With the ever-changing digital landscape, one thing’s for certain: e-learning is here to stay, and for good reason. The benefits of online courses and advantages of online learning for educators, business owners, and students are unparalleled in terms of retention and scalability.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen a boom in the development of learning management systems (LMS) to meet and keep up with the demand for online course delivery. You can read more about what an LMS is here.
While these LMS plugins and platforms all provide varying suites of features, and some may be better suited for one industry in comparison to another, there are 6 advantages of e-learning that stand true for almost every business and education sector.
Table of Contents
- 1: Reduced Time and Spending
- 2: Flexible Learning Environment
- 3: Increased Retention
- 4: Scalability
- 5: Personalization
- 6: Reduced Carbon Footprint
- More Advantages & Benefits
- How to Choose Your Learning Management System
1: Reduced Time and Spending
Delivering your content and material through an e-learning platform saves time and money for the course administrator and the student. Cost savings and the gift of time mix intangible and tangible benefits, and together, they highlight some of the strongest advantages to online learning.
- Faster Learning – According to elearningindustry.com, students consume online lessons and material 25-60% faster than they would if the same content was delivered in a traditional learning environment.
- No Commute – The lack of physical travel is a double win, which saves time and money by eliminating the commute.
- Physical Materials are Reduced or Eliminated – You also save money on the materials needed to deliver an in-person educational experience. The reduction in printed materials is a savings for both the student and the educator.
These three areas of reduced costs lead to increased profitability for the business or organization.
And what is also important to note is the intangible benefits. The move to online learning frees up both the student and the educator mentally and financially. This allows them to reallocate resources to activities that promote a healthy work-life balance.
2: Flexible Learning Environment
Using an online learning platform makes it possible for you to create an environment that puts your students front and center. You’re able to deliver the same material through various mediums to accommodate each student’s learning style, which is great to keep in mind as you work through your online course development.
For each lesson, you can provide a pre-recorded video lecture paired with slides of examples and notes. This multimedia experience allows students to listen to the MP3 version if they are more auditory learners, and/or provide a transcript of the lesson with slides to download for those who learn best through reading the material.
If your content is a hands-on project or experiment, you can provide written tutorials and pre-recorded videos demonstrating each step.
e-Learning allows each student to consume the content via the medium that will benefit them the most. This puts more control in the students’ hands, which will amplify their learning experience.
3: Increased Retention
Having the ability to consume content through an online learning platform is a sure-fire way to increase retention of the training material.
Recorded training materials allow a student to replay any of the content on an as-needed basis. This could provide an immediate replay of challenging material or it could serve as a refresher for older material. Repetition is often the key to retention and with an online platform, the availability of this additional training requires no additional time or investment on the course instructor’s part.
There are learning management systems on the market that make it possible for you to include built-in checkpoints throughout a course or lesson. These checkpoints of quizzes or homework help ensure the student is completing the material and retaining the information. They also can provide immediate feedback to the student on how well they grasp the subject material.
You can even set up your online courses to only allow a user to unlock or move on to the next lesson when they’ve completed the prior lesson. This completion status may be driven by a passed quiz, a watched video, a completed homework assignment, or even a self-assessment by the student. The key is you are allowing the student to progress at their pace and do so at a rate that allows them to maximize their retention.
Once you have a solid foundation in place for delivering your courses, consider adding in LMS gamification to issue points and reward your students for their efforts.
Hosting your training classes and lessons online makes it possible for you to scale and increase your reach. While scalability is fourth on our list of e-learning advantages, it is a very important element of online education.
As an educator, you’re able to reach more students than you could inside a traditional classroom. You can offer free or paid courses or even memberships. High education institutions have already discovered the importance of scalability and there are over offered online by Ivy League universities.
Online business owners, entrepreneurs, and corporations are taking their training classes and seminars online to reach even more people. This virtual scalability allows a small business owner to reach students well outside their geographical reach and extend to people across the globe. Geography is no longer a constraint to finding students who will benefit from what they have to offer.
You can use an online course platform to train and onboard new team members, train athletes, provide group coaching or strategy sessions, and business training to the masses.
Here at AccessAlly, our users have tripled the number of members enrolling in their online courses and increased their revenue time and time again.
