eLearning

eLearning And The Future Of Education

Is eLearning The Future Of Education?

eLearning has transformed education in both schools and businesses, making it easier for students and employees to learn at their own pace in an environment that suits them. When it comes to the future of education, it’s clear that eLearning will play a huge role in the delivery of learning materials.

When it comes to the formal education system, 78% [1] of people believe that online learning will give more access to quality education. In terms of the business sector, organizations believe that virtual learning will make up at least 40% [2] of the future learning structure, while some believe it could account for as much as 90%.

There’s no doubt about the rise of eLearning as a tool to facilitate education across all kinds of institutions. Read on to discover exactly how eLearning could become the future of education.

The Rise Of eLearning

eLearning is permeating businesses, schools, and colleges as a means for providing education in a more flexible way. Look at the education sector, for example. 53% of university teaching has moved online. It’s no wonder that 88% [1] of people believe that online learning will be a part of school and university education going forward.

It’s the same story when you consider the business sector. 57% of Learning and Development professionals are spending more time on implementing online learning in their organizations than they did 3 years ago, while 37% [3] of Learning and Development professionals are spending less time using instructor-led learning than 3 years ago.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, 98% [2] of organizations used virtual learning. The switch to eLearning is especially apparent when you look at budgets for training employees: 59% of talent developers are spending more on online learning, while 25% are spending less on instructor-led training.

Take a look at Kellogg as a prime example. Kellogg has invested in providing online learning for 10,000+ employees through LinkedIn Learning. This ensures that education can take place within the flow of work.

As Thor Flosason, global learning director for Kellogg, explains [3]:

We are well on our way to creating a culture of learning. Increasingly, Kellogg employees aren’t waiting for in-person training. They are using LinkedIn Learning to upskill themselves and immediately improve themselves and the business.

Why Has eLearning Become So Important?

There are a few reasons why eLearning has become such an important educational tool. Firstly, many organizations are now working with remote teams. These teams are often distributed across the globe. This makes in-person training a real nightmare. Rather than force teams to commute huge distances, online learning makes it possible for team members to learn new skills and access educational resources from wherever they’re located.

The same goes for students. Without eLearning, many students wouldn’t have access to course materials. eLearning and virtual classes make it possible for students around the globe to learn online and attend establishments that may have previously been out of reach.

Another major reason that eLearning has become vital is resilience. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown businesses and educational institutions the need for online learning in the face of a crisis.

For educational establishments, eLearning allows educators to carry on teaching the curriculum without interruption. For businesses, eLearning provides a route to reskilling employees so they can continue to carry out their jobs even if they’re not in their workplace.

Additionally, eLearning allows both educational establishments and businesses to tailor learning experiences to individuals. 80% of managers and HR professionals admit that they still cannot overcome internal skills gaps. eLearning helps to close those gaps by identifying the specific needs of each person and customizing educational materials to meet those requirements.

For businesses especially, this makes eLearning an important investment. By investing in the personalized education of employees, companies can enjoy better employee performance from more highly-educated staff.

Lastly, online learning tools make it easier to measure the impact of education and training. Learning platforms collect quantitative data that make it clear how successful the learning experience has been for employees and students. Online learning platforms can also help organizations code qualitative feedback on the learning experience.

How Is eLearning Shaping The Future Of Education?

eLearning provides a whole range of new formats to facilitate employee and student learning in an interactive way. Here are some of the ways eLearning is transforming education for the future.

1. Virtual Schooling

Thanks to advancements in online video meeting software, virtual lessons have now become far easier. Students and employees can log into the virtual meeting room and attend live-stream classes with an educator presenting a lesson. This has been shown to be a highly effective way of providing remote learning. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 23% [4] of students attended live stream classes. 67% of parents said that they were satisfied with the results of this style of learning.

In fact, 43% of parents agree that remote learning in this way gets their child ready for the next grade [4]. Moving into the future, 79% [1] of people believe college students will attend classes virtually, while 70% believe that elementary and high school students will be schooled virtually.

2. Self-Directed Learning

Traditionally, both schools and companies have set the educational timetable, telling learners what and when they’ll learn. However, more than 35% of employees want self-directed and independent learning opportunities, and 74% want to learn during their spare time at work. What’s more, 83% [1] of people in the U.S. think that school education will begin to take a more self-service approach, especially for older students.

In response to this, 35% [3] of Learning and Development professionals are focusing on creating self-directed learning experiences for employees using online learning solutions. It’s more than likely that schools will go down the same path, using Learning Management Systems (LMS) that enable students to access learning materials online at their own pace.

That way, learners can educate themselves on the topics they feel they’re most interested in or need to work on at a pace that suits them.

3. Learning On-The-Go

In-person education requires learners to be in the room with the teacher at the time that the class occurs. eLearning offers a more flexible approach where learners can access learning materials whenever they like, making it easier to learn on the go. This is why 42% of Learning and Development professionals focus on marketing the flexibility of online learning.

57% of employees admit that they prefer accessing learning modules on the go. With online learning experiences, learners can dip into educational content through smartphone apps and online hubs that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time.

4. One-To-One Online Tutoring

One-to-one tutoring is arguably one of the most effective ways to educate a person, as 100% of the teacher’s attention is on the student. Parents whose children used online one-to-one tutoring during the COVID-19 pandemic were the most satisfied with this learning method over any other [4]. Not only that, but 14% of parents also plan to pay for one-to-one online tutoring to supplement their child’s schooling in the future [4]. But online tutoring extends beyond schooling.

In global business, for example, companies are hiring online English tutors to teach employees to speak better English to facilitate international deals.

5. Sharing Learning Materials

During the COVID-19 pandemic, 79% of children accessed digital learning materials online provided by their schools [4]. Thanks to state-of-the-art LMS solutions, it’s now easier than ever for teachers to share learning materials with students who can access them remotely.

Beyond this, there are also tools that enable students to share resources between themselves.

Take StuDocu, for example. It makes it easy for students to share school and college lecture notes, study resources, and coursework with other students. The learning platform makes it simple to search by subject, school, category, and language to find the resources that best fit your learning needs.

6. VR And AR To Simulate Real-World Scenarios

39% of Learning and Development professionals think that Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) will significantly impact online learning [3]. Imagine how much more effective organizational training would be if educators were able to simulate real-world situations so learners could experience these first-hand.

Just like a pilot learning to fly a plane with a simulator, VR and AR tools will enable learners to experience different scenarios as though they’re there, rather than simply learning from a book or a lecture.

While this may seem like something that’s far into the future, 62% of business leaders already indicate that they’re shifting to more interactive forms of learning, such as simulations [2].

7. Personalized Learning Experiences

Learners are tired of sitting in classrooms learning lessons they already know. Thanks to advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, personalized learning experiences are now more possible than ever. By using data collected from learning platforms, training systems can now offer more personalized recommendations for each learner.

This is an encouraging step forward that inspires learning within the workplace. In fact, 79% of learners said that they would use personalized course recommendations based on their career goals and skills gaps. This is why 49% of Learning and Development professionals think that using AI/machine learning as a tool to drive more accurate personalization will have a significant impact in the coming years [3].

The Bottom Line

eLearning offers a flexible learning experience that’s easily accessible for students and employees all over the world. Moving from static digital learning materials to personalized, interactive educational experiences, eLearning is transforming. Online learning now offers a more three-dimensional learning opportunity for employees and students.

References:

[1] The Global Learner Survey

[2] Future of learning in the wake of COVID-19 Consulting | India Perspective 

[3] 2020 Workplace Learning Report

[4] 2020 Deloitte back-to-school survey Learning to grow amidst uncertainty

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