First, I’d like to wish clients and readers a happy and prosperous new year. I’d like to kick-start 2014 by briefly examining the benefits of e-learning from a delegate’s perspective, over traditional ‘classroom’ methods.
I’m sure you’ve noticed on this website that I’m offering an opportunity to subscribe to our marketing e-course for care managers and proprietors of care homes, “Preparing for Excellence” and I know that the concept of e-learning may be totally new to many of you.
So if you are a little skeptical (I understand that), maybe this will help a little.
In order to do this fairly, we must, of course, examine how the more traditional instructor leads ‘classroom’ style learning wins over ‘on line’ methods as well.
Now, before I get into this, I believe there cannot be an overall winner as it completely depends on the individual’s personal choice as we are all made of different stuff, have different challenging circumstances and what works for one may not necessarily work for someone else.
However, there has been a clear trend recently for an increasing number of people to favour e-learning . To find out why, let’s examine a few unbiased pros and cons:
The Pros (of e-learning)
- travel/time convenience,
- less expense,
- work at own pace in flexible time,
- less intrusive without risk of public humiliation!
- Choice of learning styles
Let’s examine these a bit closer.
Pretty self-explanatory – you can work in the comfort of your own home or office at a time to suit your busy schedule, without the need for time off work, or required travel. You can fit in the course around your care manager duties, utilising the facility to work the various tasks.
– because the course creator does not have additional overhead costs to pass on. On line courses are usually sold at a fraction of the cost of residential courses, without (generally) losing any of the quality. No hotel accommodation, instructor fee, room hire, stationery, course meals/drinks etc and the financial outlay associated with all that.
Work At Own Pace In Flexible Time:
No set times to stick to, be punctual for, and be limited to. You can do a ‘half hour task’ in 3 hours if you want to without inconveniencing anybody else. And you can do it at 3.00am if you like – it’s your choice entirely.
Just in case you’re a little self conscious, your ability to learn is not under examination from anybody else other than yourself. So if you haven’t been to school recently, no need to worry about your ‘performance’. You can retake/practise as many times as you like whenever you like – and no one need ever know!
Choice of Learning Styles:
E-learning allows you the flexibility to choose your preferred learning style, be it auditory (by reading and listening), visual (through video), or kinesthetic learning (through hands-on practice). This flexibility allows perfect individual learning to gain the best results.
Now the Cons:
- No ‘Face to Face’ Tutoring:
- No peer comraderie
- Current work distractions
Face to Face
It can be argued that no computer or ‘faceless’ instructor can replace one on one human tutoring, getting instant answers to questions through debate and vocal communication with fellow delegates.
Joining an online forum when e-learning can put you in touch with “virtual” fellow students across the globe, but the appeal of making friends with like minded real people on a residential course can give welcome comfort, and enhance the learning experience. Reduced social and cultural interaction when e-learning can be a drawback for some.
Current Work Distractions:
Some people need to get away from their usual working environment to aid learning on a residential course without the potential distraction of everyday routines. (Leave your Blackberry at home!)
As I said, e-learning verses residential course learning is a matter of personal choice, weighing up the pros and cons, the financial implications and matching learning style to personality and circumstances.
So, do the benefits of e-learning outweigh the drawbacks?