SHIFT's eLearning Blog

Our blog provides the best practices, tips, and inspiration for corporate training, instructional design, eLearning and mLearning.

To visit the Spanish blog, click here
    All Posts

    What is E-Learning and How Companies Are Benefiting From It?

    In recent years we have experienced great changes in the workplace. As a result, we have seen an exponential growth of e-learning in companies. In fact, according to a report by consulting firm MarketsandMarkets, the eLearning industry is expected to skyrocket from $8.4 billion by 2020 to $33.2 billion in 2025

    But before digging deeper, let's discuss: What is eLearning exactly? And what are the benefits it offers to both learners and companies? Continue reading.

    What is e-Learning?

    E-learning is the abbreviation for electronic learning and in the corporate context refers to training content delivered electronically, whether through a computer, tablet, or smartphone. This makes it easy for students to learn anytime, anywhere.

    Types of e-learning:

    Here are the different types of e-learning you can find:

    • Asynchronous Courses (Self-Learning): The student is responsible for their learning. Here, learners can choose when, when, and how they learn, depending on their schedule.
    • Blended Learning: These are programs that combine offline training (instructor-led) with online training (e-learning).
    • Mobile Learning: courses created for mobile devices (phones and tablets). 
    • Synchronous courses. They are live online classes, where students connect at the same time, from any place in the world.

    The Role of eLearning in the Corporate World

    Over the years, eLearning has become a vital tool in the modern workplace. Since its early years, it has been successfully implemented in several sectors including retail, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, and financial services, among others.

    Since COVID-19 started, more companies are adopting eLearning to deliver content to multiple audiences, anytime, anywhere. Whether to keep employees up to date on company policies or to help customers better understand their products, eLearning technology offers many advantages.

    Some forces that have contributed to the adoption of e-learning in companies:

    • A Fast-Changing Work Environment: Surveys have revealed that 90% of employees want to continue working from home in at least some capacity. Almost 50% of the workers in these same surveys indicated that they want to continue working remotely for most or all of their time. With more employees wanting to work remotely, the adoption of e-learning will be even more important for companies in order to offer more flexibility and accessibility.
    • New generations, with different demands and expectations: According to eLearning Industry, 89% of employees want training to be available anywhere, anytime they need and 85% of employees want to choose training schedules that fit their schedule. In addition, 80% of workers believe that frequent learning opportunities are more important than face-to-face formal training.

    How Does eLearning Work?

    eLearning would not be possible without technology; it is its base, backbone, and catalyst.

    Technology offers endless opportunities to learn through apps, smartphones, videos, and other sources of information in real-time.

    But that's not all.

    To make the most of e-learning in the enterprise, a hosting solution is needed to track the different learning experiences. In this context, there are some technologies that can be used to ensure that the process is carried out effectively:

    • LMS Platform: A Learning Management System (LMS) is commonly used to create Virtual Universities. The main functions of an LMS are:
      • Organize courses, materials, and training activities
      • Manage access, control, and track the learning process
      • Manage evaluations
      • Facilitate instructor-student communication through discussion forums, videoconferences, among others.
      • Manage training: detailed monitoring of each student's progress, course results, resource allocation, and alignment of corporate goals with training initiatives
    • LRS (Learning Record Store): is a data storage system that allows you to receive, store, and return learning records. With this technology, you can collect all the activities of each worker's learning experience, as well as keep track of how they interact with your training in order to optimize it. The most important task of the LRS is to store xAPI data.
    • Experience API (xAPI): In recent years, xAPI has become the new popular standard for providing online training. The xAPI solves current eLearning issues that previous standards (SCORM) have not been able to solve (such as tracking offline learning, collaborative learning, teaching through virtual and augmented reality, etc.). xAPI is often described as the next evolution of SCORM, as it has redefined some of the practices fundamentals of tracking learning experiences. It offers a higher level of flexibility that adapts to the accelerated world in which we live. This technology has the ability to track these learning experiences, whether they occur within an LMS or not, in a simple and consistent format. Essentially, xAPI provides a holistic understanding of the students' experience.

