Today, with most educational institutions shut down for a duration unknown, the only way forward is the eLearning module. This transition from notebooks to smart devices, classroom teaching to online teaching, and homework to online assessments seems a daunting task for many. However, E-learning is not new; it has been around for over a decade. But now, it is more popular than ever.
Although digital learning is the "new normal", the question arises whether online classroom teaching and learning will be as effective as the traditional schooling and learning experience? What does it offer? The questions are endless.
But, for your better understanding, we bring you a long list of crucial advantages of eLearning that you must know:
Easy & Fun Learning Experience
The most vital advantage of opting for e-learning – it provides an easy and fun learning experience to students. Offline classes can be tedious and stressful for students and make the learning experience ineffective. However, the case is different with the eLearning process. It is more flexible and convenient and encourages students to learn continuously.
With eLearning, students can access their materials anytime and anywhere using the various smart devices, they have. They can repeatedly go through them until their doubts get cleared. They also the freedom to choose materials that suit their needs and preferences.
One of the most significant advantages of eLearning has to be accessibility. For many students moving to another country for study, purposes are not an option. Since eLearning comes with no geographical boundaries, it eliminates all restrictions and allows individuals from all over the world to complete the courses or training they're interested in anytime, anywhere.
The fact that you can learn at your own pace makes learning more convenient for students. They can plan their schedule without making any personal sacrifice to meet teachers' class attendance requirements and traditional universities. It's also reported that self-paced learning leads to increased student satisfaction and stress reduction, ultimately resulting in improved learning outcomes. Other advantages of self-paced learning include efficiency, effectiveness, convenience, scalability, and reusability.
By Student-centered learning, we refer to a modern learning method which aims to put the students in the centre of focus, rather than the teachers. Online learning is fundamentally student-centred due to the easy implementation of student discussion boards and peer grading systems. Both E-Learning and synchronous online learning go hand-in-hand and promote student-to-student interaction. It helps plan and design an entirely student-centred online learning environment; making it one of the most advantageous offerings of E-Learning.
The other significant advantage of e-learning is its cost-effectiveness. Since students can learn anywhere at any time, students do not travel; consequently, helps simplify logistics and lowers travel cost, etc. Thus, institutions that utilize E-Learning can expect to save 50% to 70% on overall training costs.
For educational institutions, this cost-effectiveness can also be advantageous by combining e-learning with classroom-based learning; known as blended learning. It's an excellent alternative to the organizations who are not yet ready to move over to E-Learning, entirely.
Cost-efficiency applies not only to educational institutions but also applies to students. For instance, E-Learning cuts down all the expenses associated with commuting, textbooks, and childcare.
The University of North Carolina in Charlotte (UNC) and Wisconsin-Madison University are an excellent example of cost-efficiency. UNC approximately saved US$5,000,000 in 2010 by focusing on e-learning. Whereas, Wisconsin-Madison University saved US$172,000.Both the universities witnessed an increase in the number of total students in their faculties, less or no expense on infrastructure, and reduced overall time professors had to spend on learning sessions, respectively.
Individual learning styles
Allowing students to practice their individual learning styles makes E-Learning more ideal for students. In other words, in this learning model, students are free to choose specific topics of interest rather than taking up all unwanted courses in a curriculum. Individual learning styles consider individual learners' differences and understand there will never be a one-size-fits-all type of solution that would match all students at once. Thus, it gives students the freedom to learn as per their choices.
Customized learning environment
Several researchers found that employees working in environments without eye-catching elements like pictures, plants, charts, and others were 15% less productive than those working with said "distractions". The case is no different from students. With a less desirable learning environment students might not learn well, it might affect their learning performance and mental health.
In the case of E-Learning, the students have total control of their learning environment. They can customize their learning environment as per their choice. If they want to have a room filled with decorative stationaries and plants or enjoy a minimalistic learning environment without any distractions, they're free to do it. While in a traditional-setting they rarely have any say in what their learning environment looks like.
Quick delivery of lessons
In comparison to traditional teaching methods, eLearning modules provide quicker delivery of lessons. In eLearning, every class is concise and strictly covers a specific topic and is wrapped up in that single session. Ultimately, it helps eliminate the time that goes into devoting to individual student doubts. Also, learners get to define and set their learning rate by watching the lessons multiple times until they understand it wholly instead of listening to a class in a classroom. Students are also free to switch to the part where he/she wishes to brush up more; this also saves a lot of time.
Full utilization of analytics
According to Economists, data is the new oil, and E-Learning uses student data much more effectively than any other form of learning; because of E-Learning Analytics. E-Learning Analytics is the extraction of important information from online LMS.
It provides educational institutions with a rich student data, and help improve their training materials and boost learning outcomes in various ways. For example, if institutions have data on student dropout rates, they can identify potential pitfalls in their learning materials and eliminate them at the earliest. Afterwards, they can gather new data and analyze whether the changes were beneficial or not. This is just an example of how valuable data is, although its full potential is yet to be realized.
The textbook industry's overall value is $7-$10 billion, and an average college student spends approximately $1,200 per year on textbooks alone, and not all can afford this expense. Thankfully, eLearning helps cut down this expense. Online learning mode facilitates paperless learning, making it a no textbooks learning experience. All materials and resources are already available online and accessible, with no restrictions. Another best thing is the learning materials can be retaken and updated an infinite amount of time, unlike textbooks which need to be reissued and rebought if updated.
In a traditional learning environment, a wide range of resource are required. A single instructor cannot teach a high number of students in just one classroom or at a corporate training institution.
While, on the other hand, with eLearning, the reach of educators is virtually infinite. With money and time saved, educators can preserve more resources. Scalability also helps enhance the effects of learning and teaching processes, enabling both parties involved.
Another significance of online learning is its time-efficiency. E-learning cuts the learning time down by 25% to 60% compared to traditional classroom learning. In traditional learning, making changes in curriculums is a long and complicated process, and is often avoided due to its complexity. However, in E-Learning, lessons can be delivered and updated quickly and efficiently.
As aforesaid, eLearning requires no textbooks, almost all materials, and resources are available over the internet; providing some relief to Mother Nature. eLearning offers a paperless learning experience and promotes a carbon-free environment. As per research, distance-based learning consumes 90% less energy and 85% less carbon emission. Also, as students can learn from home, there is less need to commute, and there is no need for buildings and spaces, which saves the energy to provide such facilities.
This modern way of learning, nowadays, is the most preferred education channel for all kinds of learners. It is continuously developing and changing the industry with its offerings. eLearning is disrupting the traditional method of learning, massively. From the study material to the unnecessary consumption of a large proportion of energy, from concentrated attention to each student to better assignments, and a comfortable learning environment, eLearning is replacing most traditional education failings.
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