Online learning/eLearning/mobile learning continues to grow, fueled by workers often not based at a central office, increased interest in learning (especially for early career employees) and growing access to learning materials. In 2014, online learning with no live instructor increased by 2.6%, and an estimated 44% of companies were shopping for online learning in 2015.
Perhaps your company has shopped for online learning, or you have individually. There are certainly advantages to online training over classroom training. Assuming that it’s asynchronous (i.e., learners can access content at their leisure rather than have to convene at a specific time), it is highly flexible with regard to when and where learning sessions happen, and the pace.
Over the past several years as I authored an online learning course, and now have online learning programs in my portfolio (authored by others), I have become more aware what is found in quality online learning, and have scrutinized what I see available. Simply put,I can’t believe how much junk is out there. Just because it’s available online, doesn’t mean that it should be classified as “online learning.” If that were the case, then we could consider reading the online New York Times as “online learning.” (Note: there is an emerging classification of “informal learning,” and in that category, reading an article online about a topic related to work would count, but that still isn’t what can be fairly considered as “online learning.”)