E – learning is training or education done without bringing either the teacher or the students together in a classroom. It is designed to use one or more of the new technologies (for example, teleconferencing, Internet, CD’s) to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information that leads to successful learning.
How Does It Work?
Course participants and the instructor stay at their own locations and link up through these technologies to review new information, discuss key points, take up assignments, and resolve questions and problems. Course materials are often distributed electronically, well in advance to give trainees all the time necessary to competely absorb the material. This makes the process both flexible and cost effective.
And Does It Work?
Well-designed courses that make effective use of technology can be very productive. Research shows that there is no significant difference in the success of the participants when compared to classroom-style training.
Is It Expensive?
E – learning is usually a bargain when transportation, accommodation, and lost working time are counted into the cost of traditional classroom training. Start-up may be higher than for traditional training, but this is quickly recovered through savings realized each time the course is delivered.
Are There Other Benefits?
Beyond cost savings, the main benefit is flexibility. Courses can be delivered anywhere, at any time. This conserves both time and energy. The information is transmitted with minimum effort and maximum effect.
Who Is Using E – Learning?
Universities are at the forefront, and many now offer degree programs to students who will never need to set foot on campus. Queen’s University, for example, offers a highly-regarded MBA program through e – learning. Many businesses and governments worldwide are beginning to implement e – learning for employee and management training.