6 Reasons Why Universities Need Elearning Programs
Traditional learning has been the predominant mean of education in universities for as long as anyone can remember. However, with the advent of elearning technology, it’s become necessary for universities to implement elearning programs to stay ahead.
Despite the growing demand for elearning, some universities haven’t incorporated it in their syllabus yet. Little do they realize that they are missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime by not being a part of this innovation in education. Today we’re going to explain to you why universities actually need such elearning programs.
Elearning has revolutionized the art of studying with the international elearning market expected to be worth $325 billion in 2025. Online learning is cost-effective, convenient, and beneficial to students and the general population. One of the major benefits of elearning is that it’s accessible to anyone. After all, it’s not exclusive to students seeking a degree. It’s an ideal solution for employees who want to upskill or for people who can’t commit to traveling to a university or school.
Not only that, but elearning helps cut boundaries between people and educational institutions. Offering an online course or even a module online allows the educational center to include a much wider group of people.
So why should a university implement an elearning program?
1. Huge demand for elearning in companies
Many companies want their employees to learn new skills through online courses. About 67% of US companies use elearning programs due to them being practical and easy to use. That’s because universities have moved with the times and became more flexible. Elearning programs now cater to the needs of different organizations. They allow companies to choose specific programs with online modules that will benefit their employees the most. By going this route, companies get to spend less time on employee training as the employees learn through their smartphones and laptops instead of physically attending traditional classes.
Upskilling current employees is much easier than hiring new ones with the desired skill set. This leaves employees with more time to spend on their work and increases company productivity. Besides, a company’s generated income increases once employees use their acquired skills in their respective roles. With elearning incorporated into the work schedule, employees can be less stressed and get a better handle on balancing both their work and education. In turn, they’ll be able to complete their courses at their own pace.
Working while studying helps employees understand things better if faced with similar real-life situations. This, in turn, helps them remember the things they learn. According to research, elearning increases a learner’s retention rate to 82%. Companies also save a lot since they don’t have to hire instructors to come in.
With so much demand for elearning programs in companies, universities will miss out by not accommodating them.
2. Lifestyle changes in today’s students
Nowadays students are growing up immersed in technology. They’re all well versed in using a computer and smartphone from a young age. As such, they’re rather familiar with online learning. Where they once had to go to college to do coursework, today’s college students can use digital technologies in its stead. For example, students don’t have to wait to borrow books from libraries. One ebook is more than enough to go around so multiple students can read it at the same time.
Using digital technology and distance learning to run courses creates a relaxed environment for the students involved. Learning becomes easy when dividing material into smaller chunks of visual information. This makes the whole learning experience far more gripping. Besides, elearning can be used to challenge students and their knowledge with innovative learning methods. They find it easy to understand and solve problems thanks to the advanced learning concepts.
Students can listen to lectures as many times as needed. They can even pause and rewind them for better understanding, which is not possible in a traditional learning atmosphere. That way they’ll never miss vital information they may need for assignments or exams. They also like the fact that elearning courses come in flexible formats. They have degree programs, certifications, and courses to choose from. These courses are also presented in a friendly way, making students enjoy the learning experience overall. It’s a far better alternative to cramming information late at night with a pot of coffee nearby.
It’s because of all this that students pursuing online courses end up learning much more. The preferred method of education differs for each individual. Elearning programs allow for the educational freedom that people crave. All this, in turn, leads to fewer students dropping out and gives more students passing. This, in turn, improves the university’s positive reviews, reputation, and enrolments.
3. Extended reach
Not everyone can find the time to go to college or university for hours at a time. However, through elearning programs, they can easily manage their course load. Now, education centers can reach out to regular students, and those who can’t attend classes because of employment restrictions or personal commitments. They can study at their convenience, in the wee early morning hours or late at night before sleeping, whenever they find time in their busy schedules.
Besides, online learning helps bridge the gap between school and higher education. It provides students with an opportunity to enroll in their choice of college preparation, honors, or Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
4. Connecting the developing world
Elearning programs also provide students in developing countries with a chance to pursue their dream courses, something they otherwise wouldn’t get in their own countries. It’s this move that becomes part of an international strategy that universities can use to promote higher education institutions. Online learning helps developing countries produce a workforce competent in subjects such as engineering, computer science, business administration, and marketing. This workforce has proven to be integral to the growth of the country’s economy.
Countries like China and India can find a common solution for their lack of quality academic staff to teach students. With broadband spreading its 4G networks into these countries, academic staff from these universities can now teach aspiring students in developing countries. Students can easily access their online modules and lectures through cheap Smartphones and laptops.
Broadband improves the quality of elearning in providing flexibility in the country’s courses. Countries like India have a rigid educational system that doesn’t allow students to do anything cross-disciplinary like engineering students learning physics. But elearning allows students from any discipline to pursue their chosen course or subject.
China and India are the fastest-growing markets for established universities to venture into. South Africa and Brazil are also not far behind.
5. Cost-effective in the long run
A major advantage is that there’s no limit to how many students can enroll in any given course online. Due to the entire experience being virtual, there are no classroom restrictions because students pursue their studies from wherever they are. Universities just have to invest in a well-organized infrastructure to build digital learning spaces and design data analytics for improved student engagement.
Besides, elearning allows teachers to give their individual time and attention to students who need it. It also uses adaptive lessons that provide direct support to students to help them learn on their own.
6. A new role for designers
Getting people to enroll isn’t enough, though. There is a high chance of them dropping out or stopping out of boredom or lack of balance with their other responsibilities. That is why you also have to focus on information retention and module completion by offering a variety of diverse courses. An innovative approach to program and course formats along with support services and student engagement all help retain the attention of elearning students.
The investment in elearning brings with it a variety of exciting new roles. Teachers get to work with designers, developers, engineers, support software developers, graphic designers, and user experience experts. They work to create engaging courses for students to personalize education to meet individual students’ needs.
Designers have their own rules to follow when designing an online course. They need to:
- Adhere to SMART goals that ensure a focused lesson design process.
- Create a storyboard before starting. The storyboard should integrate various mediums to be able to create a rich learning experience.
- Use available tools and new technologies to create meaningful learning content and presentations for students.
- Build a course tailored to high-order thinking. Designers need to integrate tools that allow students to share whatever they learn and find interesting.
- Remember that they are learning too. They need to keep on evaluating and learning from mistakes or coming up with new ideas for the next module.
What it all comes down is that universities with integrated elearning programs will have an advantage over those hesitant to take the leap. Not only will they be able to increase their enrollment rates, but they’ll also be able to compete on a global level with other educational institutions. With the number of online learners quadrupling worldwide, there is a huge potential for growth in universities that invest in elearning. So why not jump onto the bandwagon and be a part of this revolution too?