Although there are still some who turn up their noses at what is inexplicably viewed as a second rate form of training, e-learning (or distance learning) is becoming ever more popular in both Italy and in the rest of the world. According to the Markets and Markets research firm, by 2017, the sector’s turnover will exceed 220 billion US dollars; a projection that is hard to ignore. The reasons behind such success can be easily explained: e-learning presents opportunities for cultural and professional development for both individuals and organisations.
But what are the main advantages linked to e-learning? Let’s find out in detail.
Lower costs for both organisations and students
E-learning enables the reduction of costs for both organisations and students.
Students save on travel, board and lodging expenses, and can decide to attend courses from anywhere in the world, without having to sustain any costs beyond those involved in enrolment.
Organisations can also contain their expenses: practicing e-learning means avoiding all legal costs linked to the hosting of students and employees (in the case of on campus training), or saving the transfer costs involved in in-house training. Furthermore, e-learning enables the enrolment of students from anywhere in the world, with consequent increased earnings.
Flexibility and versatility
Being able to attend lectures from anywhere in the world, from the comfort of one’s own desk, is the main advantage for those who wish to increase their competencies. Students can manage their studies based upon their own personal learning curves and prior knowledge; for instance they can allocate more time to those subjects they find more challenging and less to those with which they are already familiar.
Often, besides learning materials, organisations make recordings of the lectures available; students can thus review any parts of the lectures that are unclear to them as many times as they desire.
Furthermore and contrary to what would be expected, social interaction is not lacking; chatrooms and social media enable the integration of students of different nationalities and the setting up of working groups.
Reduced environmental impact
Yes, e-learning contributes to the reduction of environmental impact. Road, rail and air transfers discharge large quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere; air travel, for instance, releases roughly 140 grams of CO2 per kilometre flown. Choosing e-learning is therefore also a matter of environmental ethics and responsibility.
We have thus discovered some of the advantages of e-learning; the increasing popularity of this training modality shows how the road to the future also passes through the internet.