Can eLearning replace classroom training?

Posted by Kam Amilthan | Posted in eLearning | Posted on 11-05-2010-05-2008

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Nearly sixty years ago, science fiction novelist Isaac Asimov wrote about a “mechanical” teacher giving a little girl customised lessons. The little girl doesn’t know what an actual book is like, and is astounded when her friend Tommy discovers a “real book”. She is even more surprised to learn that people actually congregated in a single place and learnt together from a human tutor.

Asimov pictures that kind of a scenario for the year 2157. But is it really that far off? Over the last eight years the eLearning industry has been expanding and growing at a record pace, with significant technological advancements changing the nature of knowledge sharing.

eLearning – Designing tomorrow’s education
What has eLearning done so far in transforming the mechanics of teaching? Today, one can create courses with audio, high definition video, simulation games, etc. With the right LMS platform one can also custom design courses. The chief advantage of eLearning is the flexibility that it offers. A course can be accessed from anywhere at any time.

Advantage – E-learning
Elearning is growing steadily because of other benefits as well. The course designed remains the same and can be updated whenever the need arises. When diverse sectors began developing eLearning courses for their institutions and organisations, the chief worry was about costs. Getting together a group of designers, programmers, content developers, etc. resulted in expenses that only big companies could afford. However, competitive pricing and technological developments has now made eLearning affordable to everyone.

Organisations implementing eLearning may still have a few worries. The standard of the course content needs to be constantly verified and updated. Also, with each person being on his/her own, there is minimal scope for socialisation. It is the basic instinct of humans to want to socialise and interact with each other. This is the main reason why classroom training still tops eLearning.

But like with EasyAuthoring’s eLearning tools, blended learning is a possibility today. Trainers instruct in classrooms using certain technology-based teaching aids. Even if all the trainees are not together in a single place they can still communicate and interact via forums, discussion boards and chat rooms.

The benefits of eLearning are too compelling to ignore this lane completely. This may be a little too far-fetched right now but from an environmental viewpoint, eLearning helps save up on a lot of paper, a boost in efforts to save our planet.

Right now classroom training still overrides eLearning. The day may not be far when classroom training gets ruled out completely and like Asimov’s little girl in the story, someone in the future sits thinking about “the fun they had” in school.

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