By Ian Ilano
In the United States, the number of employees and students enrolled in online education programs is rapidly rising. Although there has been some resistance, higher-education institutions and businesses are starting to embrace the benefits that an online education can offer.
Besides lowering costs, there are many reasons why your business should consider online education. Following are 4 reasons why online education would work for you.
Updated and Individualized Learning
Recent studies show that young adults are considerably less attentive and aware. In fact, Microsoft recently discovered that the average human attention span has shortened to eight seconds from 12.
With this finding comes the idea of micro-learning and online education.
Micro-learning is the new workplace strategy. Nowadays, workers see long training sessions and huge guidebooks as excessive and outdated. According to research, what workers tend to crave is “short spurts of learning in bite-sized chunks that they can engage in on their own time.” This is not to say that these types of workers are less effective learners – they just prefer to learn in a different way.
Bite-sized chunks of information help make learning more manageable.
Online education and micro-learning go hand-in-hand. With online education, you're targeting the specific workers who benefit most from micro-learning. Online education is more convenient, manageable, and flexible. Most of the time, online programs split lessons into modules, which act as bite-sized chunks for workers to breeze through and complete.
Online education helps workers feel more engaged and retain the information better. They would be more than happy to sit at home and breeze through a couple of online lesson if it means not going to an hour-long lecture that could realistically be condensed down into 10 minutes.
Ultimately, online education promotes micro-learning, which could lead to happier and more productive employees.
Convenience and flexibility
Ask yourself this: Has there ever been a training day when one or two employees did not call in and say they could not make it?
Almost every employer reading this would say no.
As much as you’d like to think your employees would put aside everything to make time for their training, let’s face it – your workers are busy. For employers, this makes trying to schedule training sessions and design instructional content challenging.
Online education can make it easier.
With online education, employees no longer have an excuse to miss lessons. Online programs offer them flexibility and the opportunity to plan their lessons around their day. In some work environments, employees work multiple jobs. While they would love to come in and receive free training, they may not have the time to attend in-person. In these cases, online education is a perfectly acceptable substitute. This option gives them the ability to access the information when they’re best able to.
Lower costs for employees and employers
The promise of lower costs should convince any business owner to consider online education.
Online courses are considerably more affordable than traditional training options. For example, a traditional in-person training program could cost up to a $1000 per unit, while the cost for a comparable online program is only a fraction of that cost.
Honestly, some lessons are small enough that online education should be the only option considered. It’s not financially viable to spend thousands for an in-house lesson that could be taught to your employees online. With online education, you’re potentially lowering your company expenses – saving you more time and money down the road.
Likewise, employees would be saving money on transportation and time as well.
It’s a win-win for both parties.
There are two types of people: those that feel more engaged at night, and those that feel more engaged in the morning.
When either tries to perform at their least preferred time of day, they’re less likely to retain the information. Take a worker who feels more engaged late at night. They’re used to working late. When they come to training session early in the morning, they’re less likely to immerse themselves and retain the information.
With online education, you’re empowering employees to take the lessons at a time that works the best work for them. In turn, this increases their likelihood of information retention – making them a more informed and effective employee.
In the end, online education can bring many benefits to your business. It’s a low-cost option that is more convenient, flexible, and effective than some traditional methods of learning. However, it’s important to consider that it may not work for every business. Some businesses may still find it more beneficial to hold in-person workshops where that intimate connection with other employees is preferred.
It's all about what works for you.