The way we learn and how we choose to be educated, is finally up to us. With a Wifi connection, you can learn something new every hour. I’m going to try to examine what transpired throughout these last few years to have made e-learning become one of the fastest growing approaches to study in our times.
“Books will soon be obsolete in schools… It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture.” – Thomas Edison (1913)
Twenty years ago, educators discovered that the internet could bring education to people who couldn’t come to college due to geographical or time constraints. Today, online learning is so widespread and ubiquitous that the reverse is happening – people who can go to college are opting not to.
Computer-based training programmes started in 1999 in countries with developed economies. However, with the emergence of mobile technology, the floodgates seem to have opened – deluging even the smallest and most isolated of economies today.
People across the globe are becoming students in the privacy of their homes and workplaces. Employees and employers are learning skillsets and competencies in their free time. The very young and the very old are plucking knowledge off the internet like low-hanging fruit.
In today’s rapidly changing world, self-paced learning through a Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) is accessible and affordable for the masses. The fact is, people everywhere are looking for ways to develop themselves – they are hungry for knowledge and improvement. E-Learning has removed all the usual barriers to entry.
A Voracious Appetite For Learning
E-Learning’s popularity isn’t showing any signs of slowing. In fact, vendors offering online courses are gobbling up huge chunks of the education sector.
The recent huge spike in usage is predictably the result of a new and emerging clientele base of corporations and SMEs. Why are companies turning to online training? The answer has more grounding in social economics rather than education.
While the original premise of e-Learning was to cater to students – the kind who enrolled and studied toward an accreditation – the new identity for online education is now as a tool for career progression, lifelong learning and leadership development for work professionals.
Major companies now report that e-Learning is the second most valuable training that they use. That is no surprise, given that training online reduces expenses by 50% compared to traditional sessions conducted by a live instructor.
In addition to that, e-Learning has the power to increase employees’ information retention rates by up to 60%. A recent study conducted by The Research Institute of America, noted that not only is e-Learning more cost efficient, but also it’s also more effective (using big data and analytics to measure learning progress).