E-learning is it the future?

Post date: May 28, 2012 2:22:01 PM

Nineteen people responded to the survey all of which had undertaken an e-learning programme. The type of e-learning included 61% statutory material such as Health & Safety. The remaining 39% varied.

Asked whether people skipped pages 63% admitted to skipping pages. One respondent wasn’t able to skip pages due to the set-up of the e-learning.

A large 74% lost concentration during the course. More analysis would help understand whether this was in response to length, material content, or a general response to this type of learning.

Sixty seven per cent of respondents felt they learnt something new. With 33% didn’t learn anything new.

Fifty per cent of e-learning didn’t include videos. Of the e-learning that included videos 28% stated that it was engaging and 22% stated that it wasn’t engaging.

Seventy four per cent of e-learning involved reading test and was well communicated. 26% involved reading but was poorly communicated.

Fifty three per cent of e-learning didn’t have a voiceover. 42% had a clear voiceover with a good pace and 5% had a poor voice over.

A 67% would recommend e-learning to another person. 33% said no.

More detailed responses included yes they would recommend e-learning as part of blended learning. Another stated e-learning is okay if you are really motivated and there is no alternative. However, they felt face to face and interactive is far better. Another said they would recommend e-learning only if it was exceptionally engaging and well made, plus fairly brief.

Another stated it really depends upon the subject matter and the way it is presented. This respondent had recently seen an excellent e-learning package but it would have cost considerably more.

Another respondent stated it would depend upon the learning style.

A 53% still remembered the subject matter they were learning on e-learning. 24% said they didn’t remember it at all. The remaining people varied between remembering it the same day and the following week.

Respondent comments “I have used e-learning in the past and am currently involved in designing some e-learning. It's my least favourite method of learning but it continues to be popular, particularly in the public sector. It ticks boxes 'you have been told' but there is little research on how effective it actually is in changing skills and behaviours. For it to be effective it has to incorporate some of the good aspects of face to face teaching including variety, taking people through the whole learning cycle (do review reflect and transfer)”

In Summary although 19 respondents is not a large number and more responses would give better results, it would seem that over 50% of people have actually learnt something from e-learning and still remember the subject matter. A lot of the opinions with regards to e-learning mentioned the importance of a quality e-learning package. Another important factor is that the e-learning is interactive and engaging. It is also important that e-learning is used as part of blended learning. For some people it has little effect and recall is poor. This could correlate against the individuals learning style and the subject matter.

Therefore recommendations would be to include e-learning for large organisations where the cost of purchasing a quality e-learning programme can be offset. It seems to be an easy option to put all your staff on an e-learning course, however, with the skipping of pages, the poor recall of data and the dislike of this learning method by some, then a mandatory e-learning course may prove fruitless. Allowing an option of face to face learning to accommodate different learning styles would be preferable.

What you can do to make e-learning more engaging

  • Make e-learning short and interactive
  • Include e-learning as a refresher to face to face learning
  • Accommodate different learning styles and preferences of learners by offering alternative training wherever possible
  • Ensure a quality e-learning package not just a PowerPoint presentation
  • Allow time away from the desk to carry out e-learning
  • Consider off the shelf professional e-learning packages which include videos and mixed media wherever the subject matter is available