With the advancements in learning management systems, you can deliver a truly personalized experience for each student.
Not every student learns at the same speed, or in the same way. Online courses allow each student to work through the material at a pace ideal for them. While including deadlines is a great way to motivate students to work towards completion, you’re still able to provide each student with the opportunity to work through the material at a rate that’s supportive of their learning style.
Most online learning platforms make it possible to trigger notifications for each student based on their progress to keep them engaged with the material, so they can reach their goals.
6: Reduced Carbon Footprint
A reduced carbon footprint is another intangible advantage, but it is a critical one.
At AccessAlly we’re committed to doing as much as we can to reduce our carbon footprint, which is why we’re firm believers in the power of online learning. Our premium membership management and LMS plugin make it possible for leaders around the world to teach online.
E-learning helps to eliminate the need for printing workbooks and paper materials for students.
It reduces the need for travel to and from the classroom or office and it cuts back on the resources needed to maintain a physical location for classes and training. It creates a harmonious blend of eco-friendly, student-friendly education.
More Advantages & Benefits
Our list of six benefits are just a few of the advantages of e-learning, but so many more are present and why more educators and business owners are moving their courses online.
Almost any industry and business can benefit from the advantages of online learning. The challenge isn’t in finding the reason to adopt online learning, instead, it’s finding the right LMS software platform to create your ideal learning environment.
How to Choose Your Learning Management System
The LMS marketplace can be overwhelming, but here are 5 criteria to help you narrow down your search.
1. Choose a Flexible Tool
You want to choose an LMS plugin or platform that makes setup easy, but has the flexibility to grow with you. While you can hire a team of designers and developers, this should be a choice and not a requirement.
We recommend choosing a WordPress LMS plugin so you own your content, and aren’t at the mercy of a closed platform that makes it hard to take your content with you if they change their business model or pricing.
2. Choose a Robust Solution
When looking for an online learning package, you want to stay focused on a fully functional end-to-end solution that will play well with other software.
Reduce your tech stack and choose a training tool that includes all of the features you need, and doesn’t require you to duct tape products developed by different companies. While we love WordPress, mashing ten different plugins together to build up an LMS suite can take a log of time, energy, and money. You’re best to opt for something that is robust and all-inclusive, so you can focus more on your content and students and a lot less on the software.
A best of breed LMS solution will provide features and functionality that is tightly integrated. It will allow for third-party tools like CRM software to integrate as well.
Make your e-learning experience elegant and easy by mapping your customer journey and comparing this to what the LMS software can deliver to your students.
3. Choose a Tool That Delivers Engagement
Your e-learning environment should include powerful gamification and learning management features for:
- Tracking students’ progress through your lessons
- Offering quizzes to test retention and comprehension
- Generating PDF certificates of completion and reward students
- Tracking your students’ video views, logins, and footprints across your site
- Receiving student homework and submitting private critiques and feedback
The more you engage your students, the more they will spend time learning. The more they learn, the more value your training becomes to them.
Gamification isn’t offered by every LMS package, so watch for this feature and select only those packages that can deliver the functionality needed to keep students engaged and on-task.
4. Choose a Well Coded Tool
You want to choose an e-learning platform that was created by a software development company that is in it for the long haul, that won’t lock you out of the code, and that is constantly co-creating new features with users.
When reviewing your LMS providers, look for the following data points:
- Experience of the team
- Frequency of software updates
- Change log release notes
- Integration options to third-party software packages
- Availability of documentation
- Availability of support
- User reviews
Quality code and support won’t be the cheapest option available, but it will be well worth the money. You’ll spend a lot of time developing your training materials and you need to know your developer will be there to support you during setup, at launch, and as you grow.
5. Choose a Tool That Prioritizes the User Experience
Choose an e-learning solution that provides you with design freedom, is customizable, mobile responsive, and that will grow with you as you continue to learn about your students and improve their user experience.
A core part of successful online training is creating an exceptional user experience. This means the architecture, course flow, and design all need to support that user experience.
Demo your LMS options, so you can get a good preview of setup options, student dashboards, and course layout. The more you know before purchase, the better experience you’ll create for your future students.
AccessAlly fits the bill for all five of these criteria, and then some.