The benefits of online learning

By: Kevin Seth AU, ARM, AAI, AIS, AINS

The most popular training used to be classroom style training where the company would try to schedule everyone to come in on the same time and day for a classroom training session.  Scheduling is typically difficult and inevitably, some people wouldn’t make it and you would have to schedule another session.   Online learning has gained tremendous popularity by solving this issue along with many other benefits.

Online learning allows a company to assign training and allows employees to take the course at their convenience, thereby eliminating the scheduling headaches for the company.  It allows the employee to take the course when they are the most focused.  These advantages make the employees more apt to take the course and get the most out of it.

The ability to take courses anytime, anywhere and on various devices (computer, phone, and tablet), makes this very convenient for the employee. It also does not require the employee to drive to a training site. This flexibility allows the employee to create their own environment that best suits their learning style. This can be at home, work, at a rest stop or almost anywhere.

There is limited academic pressure with online learning.  The employees do not have to show up at a certain time and doesn’t have to sit through a lecture.  There is no peer pressure that comes along with sitting in a classroom with your co-workers. Classroom training that requires testing may, at times, have long delays in receiving the results.  With online learning, the employee receives immediate test results which reduces employee stress.

Typically, everyone learns differently and at a different pace.  Classroom training has the disadvantages of requiring everyone to learn in the same type of environment and at the same pace.  Employees must keep-up and take notes to review later.  Online learning allows an employee to work at their own pace and review the materials as many times as they want.  This allows them to review the materials they need the most help with.

There are a measurable number of benefits for the employer as well.  Online learning typically offers a broad range of training materials, and many are industry specific.  The administration is much easier with the elimination of scheduling, time spent setting up and coordinating training classes.  It is much more cost effective with the reduction of administrative costs, less employee time, and no trainer cost.  The employer also benefits with the increase in the number of employees completing trainings and typically with greater comprehension.

Do drivers know they should not speed? Do certain employees know they have to wear personal protective equipment?  Of course, they do. The idea with some training is to put safety in the forefront of the employee’s minds.   Online training lends itself to offer more frequent, short training courses to re-enforce the correct behavior and remind employees of the repercussion of incorrect behaviors.

Today, with improved internet accessibility and where most people have iPhones and computers, online learning becomes a more viable solution to cost effective training.