Most companies need to provide some sort of supplemental training or instruction to their workers, customers and suppliers. This is especially true for technology-based organizations. Typically these companies provide needed training by sending people to school, holding in-house training classes, or providing manuals and self-study guides. In some situations it is advantageous for them to use Computer-Based Training (CBT), Web-Based Training (WBT) or other forms of eLearning instead of the traditional training.
Advantages of eLearning
- Standardized learning
- Can be better than reading the manual
Many working people do not have the motivation or skills to sit down teach themselves by reading a manual or self-study guide. Manuals are usually more effective for reference than for learning. Self-study guides can be considered a drag. On the other hand, CBT attracts the student's interest and can even be enjoyable to use.
The major consideration in training is cost. As the number of people being trained increases, it becomes more cost effective to develop an eLearning program than to send people to class. This includes situations where many people must be trained, as well as cases where companies have a high turnover of personnel.
Another situation is when the people to be trained are widely dispersed. Travel time and costs to send them to a class could be prohibitive, and sending trainers to them would not be practical. Sending CBT or WBT material to these people would make more sense.
Since different teachers and trainers have different styles of instruction, all personnel may not be receiving the same training. eLearning assures standardization of training and content presented. This is also true for any testing or certification the students may receive.
Is eLearning Right for Me or my Organization?
Businesses make most sound decisions based on potential return-on-investment (ROI). It is assumed that the company has already determined that training their personnel and/or customers is a value-added activity. Now, the question is whether or not eLearning is the best route to take.
Criteria for deciding on using eLearning include:
- Cost and practicality of sending learners to class
- Availability of computers and literacy of learners
- Development cost versus number being trained