Even though research shows that 90% of corporations now use online learning compared with just 4% in 1995, there are still some common misconceptions surrounding e-learning. These e-learning ‘myths’ can sometimes be the reason that L&D managers are reluctant to take their e-learning strategy to the next level. If you are looking to boost your L&D by implementing a learning management system (LMS) or perhaps creating a blended learning strategy yet you’re being held back by a lack of clarity around some of the common e-learning myths, we’re here to help. Keep reading as we use our years of industry knowledge to do some debunking, so you don’t have to!
1. E-learning is isolating, with little to no interaction among learners
When compared to traditional face-to-face learning in a classroom setting, it’s understandable to assume that e-learning would be a lonelier way of learning, especially when done remotely. However, as the e-learning industry has grown exponentially over the past decade and remote working has become increasingly popular, new technology has served to improve the social element of learning online.
Microsoft Teams has become a staple for many companies and educational organisations across the world are using chat functionality and video conferencing tools on a daily basis, meaning it’s never been easier to work as a team in a virtual space. Many modern LMSs will have the option for Microsoft Teams integrations, meaning learners can work on projects together, easily get in touch with teachers/managers if they need help, or chat with peers and share their thoughts on courses/lessons in one united platform with single sign-on functionality.
An example of an e-learning platform that places social learning at its core is a Learning Experience Platform (LXP). An LXP is a user-centric platform that allows users to create and curate content to be easily shared with their peers. Features of an LXP such as Totara Engage include playlists where users can add relevant content that interests them, collaborative workspaces, and a ‘recommended for you’ block where relevant content can be promoted. Learners can share their thoughts in a virtual community space which mimics the teamwork environment of an office or classroom.
2. E-learning only suits a certain preferred learning style
It’s easy to assume that online learning fundamentally benefits those who learn best by reading but in reality, e-learning opens up your learning programmes so that you can easily cater to multiple learning styles at the same time – something that is hard to achieve in a typical offline classroom setting.
Using an LMS, you can deliver lessons via videos and infographics to suit the visual learner, audio and recorded lectures to suit auditory learners, or social and collaborative learning tasks to suit interpersonal learners.
For logical learners who retain information best by problem-solving, you can incorporate some interactive lessons such as branching scenarios. Here learners are presented with choices and the consequences of their decisions will determine the outcome of the problem they are solving, thereby improving their critical thinking skills and applying knowledge to a practical setting.
For those who learn best by receiving information in small bite-sized chunks, microlearning is yet another possibility when using LMS software. Microlearning consists of short bursts of content that typically take no more than 15 minutes to consume.
One of the biggest benefits of e-learning is that content can be revisited as many times as needed. If a learner is struggling to understand the subject matter or has forgotten some information, they can revisit the lesson again and again. Regardless of learning style, this creates a better chance for learners to get to grips with a lesson when compared to offline learning.
3. Remote e-learning sees low engagement levels
One assumption that people make about e-learning is that learners are unmotivated to complete lessons as there isn’t a teacher/trainer/manager physically present to ensure objectives are met. This is not the case, and it all depends on how you’re using your LMS software.
One of the best ways to ensure learners are motivated when using an e-learning platform is to introduce unique learning paths targeting the required learning of each user. You can create customised templates in an LMS like Totara Learn, adding relevant courses and lessons to ensure learners are engaged and adequately resourced to complete their learning objectives.
Learners are better motivated to engage with e-learning courses when L&D managers include readily available features such as motivational markers, such as progress bars, badges, and certificates. Not to mention gamification-style lessons which inject some fun into teaching, placing interactivity and engagement at the fore.
4. It’s difficult to monitor learner progress
A common e-learning myth is that teachers or trainers will struggle to monitor the progress of a learner and assess whether they are using the e-learning platform to the expected standard. However, e-learning in fact provides educators or managers with sophisticated analytics tools to ensure learners are making progress at every level.
For example, LMS analytics data will allow you to track completion rates, and sign-in rates so you can monitor how often learners are logging into your platform. This means that if learners aren’t motivated to complete their assigned learning, managers can intervene and make any necessary changes to ensure that learners stay on track.
LMS reporting tools also allow you to analyse where a learner is making good progress or whether they are struggling with certain topics. For example, if a learner has failed an end-of-course assessment several times, you can reach out to them and provide additional learning scaffolding.
To get even better results out of your learners, you may wish to consider using a performance management system such as Totara Perform, designed around productivity and adaptability. With dynamic goal-focused dashboards showing progress for each learner, you can easily identify skills gaps and with robust feedback tools it’s easy to ensure that targets are met, and continuous progress is being made.
5. Delivering e-learning programmes requires advanced tech knowledge
Learning how to use an e-learning platform such as an LMS can seem overwhelming to start with as there is a wealth of features and functions. However, most modern LMSs are built to be user-friendly, making it easy to deliver the e-learning programmes that best suit your needs. With an LMS such as Totara Learn you can easily customise the platform to make it your own without the need for advanced technical knowledge and capabilities.
If technical knowledge is required, a good LMS provider will help with implementation, personalisation, and branding, along with offering training and support to help you get to grips with the admin and technical elements. Our HubkenCore package provides unlimited technical support as standard, meaning you can get as much help as you need. Furthermore, with our video library you’ll find a range of ‘how to’ videos to help answer any questions about your LMS.
Need some more answers?
Have you still got some more e-learning myths that need busting or any general queries that need answers? Get in touch with one of our e-learning experts here. We’ll be happy to answer any questions or if you’d like some more information on how to get started with an LMS, check out our free ultimate starter guide for implementing the best LMS here.
As a Totara Platinum Alliance Partner and Moodle expert, we design and deliver high-quality e-learning solutions for leading UK businesses and organisations, building lasting relationships so that they can realise the full potential of their learning and development projects.