Corporate Learning Management System and Custom eLearning Solutions | G-Cube

Benefits of e-Learning Debate (Part 1) – Reduce Training Time by Half

A debate on advantages and benefits of e-Learning is a common scenario in G-Cube. Whether it is our e-Learning consultant discussing with the customer, or an Instructional Designer arguing with the Graphics Designer over an e-Learning Screen layout or the Project Manager discussing how quickly can we deliver the learning module to the client; there is always a buzz over e-Learning.

During one of the discussions I and my colleague Anusha Jain, an e-Learning consultant (having experience of more than 5 years in implementing e-Learning solutions) had a long debate on an interesting edge of e-learning over traditional class room based training – its ability to reduce learning time. And thereafter this debate moved on to ten typical benefits of e-Learning, which we will cover in a series of blog posts titled “Benefits of e-Learning Debate”. And here is the Part I.

9.00 Hours to 4.5 Hours

As we discussed the effort required to create e-learning content for our several customers, we realized that in most of the cases we convert about 9 hours of class room based training into three hours of e-Learning. This is merely due to the fact that in 9 hours of class room based training the learning content is mostly for three hours.

Soon we were joined by our other colleague Ankush Jagga (an e-Learning consultant with more than six years of experience in this domain). He argued that while one can package a nine hours classroom based training in a 3 hours of e-Learning content, however, the learners may still spend around 4 to 4.5 hours to go through the whole content, which we agreed to.

And here are some of the key points that churned out of this discussion:

What makes traditional class room based trainings longer?

While there is no denial that class room based trainings have several advantages and may continue to have an edge over e-Learning (if the infrastructure and budget permits); however, these trainings requires more learning hours as:

  • There is always a warm-up time required to for the trainer and the trainees to settle in the training room. Coupled with a quick introduction session, this time may go up to one hour in classroom based training.
  • All trainees being human do lot of interaction with each other, which is good for socializing but not always good for the objective of the training. Such interactions may take the training topic left and right and thus add on the total delivery time in a classroom environment.
  • There are several clarification questions asked by trainees which may not be always relevant to the rest of the group.
  • In nine hours of classroom based training trainers may need to give 3-4 breaks of 30 minutes each.
  • While there is fun in classroom based training , the focus on main content is frequently deviated and its takes certain time for the trainer to bring the group on the track.

How e-Learning can cut short the Learning Duration

  • The complete program is structured and there is little deviation from the training topic.
  • There is literally no warm-up and settlement time required in e-Learning environment.
  • Each trainee can control his own pace of learning; while some trainees may take an extra hour, majority of trainees can finish the trainings in time.
  • By reducing the training time we also eliminate some of the breaks that are necessary in a class-room based training.

At the end of the debate we arrived on an agreement that e-Learning certainly has an edge over the class room based trainings when the training time is concerned. It can cut the training time by half in most of the cases.

Certain trainings like compliance trainings, policy trainings, some part of Induction etc. where the main goal is to deliver a standard information, e-Learning can not only reduce the time required to train the people but also release pressure on the trainers.

Business Advantages of Faster trainings

The next point that turned up was why an organization would like to invest in e-Learning just to reduce the training time. And the thoughts were:

  • By reducing the training time, we ensure that the trainees can become part of the productive force quicker.
  • In industries where there are large numbers of trainings, the time cut by half can have direct ROI.
  • In cases like fast moving products where current workforce needs to be trained on a product that will come and go in a short time, an edge over the competition can make or break the top line.

Be a part of debate

The debate is continued. We would welcome your comments on how e-learning reduces the training time (or not)?

5 thoughts on “Benefits of e-Learning Debate (Part 1) – Reduce Training Time by Half”

  1. If the e-Learning is designed to be as instructionally sound as a high quality lecture, facilitates understanding and application as well as simply passing on knowledge, allows the learner to stop and ask questions and get answers from the e-learning package, allows the learner to chat with a fellow learner or a group of learners (where the majority of learner creativity comes to the fore), if it allows the learner to stop at designated points to reflect, read a related online document (or even a book - shock horror) to gain an alternative viewpoint to the content delivered, if it does build in time for two or three 15 minute breaks (to reduce RSI and posture problems as much as the cognitive relaxation), if it assesses the learner and provides detailed feedback rather than 'that's correct/wrong' formats, if it can read the body language of the learner who simply 'doesn't get it', if it can introduce fun and enjoyment, if it can initiate debate between the e-learning package and learner groups in a critical yet reflective and informative manner, if it can use anecdotes derived from tutor/facilitator and student experience, if it can reduce the possibility of learner loneliness and de-motivation, if .... if .... if and more ifs - then it must be a quite phenomenal piece of learning architecture if it can reduce a quality lecture into a quality piece of e-learning that creates an equal level of understanding/application in half the time. In the commercial world saving learning and/or training time is all about saving money. Now having said all of that you may think I am against TEL/e-Learning but I am not – I create my own with Authorware, Lectora, Notateit, Raptivity and more. I simply see it as a support to lectures and facilitated discussions not a replacement. It does have many advantages such as the ability to work through it numerous times until you are confident you have 'got it' or undertake simplistic assessments via MCQ's, missing word, etc., style facilities. However, if you think e-Learning is all about reducing time whilst replicating all that is good about a lecture/seminar/tutorial/workshop style of face to face delivery then you are fooling yourselves and perhaps you need to spend time, years not weeks, actually delivering f2f sessions and experience the richness of interaction, engagement, debate and yes fun that only it can achieve with any real certainty.

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