This month, we’re chatting with Katrijn Van den Hende about e-Learning.
Katrijn is one of the driving forces behind Onyx Online Learning.
e-Learning, less expensive & more effective than traditional learning methods
e-Learning – also known as online Learning – is ‘big business’ in the United States. Europe is lagging behind, but has started to catch up in recent years.
What exactly is e-Learning?
“There is no concrete definition of e-Learning; opinions, and therefore also the definitions, vary.
According to ATD*, e-Learning refers to any learning method that is provided, accessed or steered by electronic technology.
e-Learning, or Electronic Learning, is therefore the acquisition or transmission of knowledge by means of computers or computer-based material.”
*American Society for Training and Development. Renowned professional membership organisation.
What kind of e-Learning modules are on offer?
“Two major groups can be distinguished, the off-the-shelf modules and the increasingly popular, personalised training programmes.
The off-the-shelf modules are ready-for-use e-Learning courses that have been designed around a specific topic. They are ideal, for example, for learning Excel, or for attending a language course. Personalised e-Learning modules are designed in accordance with the needs of the client, and on the basis of their input or content.”
That means that, as a company, you can have a tailor-made virtual training module designed. How exactly does that work?
“A basic structure is identified in consultation with the training and development manager of a company or organization. This contains the specific needs, the method and the length of the required module. The client provides the content. That could be a manual or a PowerPoint presentation, for example.
Modules range from very simple to very extensive. From instructions for use, for example, up to an e-Learning course in which employees and/or customers are tested and/or certified.”
Is it possible to work together with other companies through e-Learning?
“That’s one of the advantages. Take a company that is working with sub-contractors. I’ll give you an example. A company wants external companies to follow a safety procedure before giving them access to their company site. This is perfectly possible with e-Learning. All players thereby go through the same training programme.”
Are these e-Learning modules accessible from any computer?
“Yes, this process takes place online. Every employee and/or customer who is given access to the e-Learning programme can do this via his own computer or laptop. There are also modules for phones, but they have a different structure.”
So you don’t need to travel?
“Exactly. Your virtual teacher travels with you.
Even better, you select the section you need exactly when you need it. And all at your own pace.
The company doesn’t need to pay for a facilitator, and saves on venue and travelling costs.”
What happens if you are working with subsidiaries abroad?
“Online Learning is a cross-border process. The same content is offered to all employees, customers or contractors, but can also be adjusted to the language and the culture of the country.”
But… can a virtual teacher bring the message across as clearly?
“In the US, this type of online training is used in 73% of all companies. A study by the American Government shows that e-Learning works better than traditional learning.
- consistent and up-to-date knowledge transfer
- didactic substantiation
- working and learning are integrated
- promotes customer loyalty
It is, of course, important to take the objective of the e-Learning programme, the target group and their learning habits into account.”
Is e-Learning expensive, and therefore only reserved for large companies?
“e-Learning is often less expensive than traditional teaching methods, and is also a feasible option for small companies. The criterion is not the size of the company, but the objective of the learning method.”