One feature of the global pandemic has been the accelerated drive towards online learning.
With in-person training barred or restricted, people have had to adapt the way they deliver their expertise.
Gym workouts, yoga, meditation, language classes, IT, cookery demonstrations, have flooded online communications platforms like Zoom.
Many consultants, coaches, speakers and trainers have turned to Microsoft Teams as the way to deliver consultations, appointments and sessions.
And the statistics suggest there are many benefits to a switch to online learning, or e-learning.
Companies are seeing the Value
The traditional way of sending employees away to a venue for group training has almost vanished.
Online learning has shown it is possible to save money on travel and accommodation costs – and still receive high quality training.
A Brandon-Hall study revealed learning through e-learning typically requires 40 to 60 per cent less employee time than taking in the same material in the old-school classroom set up.
This is because the training does not have to be delivered at a set time. Employees can learn when they want so it doesn’t affect their workflow.
Businesses want a return on their investment
A study by IBM found that for every dollar invested in online training, a company sees $30 in productivity. This is largely because employees are able to get back to work more quickly and apply their learning immediately.
This was especially true for sales teams – where time ‘in the field’ has a direct correlation to dollars earned for the organisation.
An Ambient Insight report found 42 per cent of companies saw an increase in revenue as a result of e-learning.
E-Learning is Effective
IBM, in the same study that revealed the productivity benefits, discovered that participants in online learning programmes took in almost five times more material than through the traditional way.
Companies found that by teaching more material in less time, they could get employees back to work more quickly. Reduced costs, higher performance. A win-win all round.
Online learning also helps people to remember what they have been taught via computer screen.
According to The Research Institute of America, e-learning increases retention rates 25 per cent to 60 per cent. That compares with 8-10 per cent retention rates for face-to-face training.
I think much depends on the quality of the training and how the training is delivered. But the numbers look very favourable.
Adapting to Personal Learning Styles
Any decent trainer understands that people have different learning styles.
Some are highly visual – and like looking at slide presentations. Some are more audio – and like listening to a speaker. Some are mostly kinaesthetic – and warm to energy, movement and how the session makes them feel.
We all have a blend of these. It’s just we have our own preferences. I do. You will, too.
What the RIA research suggests is that people learn better when they have more control over the learning process. They can:
- Watch lessons in their own time
- Learn when they are able to concentrate best
- Pause the e-learning at any time (without getting ‘left behind’ in class)
- Watch a session, then repeat it and make notes, or…
- Make notes as they go, knowing they’ll never miss a single word
- Learn in the order that most suits them
- Keep track of lessons completed and learning still to do
What all these studies and other research shows, is that online learning – when done well – works.
That’s Good News for Assistants around the World
If companies are placing their trust in online learning, they are going to want content and materials for screen-based training sessions and programmes.
They are most likely going to turn to their assistants for help in putting that together for internal teams.
That could include training notes, slides for the Perfect PowerPoint Presentation, workbooks, manuals, checklists, programme content schedules, creating branded templates or even scripts for training videos.
If your depth of knowledge and skills across Microsoft Office applications like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Teams are not quite what they should be, help is at hand.
You can use e-learning for yourself. It’s precisely why I created a range of online courses so assistants like you can brush up on your skills.
Learn what you want, where you want, whenever you want.
Each course offers a step-by-step guide to all the essential tasks you’ll ever need to know how to do. You’re covered whether you work on Windows or Mac. You get lifetime access so you can revisit the training any time you need a reminder or a refresh. You go at your own pace.
If you know you need more learning across more than one application, it is worth taking a look at The Hub (aka ‘The Full Monty’). It’s the complete box set of my online courses. One price, the best value compared to buying individual courses, and new courses are added to your set for free.
Are you ready for the online world of learning?
Not forgetting the Green Factor
Another benefit of online learning, of course, is that it is good for the environment.
A study by the Open University revealed that, on average, producing e-learning courses uses 90 per cent less energy and produces 85 per cent fewer CO2 emissions per student than traditional face-to-face courses.
So, not only can you pick up new skills and develop those you already have, but you can also feel good about helping the planet while you study.
The numbers really are on your side.