Where e-learning was once an under-explored, fringe addition to an otherwise face-to-face educational institute, the concept has exploded in popularity over the last few years. Analysts have forecast the huge growth in the industry to continue, ballooning in Europe at a CAGR of 12.27% between 2016 and 2020. The growth - 900% since 2000 - owes much to the improvements in internet infrastructure and the fact that educational institutes have largely accepted digital as an essential facet of their organizations.
The benefits of online courses are numerous for both those undertaking them and the organizations that encourage their staff to do so. With the concept of flexible, remote working taking off, products like the Innovation Enterprise Academy’s online courses are becoming increasingly popular. For companies looking add to employee knowledge, these types of online classes are an affordable, time-effective way to broaden their horizons.
Perhaps the key reason that remote courses have seen such notable growth in recent years is the ability for people to undertake where and when they please. With downloadable material and a lack of a regimented class timetable, people can fit the learning around their work and family life, rather than the other way around. They can approach the course in the way that works best for them, with courses deliberately tailored for self-study to make the process as flexible as possible.
For organizations, the ability for staff to work on courses without having to take valuable time away from work is key. In fact, online courses ‘typically require 40-60% less employee time than learning the same material in a traditional classroom setting,’ according to research by Shift. With mobile learning on the rise, it’s never been easier for employees to learn on the go without impeding on their personal lives.
Compared to face-to-face teaching, remote learning is remarkably cost-effective. MBA programs in both the US and Europe can cost students upwards of $100,000. By contrast, online learning can be bought in financially manageable chunks, with the Innovation Enterprise Academy, for example, charging between just $200 and $2000 for single courses, with some even available free of charge.
On top of reduced cost, the scope for both employee and company to earn more as a result of e-learning is huge. According to Shift, 42% of companies say that e-learning has led to increased revenue, whilst revenue generated per employee is 26% higher in companies that offer training using tech, including e-learning. For the employee, the ability to work flexibly and the lack of time commitment means that quitting work to study is no longer a necessity.
There is also evidence to suggest that, when not asked to sit in one room for hours on end, engagement greatly benefits. E-learning increases retention rates from 8-10% in face-to-face classes to 25-60% online. Shift also found that because e-learning allows students to get through the material at their own pace and without having to wait for others, e-learning participants ‘learn nearly five times more material without increasing time spent in training.’
Technology has allowed online courses to be far more interactive - the likes of Skype, messaging services, and shared document editing, bring the remote learner and the course teacher closer together. And this engagement doesn’t end with the course; companies with e-learning programs achieve an 18% boost in employee engagement on average.
Whether you’re a company looking to engage its workforce, or an executive interested in expanding your horizons, e-learning can tackle some of the most restrictive problems with full- or part-time face-to-face training courses. Whether it be cost, flexibility or engagement, consider e-learning as part of either your company’s strategy or your personal career progression.