The Ongoing Benefits of eLearning

The Ongoing Benefits of eLearning
Summary: With changes in learning technology and a trend toward informal learning, eLearning continues to offer learners many benefits – standardization, self-paced and anytime, anywhere learning.

The Benefits of eLearning

The term eLearning was first introduced in 1999 at a CBT Systems seminar when it was seen as a panacea for all things learning. Today we know this isn’t the case. Elearning, like any learning vehicle, is one avenue to meet learning goals. It provides functionality that supports learning in ways previously not possible. For example, it can provide foundational learning and set a knowledge baseline for a targeted set of learners who may not be co-located. Then, when these learners are together for a face-to-face session, the learning can be at a higher level using interactive exercises such as role play and simulations.

What eLearning did and continues to do, is allow leaners to be self-directed while providing immediate feedback in the form of knowledge checks and assessments. It also provides easy, quick access to information whenever it is needed. And finally, it provides standardization of content and allows for adaptive learning through pre-assessments and content branching based on predetermined criteria.

The Evolution of eLearning

Learning is becoming on-demand and personalized. Learners expect to find answers to what they need for a specific project or to respond to a challenge, immediately. Learning must be part of the day-to-day in order to support what someone needs at the moment they need it. This becomes "pull" learning instead of "push". Learners access information they need when it's needed versus attending scheduled learning events either online or face-to-face. Personalized learning responds to what information or content an individual learner needs based on their previous searches, and areas of expertise and knowledge.

In order to meet the demand of pull learning, eLearning can offer the learner short learning lessons that focus on immediate skill building needs or knowledge-based questions. ELearning becomes informational - so it can be broken down into bits and pieces and used in various forms the learner needs.

To support this chunked learning and the pull environment, organizations need to build learning portals with access to data and repositories that manage learning assets and content, indexing them by topic, objectives, and application need, by identifying and segmenting how the information may be applied. Then as users access the information, a database of individual use is collected and stored to begin to create responsive searches to learners’ needs.

The Value of eLearning

With learning moving toward more on-demand learning, eLearning remains a viable learning delivery option. It offers:

  1. Convenience
    Anytime, anywhere learning that is accessible to anyone with a computer and internet connection.
  2. Self-paced learning
    Allowing a learner to learn what they want, when they want it, and how much.
  3. A Content repository
    Courses become repositories of specific content areas that are indexed by course titles and may include associated links and research data.
  4. Prescriptive learning
    Allows for course branching based on pre-assessments and the needs of specific learners while presenting information at a basic or advanced level.


ELearning makes information available to learners. It lessens the challenge of identifying where to find and access relevant information and knowledge resources.

ELearning is becoming a delivery option that is flexible – offering complete comprehensive courses as well as acting like a content management system that chunks learning by topic, learning objective or expected outcomes.

ELearning can also serve as a catalyst for change in how individuals learn and organizations grow. Elearning, coupled with social and informal learning can help shift the working environment to become more collaborative.