Benefits of online learning
Clearly traditional brick and mortar learning institutions are not going away anytime soon; as technology progresses and the world becomes more reliant upon the Internet, the benefits of online learning are becoming more compelling. Taking an online college course has become a legitimate and flexible option for those who have busy lives.
“The web is revolutionizing some areas of study through increased opportunities for learning and alternative formats for information.”
(Cornell university Dwyer, Barbieri, and Doerr, 1995).
The pro's and con's of e-learning vary depending on program goals, target audience and organizational infrastructure and culture.
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Benefits of online learning include:
Like no other training form, online learning promises to deliver learning outcomes to a maximum number of participants with a maximum range of learning styles, preferences, and needs.
Flexibility is one the benefits of online learning.
Most courses are specifically created in a manner that allows trainees to complete work at their own pace and convenience, whenever they have enough time to spare.
Online learning allows more efficient training of a globally dispersed audience; and reduced publishing and distribution costs as Web-based training becomes a standard.
Benefits Of Online Learning
E-learning also offers individualized instruction, which print media cannot provide, and traditional instructor-led courses provide at great cost.
In conjunction with assessing needs, e-learning can target specific needs. And by using learning style tests, e-learning can locate and target individual learning preferences.
Additionally benefits of online learning include that it is self-paced. Advanced learners are allowed to speed through or bypass instruction that they don’t need while novices slow their own progress through content, eliminating frustration with themselves, their fellow learners, and the course.
Overcoming language barriers and accessing learning translation services is now also possible thanks to the internet and there are many places where you can go about finding teaching services specifically for your precise needs.
In addition to everyday obstacles, benefits of online learning are that it provides a solution for individuals who may be facing political or financial obstacles that might otherwise make education impossible. That the web is in fact world-wide means that a key benefit of online learning is that it is international and a truly egalitarian means of acquiring knowledge
Summarised benefits of online
- You're unbound by place - study at
home, work, or on the road
- Learning is self-paced (not too
slow, not too fast)
- You're unbound by time - courses
are available 24/7
- Read materials online or download
them for reading later
- Have direct access to specific
help by e-mail
Lower Cost and
- Choose from a wide range of
courses to meet your needs
- Degree, Vocational, and
Certificate programs, continuing Education
- From art to zoology you can do it
all online in a price range to fit your budget.
- Go back to school to get a degree,
learn a new skill, learn a new craft, or just have
- An online learning benefit is it
accommodates your preferences and needs - it's
- Choose instructor-led or
- Skip over material you already
know and focus on topics you'd like to learn
- Use the tools best suited to your
- Find it easier to contribute
without being dominated by louder and more assertive
- Online learning will draw you to
topics you like and enjoy. Studies show that because of this and the variety
of delivery methods used to reach different types of learners, learning
retention is frequently better than in a traditional
- Technology tools make
collaboration among students much easier. This a great benefit of online
learning. Since many projects involve collaborative learning, the online
environment is far easier (and often more comfortable) to work in since
learners don't have to be face-to-face. Web-based education tools provide many
ways to increase communication between class members and faculty, including
discussion boards, chats, and e-mails. Real time collaboration can help create
breadth of thinking and generate more insights
- The global learning community is
at your fingertips with online learning. The technologies used give online
instructional designers the ability to build in tools that take you to
resources you may never see in a traditional training
Benefits of online
learning to the Trainer or Organization
Some of the most
outstanding advantages to the trainer or organization are:
- Learning times reduced, an average
of 40 to 60 percent, as found by Brandon Hall (Web-based Training
Cookbook, 1997, p. 108).
content is possible with asynchronous, self-paced
- Providing 24/7 accessibility to
course materials. Some students work best in the
morning, some in the evening.
- Knowledge is communicated, but more
importantly captured, with good e-learning and knowledge management systems.
- Accommodate different learning
instructor can also present these materials in many formats to accommodate
different types of learning styles. For example, if an instructor puts both
lecture notes and slides online, both visual and auditory learners benefit. Students can help their learning by finding teaching services specifically for their precise needs.
Students who prefer to focus on "listening" and "watching" during
lecture do not have to worry that they are missing important concepts while
scrambling to take copious notes. They can focus on understanding the material
and concepts as they are presented
- Reduced overall
cost is the
single most influential benefits of online learning. The elimination of
costs associated with instructor's salaries, meeting room rentals, and student
travel, lodging, and meals are directly quantifiable. The reduction of time
spent away from the job by employees may be the most positive offshoot.
application to the job averages an increase of 25 percent over traditional
methods, according to an independent study by J.D. Fletcher (Multimedia
Review, Spring 1991, pp.33-42).
- Proof of completion and
certification, essential elements of training
initiatives, can be
Disadvantages to the
Trainer or Organization
The benefits of online
learning are not limitless. It does have limitations, among
required of an e-learning solution is larger due to development costs. Budgets
and cash flows will need to be negotiated.
- Technology issues
that play a
factor include whether the existing technology infrastructure can accomplish
the training goals, whether additional tech expenditures can be justified, and
whether compatibility of all software and hardware can be
- Limited formatting of content in current browsers -
The WBT you create will not resemble the CBT you might be familiar with
because of Net bandwidth constraints. So if your content relies on a lot of
media "bells and whistles," or particular formatting, the Net might not be the
best delivery medium.
- Cannot design and develop robust multimedia
courses . Limited bandwidth means slower performance for sound, video, and
- Many, if not most, of today's
web-based training programs are too static, with little if any
online learning may exist according to some experts, though are limited in
number. Even the acquisition of skills that involve complex physical/motor or
emotional components (for example, juggling or mediation) can be augmented
acceptance is an issue where trainees backgrounds and values may
mean they are not comfortable with computers at all
Disadvantages to the Learner
The ways in which
e-learning may not excel over other training include:
issues of the
learners are most commonly technophobia and unavailability of required
- Portability of training has become one of the benefits of onlne learning with the proliferation of network linking points, notebook
computers, PDAs, and mobile phones, but still does not rival that of printed
workbooks or reference material.
- Reduced social and cultural interaction
can be a drawback. The impersonality, suppression of communication mechanisms
such as body language, and elimination of peer-to-peer learning that are part
of this potential disadvantage are lessening with advances in communications
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