Types of E-Learning: Technology Enabled Learning for the Corporate World

With the advancement of technology and instant delivery platforms like Web 2.0, e-learning has gained wide popularity in all circles including corporate learning. E-learning solutions deliver consistent, high-quality, and centrally trackable course material to a geographically dispersed workforce. Using advanced development tools makes creating custom e-learning convenient and easy. To meet the increased need for quality e-learning solutions, companies are also turning to e-learning services from developers who have both an understanding of the learning industry and acquired knowledge in their field. With the advent of mobile technologies, mobile learning is also becoming more and more popular in study circles.

There are different types of e-learning solutions that can be used to train your learners. Choose the type that best suits the needs of the learner, taking into account the available technologies that would facilitate their access to e-courses.

  1. Pure e-learning: In this type of e-learning, the learning material is made available to learners via a technology-enabled platform such as a CD or computer-based training (CBT) that can be run on the learner’s system. E-courses can also be made available through web-based training (WBT) that uses the Internet as a learning platform. The courses are self-paced and the learner has no interaction with an instructor or other learners. This type of e-learning is known as asynchronous, in which each learner follows their own path through the course, taking more time to process certain sections and progressing through others. This works very well for adult learners who are more motivated to learn to learn new skills, update their resume and achieve professional excellence.
  2. Blended eLearning: The growing popularity of e-learning does not diminish the benefits and power of instruction. Some training, like soft skills or sales training, needs to have a face-to-face component to be really effective. A blended learning approach works best here, using the classroom to conduct exercises and interactions that cannot be conducted when delivering e-learning. Technology-enhanced learning is used to prepare learners before they come to class and to reinforce them afterwards to increase the impact of learning. The combined approach provides tight classroom learning model interactivity as well as learning when and how the learner needs it through e-learning.
  3. Mobile learning: The ready availability and affordability of mobile devices has opened the horizon to mobile learning, or simply mobile learning. Learning delivered on the mobile platform cannot be the same that was designed to be delivered on the learner’s computer or laptop. Mobile device capabilities, including storage space, internet connection and screen size, must be considered. Just a few years ago, creating mobile learning materials required creating two separate versions of the same course for mobile delivery and desktop/laptop delivery. The former had to be a lighter version, with different content orientation, taking into account the limited screen space on most mobile devices. But with the advent of web responsive design, content can be automatically aligned according to user device specifications. This is a huge benefit as it reduces production costs as well as time to develop e-courses for mobile delivery.
  4. Social learning: The impact of social media is all around us and the corporate world is no stranger to social networking among employees. The power of the social network can also be used to promote and instill a culture of learning. Employees can collaborate and network on social platforms to discuss issues, questions, and experiences. Learning can arise from collaboration between peers and experts who are often part of such communities. More and more organizations are recognizing the true power of social learning and are encouraging their employees to interact more with themselves and other like-minded people. Social collaboration platforms are also built within the LMS, so learners don’t have to discuss on public platforms and the learning that comes from mutual collaboration resides and grows in the LMS.
  5. Game-Based Learning: Games are seen as fun by everyone, regardless of learner profile. But they can also be a powerful medium of experiential learning. Games relieve the learners of the usual learning media – be it face-to-face lessons or e-learning. Games can convey concepts and knowledge in innovative ways. Skills-building games can be created, encouraging learners to practice existing skills and encourage new ones to be gained. Logical and knowledge-based games such as labyrinths, puzzles or quizzes encourage learners to think cognitively. Goal-based games bring a sense of competition between learners, which is great for learning, and learners become self-motivated to win the task or achieve the goal. There are many types of games that can be created according to learners’ needs.
  6. Virtual classrooms: By using VSAT technology, a classroom atmosphere can be created in a virtual environment. Virtual classrooms allow an instructor to deliver a lesson as he or she would in physical space – but with greater reach and many additional features. In a virtual classroom, many of the features are similar to real classrooms. For example, the whiteboard can be used as an actual interaction board in a classroom. In addition, there are provisions for sharing files or documents that students can refer to during or after the session. Two-way chats can include conversations between teacher and students and between the group of students distributed across different locations.

Each e-learning model has different strengths and benefits. It is advisable to choose the one that can be deployed within the available budgets and best suits the needs of the learners.

Thanks to Gireesh K. Sharma | #Types #ELearning #Technology #Enabled #Learning #Corporate #World

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