E-learning software provides a powerful training and development alternative to enrolling your employees to a college style course and it means that it is much more cost-efficient and time-efficient than traditional training methods. Classroom learning, although it still has its place in training is giving way to the newer and more intuitive eLearning systems. There are so many benefits to eLearning because you can have your training running at times to suit and to free up employees for their development sessions whenever it suits your business needs. Providing your computers have been configured to run any chosen eLearning software, you can provide specialist training sessions when you see fit.
To understand how eLearning works, you need to realise that you have a variety of options. It can be accessed via CD-ROM, Network, and Intranet or simply accessed via the Internet but certainly, there is a variety of training software available in a multitude of subjects. The beauty of eLearning means that it includes a variety of training resources such as animation, audio, written content or video. ELearning is very much self-paced. The learning is hands-on and the more intuitive the system, the better the learning experience. In fact, the learning sessions can be richly rewarding and could easily be deemed an improvement on traditional classroom based training sessions.
Employees will have different learning styles – auditory, visual and kinaesthetic, and it is true to say that some learners will enjoy a more traditional route and having time away from the workplace. But in the current financial environment where it’s all hands on deck, it is not always convenient to lose staff to a rigid training session. Employees can find the whole learning curve productive sitting away from their work station as it aids greater concentration and can become engulfed in the session, which allows for excellent learning conditions and progress. It is important to choose wisely though because eLearning can still suffer from the same type of pitfalls as traditional training and classroom environments. For example, if the software is not intuitively designed, it might leave the learner feeling uninspired by the information presented. Therefore, prior to purchase, a well-designed set of learning software should be sought with a view to purchasing aesthetically presented systems.
When purchasing your training software, do keep in mind how people learn. Any training and development whether traditional or system based requires concentration and the employee must tune into this learning time, and to pay attention. ELearning systems must be creatively designed so that they hold attention because most people have fairly short levels of concentration and focus. Designers of eLearning systems have to be aware that learners need to take regular breaks and experience dips in concentration every five minutes. So any training that can lead the learner to view different types of information that uses and stimulates different parts of the brain, then there are less fatigue and fewer concentration lapses.
It is worth saying that research into training systems should be intensive because software should cater to a learners needs for maximum absorption. Training needs to include imagery, aesthetics, and interaction and provide dynamic learning tools such as quizzes, mock tests and learning summary.
Check that your eLearning software has various types of content and this includes text, images and sound to stimulate the brain and to help with memory. On-screen games can create a great deal of interest and can also improve retention. Where possible, real-time feedback or an accuracy check should be built into the system because this will highlight incorrect responses straight away, allowing the learner to go back over certain sections. This will also help the learner to understand why and to increase focus.
E-Learning offers many benefits for your employees or, for your own training needs. Plus, it can help employees to enjoy learning because everyone can go at your own pace. No more missed information, because it is easy to go back and to double-check. All in all, eLearning can provide an excellent way to manage your employees training and development needs.
David Miller is an educational researcher who has vast experience in the field of teaching, Learning management Systems and online training. He is associated with prestigious universities and many leading educational research organizations. He’s also an ed-tech veteran, currently pursuing research in new eLearning developments, and is a contributing author with ProProfs.