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David English

Management

E-Learning Is On the Rise

Companies may find it necessary to supply employees some form of online training

Published: Tuesday, August 25, 2020 - 12:03

As we all become accustomed to the ongoing restrictions as a result of Covid-19, an increasing number of Brits are looking for new and innovative ways to learn and develop. From home DIY to exercise classes, there are all kinds of weird and wonderful ways the British population is making the most of the “new normal.”

What are people interested in?

With online searches for e-learning courses peaking during the week immediately after UK’s prime minister declared a countrywide lockdown, some people are using the unexpected downtime to take online courses across a wide variety of disciplines. Indeed, ISO accreditation provider British Assessment Bureau has seen a dramatic increase in interest for their online courses.

“Throughout the Covid-19 outbreak we have seen a lot more interest in our online courses, with people taking the opportunity to upskill or increase knowledge at a time when many are working from home or even furloughed,”  says David English, sales and marketing director at British Assessment Bureau.

Aside from e-learning, there have also been notable increases in people looking for ways to keep active at home during the pandemic, with interest in the topic of home exercise increasing nine-fold in April compared with last year. From Joe Wicks’ home workouts to “Yoga with Adrienne” Brits are finding it is just as easy to keep active from their own homes as they would the gym.

And of course, the now-infamous “Sourdough Starter,” the subreddit forum r/Sourdough, with 67,000 subscribers, has seen activity increase by more than 170 percent since Jan. 1, 2020. There are also a lot more Brits starting to bake at home, and as a result, we have seen a huge rise in interest online, with searches around the topic increasing to more than 2.6 million in April, compared with 650,000 in the same month last year.

Interestingly, using data from recent search trends we can see that courses around digital skills and business skills have seen an increase in interest of more than 200 percent when compared with 2019. Indeed, the British Assessment Bureau has unsurprisingly seen a large increase in people taking business-focused e-learning courses, with courses around Covid-19 and introductory ISO courses proving the most popular. It seems clear that the nation is keen to use the lockdown as an opportunity to further develop both personal and commercial skills, particularly now that many people have more time available and easy access to learn online.


Google e-learning searches over time

Implementing effective e-learning

Even as the country starts to open back up again some people will likely continue to work from home and the British Assessment Bureau is continuing to see strong interest in online courses and certifications. As e-learning courses continue to increase, it’s important to recognize that some improvements can be made to the overall delivery of such courses. Often users may well be less focused or distracted whilst working at home and, as such, changes need to be made to ensure that any online course is as immersive as possible. This could include adding more interactive elements or varying the delivery of the course to ensure that all users remain engaged and interested in the subject matter.

As home internet usage increases, technical issues can often cause problems with delivering an e-learning course. There are however several things organizations can do to ensure that all users can have access to learning material. Businesses must be clear about the technical specifications and equipment needed to get the best value out of a course so users can effectively learn and develop. Additionally, by making sure all course materials are available and downloadable we can ensure that customers can access course content, even if there are some temporary connection issues.

Delivering what can often be very content-heavy courses is an additional challenge that can cause some issues in ensuring effective delivery.

“We recognize that our audiences often have very different needs, which is why we offer a variety of courses at different levels of depth, including many free and very low-cost options,” says English. “By regularly soliciting participant feedback through surveys or customer calls we can make relevant changes to our course materials to ensure that content is well-aligned to business goals and objectives.”

From a more positive perspective, e-learning courses allow us to continue to deliver training in a more timely manner. As students can typically work at their own pace it means that those who are finding the course relatively straightforward will be able to move through quickly, whilst those who may be struggling with certain aspects of the training can take more time as needed. As a result of the inherent flexibility involved with online training, we also generally tend to see participants complete courses in a faster time and with a higher success rate, particularly as everyone can complete courses at a time and place that suits them.

From a commercial perspective, the cost of setting up and running an e-learning course is typically a lot lower than in-person training. As online courses can be reused and accessed from anywhere in the world, once they are set up there is little in the way of ongoing costs. This means that businesses are able to offer such courses at a more competitive rate, thus making such training accessible to a wider audience.

As both individuals and businesses begin to recognize the advantages of e-learning courses, it is likely to become more of a necessity to offer at least some form of online training. With more people working flexibly than ever before, the creation and production of e-learning and training presents an excellent opportunity to offer staff training in a new and innovative way.

Discuss

About The Author

David English’s picture

David English

David English is the Sales and Marketing Director for British Assessment Bureau, the UK’s fastest-growing certification body and part of the Amtivo Group. David’s objective as part of the Amtivo Group is to support business owners and their employees in accessing software, training and certification services that enable them to achieve business excellence, whatever their field.