41.7% of global Fortune 500 Companies at present are using e-learning in some form to train their employees. Moreover, 77% of US companies are offering online corporate training, in one or the other form, to their employees.
It is a notable fact that a majority of the business organizations has universally adopted online education for training and development. From successful multi-national enterprises to non-profit institutions, everyone believes that classroom training is inadequate, and e-learning is a perfect supplement to the same.
Business organizations were one of the early adopters of this learning tech, and it has aided them to achieve their business and organizational goals up to a massive scale. Before we get into the ‘how’ part, let us first understand the concept of ‘e-learning platforms’ and how they are organically related to our topic for discussion.
What are e-learning platforms?
An e-learning platform is a medium that allows a trainer to create online courses and learners to access these courses from anywhere. These applications come packed with all set of key features and functionalities to host a learner and a tutor on the same platform. You can also call them content management systems with an extra set of essential features for online teaching and learning activity.
What are business goals, and how e-learning fits-in?
Although distinct business organizations have their own set of key principles and paramount objectives, they all tend to agree with some collective organizational goals, also called as fundamental goals.
- Products and Services training
It is crucial for business organizations to educate their new employees about the products and services they offer. Moreover, it is equally significant to expose the current staff with new products and services. To keep up with these needs and survive the competition from rivals, one cannot rely on classroom training to tutor a huge base of employees scattered across the globe.
E-learning is their best bet that can deliver required training materials anywhere, at any time and on any device. Trainers can simply create a course, and employees with an access to the learning platform can complete the specific course from anywhere.
- Compliance with legal and ethical practices
To function without aggravation and prevent any impairment to the brand-reputation, businesses and their employees must comply with the legal, social and ethical practices. Classroom training is incompetent to educate thousands of employees at different locations and accomplish the required level of compliance from them.
Online training offers a competent solution by on boarding all your employees on a single platform and allowing them to procure the learning material from anywhere. As compared to the hassles of classroom training, it is cost-effective and simpler to implement. Organizations can designate a central repository of updated legal and ethical practices on an e-learning platform, and employees can instantly access it from anywhere.
- Compliance with business process and tools
Businesses depend on a comprehensive range of software tools and practices to comply with the standards of manufacturing, development and service process. For each of the adopted tool and standardization protocol, they must prepare their workforce to comply with them. As these fundamental standards are crucial for continuous improvement in productivity and service quality, a voluntary compliance will also eliminate the depletion chances that come with random practices.
For these purposes alone, each year, businesses invest millions on classroom training of their employees. Again, e-learning comes as a lifesaver by enhancing the cost-effectiveness and efficiency throughout the training process. It allows your workforce to adapt to the current and changing processes, resulting in enormous paybacks in the efficiencies of your employees.
Usage of e-learning to achieve business goals
- Independent courses
In online learning, independent courses with digestible chunks of information are strung together to establish a kindlier course coverage overall. These chucks represent micro-courses, which can be completed by a learner in few minutes without any assistance from the trainer or a peer learner. Businesses can utilize these micro-learning modules to train their workforce on lengthy topics without trainees getting tired of the same.
- Blended training
One cannot just replace the classroom training with online learning overnight. Despite the superior efficiency and cost-effective nature of the former, classroom teaching is still the leading training methodology in many business organizations. However, businesses that have adopted e-learning as one of their training methods are gradually moving towards an absolute online environment by blending-in the same with classroom training modules. They are using accessible methods like online quizzes, multimedia teaching aids and web trips in aid to traditional methods of teaching.
- Just-In-Time job assistance
Employees get Just-in-time job assistance at the point of executing a specific task. This may include printouts from the knowledge base, previous records, handwritten notes and many more. These traditional methods might have served their purposes in the past; one cannot be sure they are as efficient in the current scenario as well. These notes are huge and unorganized with so many unrelated things, consuming a great deal of time in reading and sorting them one-by-one.
By applying the e-learning methodologies, businesses can save a lot of time and collaborative effort through delivering only the relevant information on the mobile phones. It will guarantee the conveyance of accurate information at the correct time, at the correct place and in the appropriate quantity.
Techs used for successful implementation of e-learning
There are four types of fundamental technologies used for successful implementation of an online teaching and learning platform-
- E-learning Authoring Tools
An e-learning authoring tool is a software that provides all the required features for developing online courses. These tools come inbuilt with features to create engaging courses in different formats and styles like presentations, PDFs, videos, audios, text files. Notable examples of some e-learning authoring tools are Articulate Storyline, PinLearn and Adobe Captivate.
- HTML 5
HTML 5 is a newer version of the Hypertexts Markup Language, which come with competent methods for creating mobile friendly web pages. E-learning platforms that support HTML 5 can develop courses, which can be viewed from all kinds of web browsers on modern devices like desktops, smartphones and tablets.
- Mobile Applications
Mobile applications provide a more personalized user experience to the learners on smartphones. These apps are designed to serve only a specific e-learning platform and come with advanced features to maintain a track of the online learning process. Most of the website based learning platforms additionally provide the mobile apps to their users for both Android and iOS.
- Learning Management System | LMS
An LMS is a similar software program like e-learning platforms. In addition to the course creation abilities, it provides advanced features for tracking the learning progress, maintaining training records, generating reports, gamification of teaching process(quizzes) and peer-to-peer messaging, etc.
Time to invest in something cost-effective
Businesses operate from remote locations across the planet. As a result, the soaring cost of training and development remains a great concern for them. E-learning can save more than 60 percent of the combined costs that businesses spend on classroom training every year. For example, it requires a great deal of time and money to develop distinct offline courses in various locales. One can simply create an e-learning course in English language and have it translated into corresponding locales, to fit into the local culture of the target learners.
In terms of ROI, e-learning is one of the most responsive methods of all the adopted modus operands. It is an era to save a great deal of time, money and effort, and improve your workforce efficiency by developing an online training platform for your organization. You can develop one from scratch or can also get a turnkey e-learning platform from the market.
Kathy Alameda is a content strategist at PinLearn. She develops educational technology plans and online learning strategies for schools, businesses, universities in the US & Other country. She is also an author and researcher on effective e-learning programs.