Despite its popularity, opinions about e-learning remain mixed. Some are not quite convinced that it is effective, or do not think it is worth the investment, or simply do not believe that it will last. But e-learning proponents believe that e-learning is the future.
Let’s take a look at common myths about e-learning, and debunk them once and for all:
Myth # 1: E-Learning is too fast-paced.
Perhaps the most common myth, one which intimidates those who are not so tech-savvy.
The first impression is that e-learning moves too quickly for others, but this is not true at all. Instead, you learn at your own pace. The Internet may look like it’s a complicated world of its own, but you control the rate at which you’re going.
In a classroom setting, learning is teacher-centered. The teacher sets the pace of the curriculum and students are expected to follow the movement and show progress.
In e-learning, on the other hand, you can take the course without having to worry too much about deadlines. Having this kind of control allows you to actively learn and ensure that you don’t miss out on salient points.
Myth # 2: E-learning only works for a particular type of learner.
Not really. E-learning is simply a theory, strategy, or approach, but it doesn’t mean that it is directed to a certain type of learner.
The learning management system (LMS), or the software used to run an e-learning course, makes it possible to design a platform designed for all types of learners. LMS vendors are usually very flexible in designing their software to fit the profile and needs of your students. This is a clear demonstration of the flexibility of e-learning.
Are your students more of the hands-on type? Is it their first time to try an online course? Are there any handicapped students?
Whatever the differences, e-learning can be customized according to the learning needs of your students. You can also have it tailor-made to fit your manner of teaching.
Myth # 3: E-learning is inferior to traditional learning.
Completely false! This is an unfortunate stigma to e-learning that needs to be dispelled once and for all.
Other than short course providers, community colleges, and middle schools—did you know that even the top universities in many countries now provide e-learning programs?
Academic institutions take e-learning very seriously. They are quite strict with the quality of their online courses, often running them through a stringent certification process.
These online courses aren’t even a walk in the park, according to some. It’s not uncommon to see e-learning modules in higher education like MS, MA and PhD degrees. In fact, these are just as challenging as their traditional counterparts, but what makes them truly effective is that they are both fun and encouraging.
E-learning empowers the learners to actively learn and be genuine in their efforts to really understand the content.
Myth # 4: Employees dislike e-learning.
One reason why employees leave is the lack of opportunities for professional development.
Ideally, a company should invest in continuing education, but the challenge is catching the employees’ interest and inspiring genuine learning.
Disgruntled employees may be displeased with their company’s e-learning tools and strategies, but more often than not, they have been provided with the wrong kind of e-learning.
Have you identified your employees’ learning needs? What are their strengths and weaknesses? What interests them the most?
Your training program must be relevant to your users. Is the content aligned with their responsibilities? Does it highlight what is expected of them? Does the course allow them to give feedback?
An LMS customized for your corporate training needs is a good investment. Whether you’re onboarding new hires, presenting new products, or updating your policies, e-learning helps boost your employees’ morale.
After all, a happy employee will remain and never leave.
Myth # 5: E-learning encourages laziness.
Another unfortunate myth, most likely because e-learning is so convenient to use.
If you can’t log in now, you can do so later. If you haven’t charged your laptop, you can review tomorrow. If you can’t study because of a power problem, then you can try again once it’s fixed.
While it is true that e-learning gives the impression that you have all the time to finish your tasks just so you can postpone them, it should not be made a practice. Any e-learner must be responsible, independent, and motivated.
The best thing about e-learning, in this case, is that you can track your own progress. Gamification also allows you to see your current standing against other learners. Your instructor or teacher may also supervise you as you go along the course.
Myth # 6: E-learning courses can only be designed by experts.
We’re talking about IT professionals, instructional engineers, and software developers. While they are the perfect experts to design an e-learning course, the simpler platforms are actually not so difficult to create.
If you’re planning to offer a brief and easy online course, there are plenty of design programs with ready-made templates for you to start with. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need coding knowledge and all that technical jargon to come up with a great e-learning course.
Design programs are user-friendly. These often come with instructions to help you modify and customize your program. You can also add certain features such as multimedia elements and support functions.
Myth # 7: E-learning is not worth the investment.
Corporate e-training demands hundreds and thousands of dollars. But with the right content and strategy, you will actually save more.
Imagine having to regularly hire an expert to train new hires, book a venue, prepare course materials and learning kits—all these are time-consuming and expensive. Multiply the average expenditure for one training session by the number of times you do it in a year—how much does it cost for your company?
With e-learning, you only prepare the course once. You can choose an LMS that’s personalized or straight out off the shelf—either way, you can present relevant content depending on the learning needs of your employees. Along the way, you can modify content as needed.