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What Is E-Learning? The Advantages at a Glance

the advantages of e-learning

Opinions are divided on the subject of e-learning. Students are tired of the same old online lessons and lectures after more than a year of distance learning and long for in-person courses, physical libraries and face-to-face study groups. However, we should not overlook the benefits of e-learning and how many varied possibilities there are that make e-learning more exciting.

What Is E-Learning?

E-learning does not only refer to online lectures via a conferencing tool. Anything that takes place online and digitally and is used for education and training can be called e-learning. So, strictly speaking, e-learning is far more common than you might think: reading articles online and writing an essay on your computer that you submit to the online learning platform? That in itself is e-learning. Webinars, on the other hand, are the online version of the classic lecture and work by means of simple video conferencing.

But the possibilities go much deeper.

The Advantages at a Glance

E-learning:

  • offers flexibility
  • makes education more accessible
  • saves time and money

Studies have proven that remote work and its flexibility increases productivity and work-life balance. Why shouldn’t the same be true for students?

Online courses can also be tailored to individual learning needs. Some learn better in live video conferences, where they can ask questions and have them answered directly. Others like to manage their own time and prefer to watch a recording on the weekend. Still others need lots of repetition to better memorize lessons. This flexibility also offers inclusivity for a wider range of students. A working parent, for example, can log into classes in the evening when it’s convenient for their schedule, rather than racing across town to an in-person class. E-learning also increases education accessibility for students with varying abilities, so they can learn from the comfort of their homes and use tools like closed captioning.

Participants also save time and money – another factor that makes education more accessible. Long travel times are no longer necessary, participants save on travel costs, and the organizational effort is also limited to technology and IT infrastructure for the educational institution. There is no need to pay for physical classroom space.

However, all these advantages only succeed if the possibilities are properly executed.

The Ideal E-Learning Process: An Example

The day starts with a webinar. In an online lecture, the lecturer introduces a new tool for video editing. The lecturer speaks directly to his course participants, shares their screen and answers all open questions live.

The subsequent group work to create a first video together can be structured in many ways. Numerous video conferencing tools offer the possibility for so-called breakout rooms, through which larger groups can be divided into smaller ones, for more efficient collaboration. Not only that, collaboration tools support interactive learning. In real time, students can brainstorm and work together on an interactive board. That way, students work out their video concept, plan the structure and distribute the individual tasks by using intuitive e-learning software in just a few steps.

This is followed by video editing on virtual machines. Some learning situations require high-performance equipment, special programs and a controlled IT environment. For example, our customer ARD.ZDF medienakademie uses AnyDesk to provide remote access to video editing programs for their students. A student who wants to operate a video editing program from home can connect to the school’s computer with their private laptop via remote access and thus does not have to set up everything at home. Read our guide to learn more about how to digitalize your educational institution using remote access.

 Other terms to keep in mind regarding e-learning:

  • VR simulations are already being applied to flight and surgical simulations and could be used in other areas of online education in the future.
  • MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course and refers to large and often free online continuing education courses that are open to anyone interested and are often completed by a certificate.
  • LMS is short for Learning Management System and is used to organize and deliver learning content and assess students or learners.
  • Podcasts have become an important learning resource in recent years, along with books and online videos. They are longer audio or video reports, with a focus on audio, just like radio coverage. There are podcasts on a variety of interesting topics.
  • Authoring tools help create online content. Authoring is an umbrella term for a wide range of programs, from simple writing programs like Microsoft Word to the creation of complex multimedia content.

In summary, everyone learns differently. So, when designing online courses, it is important to offer as much variety as possible to suit all students. In-person courses can also be supplemented by such online modules or made more flexible. Online teaching is the future and has by no means reached its limits.

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