Thankfully, e-learning has made a big difference in the accessibility of learning opportunities for the modern worker.
What is E-learning & How Does It Help?
Consultant Marc Rosenberg, PhD, says e- or mobile learning is "the capability to seamlessly deliver a wide array of knowledge and performance improvement resources to users—anyplace, on any platform, on-demand, and at the moment of need."
First-generation e-learning was mainly online text and images, more like an electronic textbook: boring.
Newer cloud-based software makes it easy to create engaging and interactive learning about products and processes, while tracking progress and completion, and complementing hands-on learning.
A 2016 Forrester Consulting study of US and Canada HR and Learning/Development Leaders (commissioned by Adobe) found:
- 53 percent said e- or mobile learning offered flexibility of time and location which enhanced its appeal
- 47 percent said mobile learning made it easy to repurpose and share content
- 45 percent said it made learning more accessible and widely available
Why E-learning is Handy for Operations Pros
Mobile learning allows operations professionals to learn without being chained or tethered to their office. They can learn when convenient for them, standing in line, in a waiting area, and, most importantly, at a job site.
Here are some additional benefits:
- Just-in-time learning. A worker can review how-to or safety procedures before operating powered equipment, etc. or take a refresher course when needed.
- As part of a learning management system (LMS), employees can search courses for the exact info they need when — and where — they need it.
- Some e-courses can be downloaded to a device and used offline, especially where there is poor internet connectivity. In some cases, people can sync the course back up to an LMS when they get back online.
"E-Learning is more efficient. It can take anywhere from 25 to 60 percent less time to convey the same amount of instruction or information as in a classroom," noted Rosenberg.
The late Peter Drucker famously said: "With the interactivity of the internet, we get the equivalent of a one-to-one teacher-student ratio. The means are finally at hand to improve productivity in education."
This has never been truer than today, when resources are available from organizations internally, insurance companies and even vendors like Dude Solutions. Sample service-sector courses designed using popular authoring software can be found on HFI-U.
Learn more about training your team for the Changing Workforce in our new guide.
Allen Rathey Bio
Allen Rathey is principal of the Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) and HFI-U specializing in e-learning.