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What is elearning?

Elearning definition

Electronic learning (or elearning) involves the use of digital devices and the internet to access learning materials and participate in learning activities. Elearning can take various forms, including online courses, broadcasts, quizzes, PDF’s and interactive games. It allows learners to study at their own pace, without the constraints of a traditional classroom setting.

More specifically in the context of workplace learning, elearning refers to using digital tools, platforms and Learning Management Systems to deliver training and development programs to employees. This covers everything from onboarding, to providing ongoing skill development and compliance training.

Elearning in the workplace is an engaging and convenient way for all members of staff to access their training materials from wherever they work - even from their own mobile devices - reducing costs and the need for time-consuming in-person training sessions.

Some elearning platforms also offer Data and Analytics features, which allow administrators to track and report on progress.

Elearning example

Graydon has just started their new role as a Product Manager at a tech company. When they are welcomed on their first day, they are set up with their own user profile on the company’s learning platform, Thrive. They go through a custom Onboarding pathway, which takes them through everything they need to know about the company and their specific role.

They are assigned a cybersecurity module within the platform, which teaches them how to protect themself and the company against any cyber-attacks. Within the module, they complete videos, PDF’s and quizzes about the topic, gaining the necessary knowledge as they complete the training.

Later, it’s Pride Month, and a campaign is running within Thrive. The campaign is made up of additional, optional resources that teach employees about the history and significance of Pride Month. Graydon takes this optional piece of elearning while on the bus to work.

Elearning FAQ's

How do you use elearning?

To use elearning, you access online platforms or courses, study digital materials like videos and quizzes, engage with instructors or peers virtually, complete assessments, and earn certificates upon completion, all facilitated through internet-enabled devices like computers or smartphones.

How effective is elearning?

Every learner is different, but in general, elearning is highly effective - both for learning outcomes, and the organisation’s budget. Take this case study of IBM. They rolled out corporate elearning, and learned five times more content at one third of the cost when compared to traditional, in-person training. This led to the company saving $200 million.

It’s also time-saving. A Brandon Hall study found that elearning takes 40% - 60% less employee time than traditional learning.

What is the difference between elearning and online learning?

Elearning typically refers to any form of learning facilitated by electronic technologies, encompassing various methods like online courses, interactive tutorials, and digital resources.

On the other hand, online learning specifically refers to learning activities conducted over the internet, often through dedicated platforms or websites, but may not necessarily involve electronic technologies beyond the internet itself.

Therefore, while elearning encompasses a broader range of electronic learning methods, online learning specifically focuses on education delivered through internet-based platforms.

What are the benefits of elearning?

The benefits of elearning include flexibility in learning schedules, accessibility, cost-effectiveness by reducing travel and materials expenses, personalised learning experiences tailored to individual needs, and the ability to revisit materials for reinforcement.

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