We live in an amazing time in history, when eLearning has allowed us to learn new information and skills and develop professionally outside of a traditional learning environment. One incredible side effect of this opportunity is allowing us to become lifelong learners, developing skills throughout our professional lives and beyond. Here are some of the ways eLearning courses allow for what some experts in continued education calls the “60 year curriculum,” and what features make eLearning engaging and impactful.
Things change quickly these days, so we are all constantly learning – whether we know it consciously or not. With new technology, new opportunities and new compliance regulations popping up everyday, we’re constantly learning or we’re left behind. In fact, one Forbes article states “the half-life of any skill is about five years,” putting the burden of learning and developing on leaders in order to keep their organization relevant.
eLearning courses are customizable and easily updated, allowing for agility to respond to changing needs and trends. As an organization grows, agile eLearning material can help you take advantage of new opportunities and maximize the relevance of information. Agility also benefits the learner, personalizing the learner’s experience and allowing them to take advantage of opportunities while they are available, instead of requiring them to put their lives on hold to focus solely on learning a skill or receiving a certification that could be irrelevant in a matter of months.
Possibly the most exciting feature of eLearning is that it allows for an incredible amount of freedom and flexibility for the learner. Instead of leaving your job to go back to school, taking night classes or investing weekends or vacations in courses, eLearning allows for learners to engage in material in a way that is convenient to their personal and professional lives.
eLearning puts users in control of their learning experience. Yes, self directed courses allow for flexibility around time and location, but it goes deeper than that. eLearning harnesses the power of tech with solutions like VR, AR and AI to provide a targeted and optimized user experience. 3D deepens learners’ experience with the material by giving them the opportunity to experience scenarios and test their skills before they occur in the workplace, so they’re better prepared and ready. It also allows for the opportunity to “see” things that would be impossible to see in real life, such as the inside of complex machinery. It’s also empowering to have control over your learning process and develop your own personalized learning path.
Mobile platforms mean learners can learn on the go, and trends like microlearning and gamification allow for learners to participate in bite size increments or compete against friends, deepening engagement and retention. As users interact with the technology, it can collect data that allows for improvements and optimization along the way.
In a traditional classroom, you’ve only got so many seats. If an organization has to invest in sending just a few leaders to receive additional education, it becomes an exclusive opportunity. If continuous learning is going to become a requirement in our professional development (and it is), everyone needs access to high-quality training and education, making eLearning powerful in its ability to reach educational markets that would not otherwise be able to access the quality or content of these courses.
eLearning has allowed for the birth of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), online courses designed for unlimited participation, a format that is becoming more and more popular over time. In 2014, over 24 million people took a Codeacademy course! Even on a smaller scale, eLearning is, by nature, incredibly inclusive as it allows for high numbers of students to participate in a course without really deeply impacting the investment for the organization. The flexible and adaptive nature of eLearning makes it easier for learners to commit to lifelong learning opportunities, as they’re in control of the process
We believe in lifelong learning, not just for professional development, but for satisfaction and happiness in our lives. Continuous learning is good for our health, our financial well-being and even our social lives. That alone is worth signing up for your next course or launching your next training module!