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Online learning describes any educational material that is accessed over the internet to teach or educate an audience. It can utilize many forms of media.
The evolution of online learning is closely tied to improvements of the internet— as speed, ability, and reach expands, new opportunities for online learning have become available. Even before the creation of the internet, groups saw the benefit of using computers to share educational material with their learners. For example, in the early 1960’s, the University of Illinois created an intranet using a series of linked computer terminals to allow students access to course material and recorded lectures. As the internet was created and related technology was adopted, online learning has been a continually-improving vehicle to disseminate educational material to learners. One of the first courses to provide real-time instruction and interaction over the internet was the Computer Assisted Learning Center (CALC) in 1994. More recently, between the years of 2000 and 2009, the number of students taking online courses jumped 189%, totaling approximately 5.5 million students worldwide.
Because of this, companies have been trading in their traditional classroom-based programs for a library of online learning. This is due to the many benefits gained which include shorter durations, more accessible learning, and reduced training expenses.
The corporate world is turning to online learning for many of the same reasons that the education industry has. Online learning was once regarded as a means for education solely when onsite training wasn’t feasible. Now, with the shift of the digital native millennial workforce, it has become the preferred and most successful way to train employees. Online learning retains the effective qualities of on-site training, such as social learning through corporate-wide collaboration in real time, while providing a flexibility that cannot be enjoyed through on-site training.
Online learning allows an organization to fine-tune the takeaways in their course for their employees as needed, ensuring that changes in behavior meet business goals. Every learner who takes a particular course is presented with identical information delivered in the same manner. This provides an opportunity to produce powerful analytics regarding the effectiveness of the course. You can quickly identify learners who are struggling with a topic and provide an appropriate solution. This contrasts onsite training where learners can easily fall behind, but the company may not realize it until the employee makes costly mistakes on the job. Learning Management Systems (LMS) allows you to analyze your learners’ behavior and gain invaluable insights regarding the strengths and weakness of both the courses and your learners. This creates a clear picture of what needs fine-tuning in order to maximize your return on investment.
At Designing Digitally, we specialize in creating educational, engaging, and entertaining online learning experiences uniquely tailored to our clients’ business goals. We partner with our clients to determine the learning objectives that align with their business initiatives. At the beginning of each project, we analyze the audience of the training. This helps us determine the best learning strategy and technology platforms to accomplish the objectives.
Our bespoke courses all offer the flexibility to choose from a variety of authoring tools in addition to many learning enhancements, such as virtual and augmented reality, 360 Video, microlearning, and more. With a custom-built development, all your needs can be met and training can be delivered in the approach that is best for your organization.
To learn more about the custom online learning solutions available from our team and how your company could benefit, download your copy of our white paper “Designing Digitally’s Approach to Online Training”, or contact us today