What Is The Future Of ELearning?
The interest in ELearning is clearly growing. Many organizations are replacing their classroom training with eLearning and even colleges and universities beginning to offer an online version of most courses. There is some question as to whether ELearning will ever replace traditional classroom training. Undoubtedly, eLearning has many benefits over traditional learning. While it costs more money to develop eLearning, once it is developed, it does not require additional investments whereas classroom training requires paying the costs of attending the course, materials, travel, and accommodation. The salary of the instructor should also be calculated into the cost. In addition to monetary savings, eLearning offers the convenience of taking courses at any time and place.
While eLearning does have a lot of benefits, it is not a “one size fits all” solution. Older learners are used to traditional teaching methods and would never substitute classroom training for eLearning. Also, many people like to have an instructor who can provide immediate assistance or clarify ambiguous information.
Additionally, it is important to understand that eLearning is mostly appropriate for increasing knowledge and developing skills, and it does not work well for teaching psychomotor skills, as they require real life practice.
As instructional designers, we need to look at the requirements for each individual course to decide whether eLearning is an appropriate solution. We should remember that there is also a blended learning approach, which addresses most of the issues faced by eLearning opponents. It is that middle road between the physical and virtual classrooms. While I do not believe that traditional learning is completely dead or will be dead soon, I do think that as technology continues to evolve more and more people and organizations will lean towards e-Learning.