elearning-blogE-Learning is widely used to train employees in the public sector and in larger organisations, according to a CIPD survey carried out this year, but not so popular in small organisations.

What are the major benefits of e-Learning?

  1. Reduced costs – employees can access training from their desks/homes or even the beach if they want to which reduces travel costs in either sending employees to external training providers or bringing external providers into the organisation. British Telecom delivered e-business training to 23,000 employees in three months, at a cost of £5.9 million, compared to £17.8 million and a five-year time span for classroom training.
  2. Reduced management time – rather than managers repeating the same in house training over and over again, they can simply direct new employees to the e-Learning platform
  3. Lower environmental impact – organisations can reduce their carbon footprint by requiring less business related travel and also by saving paper
  4. More effective learning – it can be very frustrating when a trainer has to cater to more than one learning pace in a group of learners, the pace can seem too slow for some and too fast for others, learners can work at their own pace when they have access to their own e-Learning package

How effective is e-Learning?

While it has its benefits, organisations should be aware that it can be more useful in certain areas than others. For example it may be better for information based training such as health and safety, data protection, technology or induction training rather than being used to develop soft or more complex skills.

It is also still important to consider the needs of the individual, as learning styles can vary. Some employees may prefer more social learning, where they can bounce ideas off other attendees, whilst others may prefer physical learning such as on the job training. Therefore e-Learning is a tool to deliver a method of training and the method used will impact on effectiveness.

CIPD’s 2014 survey found that while e-Learning was favoured and considered more effective than external training and formal education courses it was fourth most effective after coaching by line managers, which shows that it cannot be used alone. Read more about how Wolfestone can help with your e-learning needs.

Education-and-eLearning

So why is e-Learning less popular in small businesses?

It could be the case that the costs involved in setting up or developing an e-Learning platform with which to deliver training is too prohibitive for a small business in the short term, even though it may save them money in the long run.

Is e-Learning a luxury only accessible by larger organisations? Have you found a cost effective way of embracing the technology?

 

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by Emma Hughes

Emma is Co-Managing Director and Head of Human Resources at Wolfestone. She contributes to the blog on areas such as human resources, supplier management and corporate social responsibility. When she's not contributing exciting content, you'll most likely find her scouting out talented people to add to the ever-expanding Wolfestone family!

  • Rhys

    Great article Emma! Really useful! I like your comment about how e-Learning might be better for technology. I recently had some e-Learning training for some translation software, and it helped me a lot since picking up software seems to be quite an intuitive process – it’s just you and the computer screen basically and away you go. I still think I prefer more social learning on the whole though. I enjoy a good discussion where ideas are shared. I like on the job training too. From personal experience, I’d say you often feel like you’re making progress more quickly with on the job training which makes it more rewarding.

    • Emma Hughes

      Thanks Rhys! I agree, I really like training in a group where you can also learn from others. I guess there are also ways of doing this via e-Learning if you have built in forums and others doing the training as well. Perhaps it’s not quite the same though!

  • The spread of e-learning is wideand varied. There are many organizations- big or small, which have reaped thebenefits of adopting e-learning practices. The ways that larger organizationsimplement e-learning or learning management systems is different from the waythat smaller organizations go with. Here are some different scenarios where e-learning works – across organizations of different sizes and varied learning
    needs- http://www.gc-solutions.net/blog/lms-implementation-across-different-scenarios/