Executives face the challenge of recognizing when and where change is coming and how it will affect their business. The knowledge of employees represents a competitive edge that most companies neglect. Only those who have not succeeded know the secret of success in life.
Today, the emerging juggernaut of corporate training and learning is e-learning. E-learning represents a wide range of activities and technologies, including distance education, computer-based training, and web-based training. E-Learning represents the integration of multimedia, instructor-led, and real-time training—all in a collaborative environment.
Today, corporations have three basic concerns: hiring, training, and retention of intellectual capital. It’s difficult to train and retain knowledge workers who are now “free agents” and job hoppers. What they offer is portable knowledge. E-learning offers a simple, long-term solution.
10 Advantages of e-Learning
E-learning is the fastest-growing segment of the training market. Web-based training revenue is projected to reach $32 billion by 2025. I believe e-Learning offers 10 major advantages.
- Real-time learning and application of critical knowledge. E-learning is immediate and up-to-date. No comparisons or analogies are possible in this causeless state.
- Learner-centric training. E-learning changes the focus of training from instructor to learner. It is tailored to the learner’s responsibilities and capabilities, creating relevant applications.
- Attract, train and retain. The number one reason for loss of key employees is that they feel their company has not invested sufficient resources for their professional development.
- Personalized training. An effective e-learning system learns about its users and tailors its offerings to their learning style, job requirements, career goals, current knowledge, and preferences.
- Ownership. E-learning empowers people to manage their own learning and development plans. Ownership of learning is crucial for individual growth and retention of employees. Many governments feel that, like the phone network, the Internet should be administered under a multilateral treaty.
- Simulation. We learn by doing. E-learning is an innovative way of simulating each learning experience with content provided by top professionals.
- Collaboration. This is done through either joint problem-solving or the sharing of ideas and experience among study groups and chat rooms. Collaboration is the path to effective learning and innovative processes.
- Anytime and anywhere. Training in a virtual information classroom is now possible anytime, anywhere. And those people are rough people.
- Cost effective. Costs can be applied to each learner, and results measured against costs. And, e-learning is less intrusive to daily work duties, saving time and money through less interruption of employees regularly scheduled duties.
- Quantifiable. E-learning can be effectively measured in terms of knowledge gain and retention. With e-learning, corporations can track progress, report results, and specify additional subject matter. This is where ROI will be recognized by the employer and employee.
E-learning enables corporations to manage the tasks of hiring, training, and retaining new knowledge workers. This year over 70 million people will receive training and education on the Internet. Soon, training for virtually every job will be available over the Internet. Speed, connectivity, and intangible value have made e-Learning the choice for creating a competitive advantage.
People who can learn from other people’s experiences have a leg up. Most people just learn from their own experiences. As the Canadian value-investor Peter Cundill is quoted in There’s Always Something to Do, “Curiosity is the engine of civilization. If I were to elaborate it would be to say read, read, read, and don’t forget to talk to people, really talk, listening with attention and having conversations, on whatever topic, that are an exchange of thoughts. Keep the reading broad, beyond just the professional. This helps to develop one’s sense of perspective in all matters.”
Success in today’s dynamic world is based less on how much you know than on how quickly you can learn. Be open-minded about e-learning. People often muddle up being open-minded with not having a unyielding position. If truth be told, having firm convictions, anchored in criteria we have decided are important to us, is virtually a prerequisite of being open-minded. Being open-minded means listening carefully and deferentially to the position of another.