Leveraging The New Era Of eLearning: Navigating The Options And Exploring The Possibilities

Leveraging The New Era Of eLearning: Navigating The Options And Exploring The Possibilities
Olena Yakobchuk/Shutterstock.com
Summary: Today, eLearning isn't just limited to the formal education sphere. Whether you want to learn a new craft, grow in your profession or simply connect with others, you can find what you need via an online Learning Management System (LMS) that makes such knowledge both accessible and affordable.

Discussing The New Era Of eLearning

Gone are the days when an eLearning portal was only offered for university students taking distance education courses. During that era, students could log into their computers from home or via any remote location and access course content led by a single professor, which was usually broken up into training modules, assessments and other assignments.

While this traditional model still exists, eLearning is no longer restricted to the realm of formal secondary education. Instead, learners from all around the world can hop online to learn how to hone their craft, master a new skill, connect with like-minded peers and grow in their profession.

To that end, it’s helpful to take a look at just how broad the eLearning sphere truly is. Especially for those who haven’t been exposed to the myriad possibilities, it can be easy to categorize the approach in a box and miss out on exciting opportunities in the process. That said, here are just a few of the ways that eLearners can leverage this platform to succeed.

Peer-To-Peer Corporate Training

There are both advantages and drawbacks to working on teams, especially within the professional sphere. Some employees excel in this type of environment while others flounder and fail to find their footing. For those who prefer it, eLearning as a collaborative, team-based approach can be immensely helpful.

For instance, a business might pair an inexperienced intern or a new hire with a seasoned employee. This person can walk the other through a series of training steps that explain the corporate culture, processes, supply chain management and more.

Online Learning Management Systems (LMS) make this process easier than ever before, allowing multiple users to log into the same portal to access coursework, ask questions, collaborate on special projects and more. These often include resources for co-workers to chat in real time, meaning that if someone has a question on a product or needs assistance closing an order, they’re always one click away from a team of knowledgeable and well-equipped employees ready to provide that assistance.

In a traditional learning environment, that same new hire would have to ask around the brick-and-mortar office to determine who has the answers they need, physically track that person down, engage in a possibly lengthy conversation and lose valuable productivity time in the process. On the other hand, a digital LMS expedites this journey by immediately connecting users and giving them ample tools to help teach and learn from one another.

Video Instruction For The New Hobbyist

Has learning guitar always been on your list of things to do? Did you make a New Year’s resolution to take up knitting, weaving or sewing this year? There are some hobbies and practices that are simply more conducive to eLearning than others, and these are a few of the examples.

Now, interested students can hop online and watch countless videos of a musician showing them exactly where they should place their hands in order to play a particular song on guitar. In the era of self-published online videos, anyone with any level of experience can help share that expertise with others who want to learn the same. From craft brewing to DIY home repairs, there is an enormous platform of knowledge available online. Of course, it’s important to vet such programs and sources to ensure they come from a legitimate source. Not everyone who claims to know how to patch a roof shingle is qualified to teach others, of course!

Continuing Education For The Non-Traditional Learner

Perhaps you’re a stay-at-home mom ready to tackle that college degree or pursue your master’s. Or, maybe you’re a retiree in your golden years ready to go back to school and complete your GED. Regardless, eLearning has opened the doors for both traditional and non-traditional students alike to pursue their education at their own pace and on their own time.

This means learners can access course content via an LMS platform and receive the same level of quality education they would have access to in a traditional classroom. This makes it possible for those persons, including those with physical disabilities, who might have difficulty traveling to class to still pursue an educational track. It also allows students to learn from and participate in programs all the way around the world. In fact, interested users can access some Harvard courses for free via the HarvardX program, which covers topics ranging from politics to 19th-century opera.

This can play a valuable role in helping to cross-train students, as today’s successful and valuable employee is one who is knowledgeable on a range of fields rather than pigeon-holed into one particular area of expertise. For instance, art directors or photographers can benefit from strengthening their writing skills to help improve their storytelling. Likewise, writers can learn visual arts to add an element of intrigue to their tales.

Seeing as only around half (54.8%) of students who enter college will leave there with a diploma according to recent reports, this outside-the-box method of learning also holds great potential in that it could encourage students to stay the course. Those who have a difficult time learning, listening or collaborating in an in-person classroom could excel in this online sphere.

Finding Your Online Learning Niche

With so many options at your fingertips, it can be difficult to pinpoint where you want your eLearning career to take you. The good news? You don’t have to decide right away. Take the time to research your opportunities, compare them against one another, and consider how each will affect your current schedule and lifestyle.

Then, don’t be afraid to jump in! Any form of learning is a chance to grow, stretch and dissolve your comfort zone. With so many choices within reach, you can’t go wrong when you decide to grow your education, build your skill set and perfect your interests. The most difficult part is deciding where to begin!