Is E-Learning The New Education System?
The world has been living with the reality of the pandemic for more than a year now. The outbreak of COVID-19 demanded a reevaluation and reorganization of all pre-existing systems. The education system was one area that registered such a systemic change that it was transformed beyond recognition. While it is true that e-learning systems did exist prior to the pandemic, they have replaced the older model to become the norm today.
Electronic learning, which is more commonly referred to as e-learning, is a system of education conducted through digital resources on a virtual platform. The term “e-learning” was coined by Elliot Maisie, an education technology expert in 1999. The development of Internet infrastructure, technological advancements in the field of multimedia, and the accessibility and affordability of digital devices made it possible for the e-learning model to come into existence. Since it is delivered online, learning can take place remotely and there is no necessity to congregate in one physical location. It is due to this advantage that this model of learning was adopted by various institutions and organizations across the world during the pandemic which mandated social distancing and self-isolation.
However, this is not the only advantage that the e-learning system has.
Dr. Ulrik Juul Christensen, Chief Executive Officer of Area9 Group said, “Organizations worldwide spend more than $350 billion on corporate training and education each year, but much of it is ineffective.”
Firms and companies have realized today that e-learning is a cost-effective and time-efficient method to educate workers. The system bestows considerable flexibility with respect to schedule as well as curriculum and modules. Therefore, learners can participate in these education programs at their own convenience. Further, it goes beyond the possibilities of a traditional model of learning as it incorporates elements like infographics, audio, videos, and so on into an integrated system. This vastly improves the learning experience, leads to a better conceptual understanding of various subjects, and builds a strong foundation of knowledge. This is of tremendous benefit for the personnel concerned. E-learning programs familiarise employees with developments taking place in their field of work. They can overcome knowledge gaps through microlearning. Equipped with advanced know-how, personnel are more productive and efficient. The overall improvement in performance by the workforce which can be achieved through training staff through e-Learning is desirable for any establishment.
In recent years, the scope of e-learning has broadened. Not only do e-learning systems provide employee training, they can also be beneficial for compliance training and partner training. Compliance training programs educate workers regarding the regulations and laws their roles, job function, and industry is subject to. Conducting such programs is important for organizations and companies to meet the ethical and legal standards of their industry and maintain safety and dignity among the workforce. Partner training is oriented towards company partners to enable them to become successful members of the company’s network. These programs allow the company to engage partners, reduce support costs, promote information exchange, and in turn boost sales. Just like compliance training, partner training protects the brand and projects the image of the brand as responsible.
The technological advancements that have taken place in recent years have accelerated the pace at which e-learning has been taking over the field of education. Today, online educators are equipped with sophisticated tools which make e-learning a systematic and comprehensive process. A Learning Management System or LMS is a software program that is used for the delivery, administration, and curation of educational and training programs. It is important for e-learning tools to be responsive if they are to be efficient vehicles of training and information. There have been many creative, out-of-the-box innovations that have made the entire process of education extremely engaging. According to a survey by TalentLMS, 75 percent of the workforce play online games. Gamification has been introduced in many e-learning modules because it enhances the learners’ experience. Point systems and leaderboards introduce healthy competition among learners and help individuals connect with one another.
The job market today is highly competitive. Candidates must suit the recruiters’ exact requirements by possessing the specific technological know-how and knowledge base. Employees must also constantly update their knowledge base to stay relevant. E-learning is empowering for the individuals as this model allows them to have more freedom and agency over their education. E-learning programs like Massive Online Open Courses or MOOCs offer online educational courses with reputable certificates and credentials. E-learning has led to the equality of opportunities for people from different backgrounds as they can now qualify and compete for jobs and positions that would otherwise have been out of their reach. It is no longer imperative that a potential asset has to be a top university graduate as corporations and firms are recognizing the value of education that is delivered via e-learning programs.
The concept of workplaces has altered dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic. It is only natural that workplace education and training will also evolve in concurrence with the change. Even as lockdown restrictions are easing and businesses and institutions are opening their doors physically, it seems that the “new normal” has been firmly established. Having witnessed the advantages of e-learning, it is unlikely that institutions will now switch back to the older traditional model of education.
Tsutomu Sakurai of Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporations said, “Human Resource development is indispensable for companies to grow. What’s currently gaining attention is “blended learning”, which combines live training and on-demand streaming and uses web meeting systems and e-learning.”
E-learning is undoubtedly the future of education and it will soon become the standard system of education in the next few years.
Written By Bidisha Boral for The Growup Group