The global pandemic has affected very many sectors worldwide, and this has not excluded the education unit. Globally, thousands of schools have been closed down. This is due to the upsurge of the Covid-19 that has paralysed the learning for over five months now. Now e-learning (online learning) becomes relevant for more and more people.
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These changes have led to the innovation of new learning strategies that will allow the ongoing students to continue with the studies amidst the pandemic. Therefore, this has been facilitated by the rise of e-learning. In this article, we are going to analyse the upsides and downsides of this change and its implementation in different organisations.
Does the e-learning need new trainers?
As change is inevitable, all lecturers, teachers, and other professional trainers need to adapt to the new system. This entails the scheduling of the classes to online platforms and learning how to undertake the regular physical courses to virtual courses. In as much as the shift seems instant, the internet has played a significant role in ensuring the transition to be swift and smooth.
The e-learning is a beneficial learning method; however, there are some issues that the trainer needs to address before beginning the classes. First, as the training is now virtual, there is a greater need to increase the number of teachers and practitioners who will be able to take over the long lectures. This reduces lethargy and maintains the quality of the job done by the trainer and the students at large.
Additionally, there is an urgency in learning how to integrate the handouts to soft copy for easy access by the students. This eases online learning because the students can access and submit the assignments online, thus enabling the trainer to have suave time in assessing the student progress.
With the change in the e- learning, one of the pro-tips is that an online facilitator must-have is the use of new communication techniques in conjunction with the use of new online tools. Virtual learning requires precise communication channels between the teacher and the student; thus, the use of new communication tools allow informal consultation in cases of more clarification.
Moreover, the online platform requires the use of the latest collaboration tools such as e.g. padlet.com, which is a program that is used for business and educational purposes as they have good collaboration apps and plugins that you may need for the online studies.
What are the effects of e-learning on companies?
As the pandemic is non-selective, major companies have been hit hard by the Covid-19. This has brought a standstill in the effective functioning of the company. In terms of seminars and workshops, companies incorporated new learning systems. These online systems are associated with the following pros and cons.
One of the most significant advantages brought by online studying in a company is the success of specific learning courses (addressing specific relevant topics). Some courses can require many practical’s for one to complete the course work; whereas the theoretical parts are the often more successful part of the studying. The online space however gives the learners the possibility to finish the practical and theoretical courses, if supported by appropriate tools.
Moreover, the virtual studies have enabled the learning to be manageable through the innovation of new learning apps that easily allows one to ask a question in the learning process. This gives the trainers an informal assessment of the general functioning and attentiveness of the learners. Consequently, it allows smooth and precise clarification in cases of misunderstanding.
In association with active learning, the online platform gives the companies efficient statistical data that is used in assessing the active participation and number of attendance in any virtual session. This plays a huge role in different decision making aspects in the organization, as well as the improvement of the courses, as well as tracking the training progress in the company.
Several disadvantages are linked to online platforms. First, online learning requires sufficient discipline and consistency to be able to complete and attend the specified number of sessions. This is one of the tenets that hinders the success of the learning process. It is due to different factors encountered by the employees, such as lack of time and burnout after work.
For the companies who have enrolled in the e-learning for the home office, there is an increase in the need to provide resources for the company employees. In cases where no mobility tools have been provided, the implementation of new and modern technologies is a requirement hence more money required for the paradigm shift.
Online learning may affect employee productivity. This could occur after a busy day working on company details, the class which is to happen in the evening may be unsuccessful because of family or other home useissues that have remained unattended.
What are the effects of e-learning at the university?
The university is one of the most affected institutions; however, the effect was rather minimal as the universities often have running online e-studying platforms. This has allowed students to complete their semesters. Here are some of the upsides and downsides to the program.
Virtual studying gives the students a sufficient amount of time to do thorough research, which allows them to excel in the exam. As the internet can support learning progress, as a university student, you can effectively analyse the case studies hence acquiring and applying the correct and extensive answers to the assessments.
Additionally, the online collaboration has been more efficient with the different communication modes allowing the majority of the students to get alerts on the itinerary of the classes. Nonetheless, it will enable the students to be punctual and get to participate in the classwork actively.
Online learning requires the use of different online spaces such as new applications like Zoom, MS Teams, that allow effective and clear communication between the lecturers and the students. This ensures all the sessions are attended, and any clarification or changes in the courses are given earlier.
As online studies give students different virtues, the platform allows the students to be more autonomous in studying. This is through the completion and submission of assignments on time. Additionally, it gives them the discipline and consistency of attending the classes.
As much as there are many upsides, one of the downsides of online studies is the increased need of self-discipline. For instance, on online platforms, some people might choose to miss the classes, and this will hinder them from getting the notes or handouts in case they were given virtually. In cases of virtual exams, one might miss to subscribe to retake the course more easily.
In comparison to the previous learning schedules, with online studying, there are in general lesser periods of learning courses. This has affected the studying process because online studies require shorter sessions. They are often less effective compared to physical classes. These quick sessions could require a more extended period for its completion; therefore, the semester period may need to be extended, or a higher number of online courses need to be set up.
Additionally, online studying goes hand in hand with new online tools; frequently, if you do not have stable internet, you might miss the classes. Broadband is definitely needed. This is quite disadvantageous to the students and the lecturers. It could lead to less attendance, and one might dropout or defer the session. As online studying requires constant discipline, such instances might affect your study ethic.
Online studying is pivotal in the current era. However, many measures need to be implemented for success. Therefore, the impact that has been brought by Covid-19 must need to revolutionise the education, making it swift and straightforward to change from online to physical learning and vice-versa with ease using the same material.
The recommendations are:
- Online fatigue needs to avoided
- For longer webinars a second trainer would be helpful
- New training materials need to be prepared
- Communication techniques to be adapted
- New online collaboration tools to be learnt (e.g. Padlet.com)
- Questions can be easily posed via chat functions
- Company can ensure know-how build-up of employees
- Self-discipline needed
- The company has to provide hardware (notebooks, etc)
- Double burden at home
- Online Collaboration more efficient
- Different tools (Zoom, MS Teams, Mails, etc) lead to a better contact
- More independent work required
- Lectures are often shortened
- Online Tools may not be as efficient as personal lecture
Contact us to implement new training techniques at your company, in a university or for your trainers.