The History and Methods Of Online Education
From correspondence courses to digital learning, distance education has come a long way and has now reached its peak with eLearning. Today, this is no longer a novelty, but a booming sector. According to analyses, the global e-learning market will continue to grow at 5% per year, and, over time, it is expected to replace offline formats.
E-Learning continues to gain popularity in businesses. Companies apply this to train their staff, streamline their processes and develop their potential.
So why is e-learning so appealing? And what is it exactly? To better understand what this is all about, let's start with a little history.
History Of Online Education
The term e-learning was coined in November 1999 by Elliott Masie, an American expert in educational technology, during his intervention at the TechLearn Conference: "eLearning is the use of network technology to design, distribute, select, administer and share learning."
In 2000, eLearning underwent a real revolution as a technology with the release of OLAT, the first open-source learning management system. That same year, the first version of SCORM was released, a standard that allows users to package content and distribute it in an LMS.
In the early 2000's, mobile devices began to spread in the form of smartphones and tablets. They were no longer used exclusively for making calls: their users watched videos, read books, and played games on their phones. This prompted cellular service companies to improve mobile connectivity, a race that continues to this day.
What ls Online Education?
Today, when people use the term "e-learning" they mean training on any digital device. Watch an instructional video, read an interesting article, or take a quiz. This is eLearning!
Comparing e-learning to traditional teaching methods is like comparing e-books to paper books. Just as digital texts can not replace the authenticity of a paper book, e-learning can not replace teaching as a whole. However, e-learning is still accessible as long as you have your digital device with you, so it's much more convenient.
Its convenience is one of the main reasons e-learning is so appealing. Another reason is the ability to personalize your learning experience with other innovations such as augmented reality and virtual reality (VR). And people love new technology! For example, with VR training, workers working in factories and on construction sites receive appropriate safety training, medical students learn to locate bones and organs in the human body, etc.
We use e-learning everyday to develop ourselves as individuals. On our smartphones, we read articles, watch YouTube videos and play games to stimulate our brains. Businesses, from small startups to large corporations, also use e-learning to train their employees and help them understand their internal processes.
The Benefits Of E-Learning For Businesses
Today, many companies, from SMEs to larger companies, use e-learning to manage the development of their employees, such as upgrading their skills, acquiring new skills, or training them for new positions.
Reduced Training Costs
With e-learning, you don't have to spend a fortune hosting seminars or covering travel costs. You can simply develop an online course and share it with your employees.
Distance education knows no borders. You can train hundreds of employees at dozens of locations around the world, all in a consistent fashion. Employees don't need to spend time attending face-to-face classes. All they need is a digital device and Internet access.
A Unique Knowledge Base
All teaching materials are stored in one place, i.e. in the LMS. Employees can log into the LMS whenever they want from any device, find the course they need and refresh their memory.
Faster Employee Development
Traditional training can be time-consuming as it depends on the schedule of company trainers. The LMS is available at any time, so your employees can study whenever they want on the go, during their lunch break, or at home.
Easy Monitoring Of Progress
Your trainers do not have to provide face-to-face training or review the progress of each learner. Most LMSs have analysis tools that display their progress in graphs and reports.
Learning helps employees keep the pace that can be "imposed" by the business and solve problems in real-time. Need to present a new product to the sales team? All you need to do is create a course and instantly distribute it to thousands of employees.