With the ‘social distancing’ of the recent pandemic, many aspects of our lives had to move online. This also applied to education: many of us had to experience online classes and e-learning for the first time.
After two years, the pandemic is on its last legs: online learning, however is still going strong, with very strong signs that it will be popular into the far future. This is because there are many major benefits that can be obtained from it, as compared to traditional classroom settings. Here are five of the best benefits of online learning.
1. Online learning can be done anywhere
One of the biggest benefits of e-learning is that it removes the need for students to come together in a physical space. Previously, if you wanted to teach one hundred students, you would need to rent a large lecture hall. You would need to invest in desks, chairs and maybe a PA system to make sure your voice could be heard. With e-learning, all you need to teach is a small space, a laptop and a webcam.
With everything online, there is also no need to walk, drive or fly to the location of your class. All you need is to turn on your computer. Teachers in Switzerland can easily give lectures to students in Singapore and Senegal. In ReSkills, for example, our OnLive Learning classes are attended by hundreds of students from over 20 countries worldwide.
This not only makes things more convenient for students: it also means teachers can enhance their career prospects, by demonstrating their quality to an international audience.
2. Online learning is cost-effective and environmentally friendly
Online learning means students don’t need to waste time travelling to classes or schools. This reduces expenses for petrol, fuel, parking charges, vehicle maintenance and more.
Less travelling on the road also brings benefits to the environment. A study by the Open University of Britain revealed that online distance learning consumed an average of 90% less energy and produced 85% fewer CO2 emissions per student compared to conventional face-to-face courses.
Most online classes also use digital study materials and websites instead of traditional textbooks and worksheets. This cuts down the use of paper and other resources.
3. Online learning encourages technological mastery
Through e-learning, students have to become familiar with using laptops, webcams, microphones and video conferencing programs. This increases their technological knowledge, and encourages them to develop soft skills which will come in useful for other aspects of their lives.
The same principles apply to teaching. ReSkills coaches, for example, have to learn how to conduct their classes with methods that appeal to both online and physical learners. This encourages them to sharpen their teaching skills and always be at the top of their game.
Members of today’s generation, who are already used to doing things online, may actually gain greater benefits from e-learning. Research by The International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning revealed that self-paced online learning increases student satisfaction and reduces stress.
4. Online learning increases learning efficiency
One problem frequently faced by traditional offline courses is retaining students. Increasing dropout rates have always been a serious issue with many academic centres.
Online courses do not suffer from this problem as much. The Research Institute of America states that online classes have increased retention rates of 25-60%, compared to only 8-10% for traditional courses. This is because students have more control over their learning process, and enjoy easier accessibility. The same research also concluded that e-learning a topic often took 40-60% less time compared to learning it in a traditional classroom setting.
Studies by IBM, on the other hand, discovered participants could absorb up to five times more material in online learning courses using multimedia content, compared to traditional face to face courses.
5. Online learning encourages variety and flexibility
Another benefit of online learning is that it is not constrained to the same kind of limits that traditional learning is. With online learning, the student is usually able to choose what to study from a wide variety of topics, effectively creating a highly personalized schedule. This also helps them inculcate positive habits such as self-discipline.
Online learning also allows for more specialized, in depth topics. For example, a typical ReSkills timetable can contain classes on investment risks, cognitive psychology, green ocean strategy and social interactions. You can also take advantage of other useful ReSkillls features such as a resource library and the ReSkills On The Go function. And all of these are available anywhere from your mobile phone. This level of learning convenience is difficult for any traditional learning platform to emulate.
With all manner of technological advances at our fingertips, online learning is more powerful and efficient than ever before. Why not tap the benefits for yourself: sign up for a ReSkills OnLive class, and start enhance your educational journey today!