accessed easily from the LMS. Information like assessment grades, student retention and forum engagement can be easily accessed and assessed, allowing business strategies to be adjusted if necessary.
These are just some of the benefits of online learning. Kajabi lists more in the comparison chart below:
The challenges of online learning
The internet has become an integral part of our lives, and it is no surprise that online learning has become increasingly popular. However, online learning is not without its challenges.
One of the biggest challenges of online learning is the lack of face-to-face interaction. This can make it difficult to form relationships with classmates and professors, and can make it easy to feel isolated. Another challenge of online learning is the need for self-motivation. Without the structure of a traditional classroom, it can be easy to procrastinate or get off track. Finally, online learning can be expensive. While there are many free resources available, some courses or programs may require the purchase of textbooks or other materials.
Despite these challenges, online learning can be a great way to learn at your own pace, in your own environment. With a little planning and effort, you can overcome the challenges and succeed in your studies.
Why online learning is here to stay
Technology has been widely accepted as the future of education. With online schools, students can learn anytime and anywhere they want. In virtual classrooms, they can interact with teachers and classmates from all over the world. Online schools are a perfect solution for those who want to pursue higher education but don’t have the time or money to go to a traditional school. They offer flexible schedules and affordable tuition fees that allow students to earn degrees without sacrificing their work or family life.
While online learning may never fully take over physical classes, it will surely remain to be a preferable, cost-effective option for large scale executions, businesses of international scope, scaleable on-demand corporate training and productized RTO courses.
At the end of the day, it boils down to the value being offered and the most convenient way such value is delivered to the intended users.
We are Strawberry Solutions
Strawberry Solutions is a boutique consultancy offering education providers assistance with: eLearning development and project management. Canvas implementation and training. aXcelerate. VETtrak, and RTO Manager integration. Project management of integration between SMS and LMS. Business development. VET compliance consultation. Ongoing Help & Support. We pride ourselves on offering right size solutions to complex problems and delivering on time and on budget.
We empower education providers to deliver better learning so they can maximise their impact. We have carefully built our team with leading education professionals. Our team includes project managers, instructional and graphic designers, eLearning developers, voice over artists, video editors and animators, all of whom contribute their unique skills and experience to cultivate a cohesive learning experience.
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