According to Orbis Research, the global e-learning market is expected to reach $275.10 billion by 2022 and is growing at a rapid rate. E-learning is growing at a rapid rate because it’s cost-effective, accessible, flexible, scalable, and offers measurable data about programs, as well as data about learners and their learning progress.
However, e-learning (learning conducted via electronic media, typically on the Internet), doesn’t come without its challenges. Below are some common challenges trainers and learning and development professionals experience with e-learning, as well as how such challenges can be circumvented.
Learners with Low Self-Discipline
E-learning courses are often self-guided, which means each learner will be required to complete course material at his or her own pace. While this is typically great because it leads to more freedom (i.e., each learner can complete modules when it’s most convenient for him or her), it can also lead to procrastination, and to learners falling behind. The truth is, some learners aren’t as organized as others, and some don’t have the self-discipline or motivation to come up with their own study schedules and complete assignments at a balanced pace.
To help all learners complete their course material in a timely manner, offer clear study paths for them, schedules, and due dates for assignments or modules. You can also help learners stay on a well-charted and balanced path by making course material interactive and engaging and by ensuring it aligns with learners’ career goals and objectives.
Limited to No Face-to-Face Interaction with Instructor or Classmates
When learners don’t regularly interact with their instructor or classmates, they might start to view their learning or training experience as impersonal or boring. They will begin engaging with course content less, will retain less material, and may start to skip certain assignments altogether.
Hosting live webcasts or webinars on a frequent basis is a great way to get your e-learners to engage with you and their fellow classmates in real time more often. If you aren’t able to have intermittent, in-person classroom sessions in between e-learning modules and course material, live broadcasting will help bring everyone together at the same time and stay engaged.
Real-Time Assessments Are Too Objective
Assessments for e-learning courses typically only ask objective or knowledge-based questions that have one distinct, correct answer. While this can be beneficial sometimes, there are other times when learners should be able to demonstrate their subjective or personal understanding of a subject or topic.
Instead of only offering real-time assessments that are automatically generated and graded after a module is completed, also provide learners with opportunities to submit written assignments or recorded videos of themselves where they answer questions in their own words. This will provide learners the opportunity to demonstrate their full understanding of a subject, in their own terms.
[Part 2 of this article will be in the next issue.]