    How are all concepts tied up?

    An e-learning course is developed based on your content using an authoring or course creation tool; once completed, the course is packaged in an xAPI or SCORM format, which is stored and delivered to the student in an LMS or LRS.

    Why Implement E-learning in Your Company?

    An eLearning program offers huge benefits vs. traditional instructor-led training:

    • Agility. A training and development department must be agile to respond to today's fast-changing environment, and e-learning facilitates the rapid production and delivery of relevant content. And best of all, content can be modified easily and quickly to constantly adapt to new market changes and/or regulations.
    • Save time and money. Without the costs of classroom logistics, travel, instructors, and printing training materials, organizations spend less on eLearning. In addition, employees spend less time training. See more statistics here.

    A study by Brandon Hall Group confirms that by investing in eLearning, companies save at least 50% of what they would spend on traditional instructor-based training. In addition, eLearning usually takes 40% to 60% less time to study a particular material than if they did in a traditional classroom. This is because employees can access online training whenever they need it, without interrupting their workflow.

    • Learning experiences align with how people learn. Modern employees learn more content faster and just in time, at the moment of need. With eLearning students can access the content continuously, anywhere, and as often as necessary. Also read: The Just-in-Time Learning Revolution
    • Data tracking and analysis for decision-making. Most eLearning tools have smart and accurate monitoring and reporting tools. The analysis of student interactions in an eLearning context facilitates the visualization and understanding of their behaviors in order to optimize the learning experiences, verify the efficiency of the programs and improve student performance. Learn more here.
    • Content standardization: You guarantee every worker gets access to the same learning experience, quality does not depend on the instructor.
    • Accessibility: knowledge available 24/7, all year round.
    • Low costs per student: Reduces costs associated with time out of work and eliminates travel and material costs; plus there is no need for physical space.
    • Scalability. It allows you to train more students in less time. With eLearning technology it is possible to scale massively.

    The Return on Investment of eLearning

    One of the main questions that arise around eLearning is its ROI. eLearning can be very profitable compared to face-to-face programs, even though the initial investment is seemingly higher. To assess this issue, there is nothing better than considering the Return on Investment (ROI).

    The general equation would be: ROI = Profit - Costs

    To determine the costs of investing in eLearning, consider:

    • Development of the eLearning course, including team members and subject matter experts
    • LMS and/or infrastructure costs;
    • Delivery and maintenance costs;
    • and administrative costs.

    To determine earnings related to eLearning, consider:

    • Costs recovered through less agile and scalable training delivery (person-hours earned by not having students and trainers leaving their workplace for instructor-led training);
    • Train more people on the same content at the same time; and
    • The reduction of travel and administrative costs.

    In the long run, you will see that the Earnings are much higher than Costs. Not to mention the other advantages we mentioned earlier regarding implementing training with eLearning.

    In 2022 (and in the years ahead), companies should be more flexible than ever before. The global COVID-19 crisis demonstrated that organizations succeed when they adapt quickly to changes. e-learning programs provide companies an agile and cost-effective solution for an accelerated market.

    How are you delivering training at your company? Are you ready to take them to the next level?

    If you want to know more about e-learning and how to design your training in a profitable and practical way,
    do not hesitate to contact us.

    Winning eLearning

    Diana Cohen
    Diana Cohen
    Education Writer | eLearning Expert | EdTech Blogger. Creativa, apasionada por mi labor, disruptiva y dinámica para transformar el mundo de la formación empresarial.

    Related Posts

    Best Practices for Measuring the Impact of Online Training at The Workplace

    Are you truly maximizing the potential of your online training programs? As training leaders, you know it's tough to show how effective your learning initiatives are. Often, it's hard to see the real impact these programs have.

    Golden Rules for Using AI to Supercharge E-Learning Content Development

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is reshaping the landscape of e-learning course development.

    The Ultimate Guide to Creating Effective Microlearning

    Microlearning is not just a fleeting trend—it's rapidly evolving into a cornerstone of online training strategies.