E-learning: what should you know about online courses?

E-learning courses are innovative, digital teaching methods that make trainings more accessible to employees. The e-learning method comes with many benefits: it’s cost-efficient, allows remote learning and standardized assessment, while it is also easy to personalize and enables students to repeat learning materials. In our article, you can learn about the concept of e-learning, its advantages, and the steps of introducing an e-learning course.

What exactly is e-learning?

In many countries - take Hungary, for example - e-learning and digital trainings used to be uncommon pedagogical methods before the pandemic. However, as a result of changed educational and working conditions, the number of educational institutions, training centers and workplaces using distance learning has increased significantly. But what exactly is e-learning? In his textbook, “The concept of eLearning”, Sandor Forgo media computer scientist defines e-learning courses as follows:

“E-learning is a form of training available on a computer network which, in the possession of efficient, optimal knowledge transfer and learning methods, organizes both the curriculum and student resources, as well as the tutor-learner communication and the interactive computer-based training software into a unified framework, and makes it accessible to students.”

Based on the above definitions and the experiences gained since the publication of the book, we can make the following statements about e-learning courses:

  • E-learning courses take place in a digital environment (PC, mobile phone or tablet)
  • E-learning is an asynchronous learning and teaching method, meaning it doesn’t require the continuous online presence of an instructor.
  • It aims to deliver pre-designated knowledge and materials to students.
  • Digital tools (quiz materials, multimedia aids, online resources) can help process and understand the curriculum.

What’s the difference between e-learning and online education?

Even though many use e-learning and online education as interchangeable expressions, there is a difference. So what do they actually refer to? 

  • E-learning course: As you’ve seen in the previous paragraph, e-learning courses utilize asynchronous training methods: students process pre-made study materials on their own based on their tutor’s instructions.
  • Online education: A broader collective term that includes the e-learning method under its umbrella as well. Digital education usually combines both synchronous and asynchronous teaching tools. 

The advantages of e-learning courses

In the introduction part of this article you could briefly read about the advantages of e-learning courses. Below you can find the key benefits in detail: 

  • Cost-effectiveness: With e-learning courses often there are no additional costs besides entering the course. In the case of conventional classroom training and synchronous digital courses, the instructor's salary is a significant cost. Standardized tests for e-learning courses often allow for automatic correction, further reducing the cost of tutor expenses. 
  • Remote learning: Are you (painfully) familiar with the feeling of having to travel for hours just for a single university lecture? Do you also hate having to fight your way through the busy city to attend a course? E-learning courses provide location-independent remote learning, meaning you can complete trainings even from your own comfortable couch or your favorite café. A lot of time can be saved by avoiding unnecessary commuting. 
  • Standardized assessment: It is possible to make the mistake of subjectivity during assessment even for the most impartial instructors. The knowledge gained during the e-learning course is often checked with a standardized evaluation process. These digital quizzes allow for perfectly objective assessment. 
  • Possibility of personalization: Some modern e-learning solutions are able to personalize the study material based on the answers given to practice tests. Feedback-based training solutions can help provide a deeper understanding of the curriculum. 
  • Repeatable learning materials: Everybody’s learning skills are different. It is easy to feel lost or just get bored in conventional courses due to the slow pace of the lesson. The e-learning course is easy to repeat and can be speeded up many times. 
  • Easier to organize: Those involved in organizational tasks are well aware of the challenges of organizing a classroom training. An e-learning course requires much less organization as it is free to take at any time during the study period. 

E-learning tanfolyamok
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Introducing e-learning through the Blue Colibri App

For the introduction of e-learning courses, an interdisciplinary approach is necessary, as it requires common knowledge in many different areas. In general, the following groups need to be involved in creating an e-learning course:

  • Specialist familiar with the subject
  • Learning methodology specialist
  • Technical support professionals (digital materials, preparation of learning platform)

Creating the right digital environment is often costly and time-consuming. Fortunately, with the help of innovative digital solutions, creating the right conditions for e-learning courses can be much faster and easier. One such solution is the Blue Colibri App, which provides easy, fast and instant communication across the organization. Employees can communicate on their own devices and can access the platform even without a corporate email address and / or a computer. 

The education features of this employee app also enable the company to create effective e-learning courses using videos, visuals, articles, education materials and interactive presentations that you can page through. In the Blue Colibri App you also have the opportunity to create quizzes with multiple choice questions, a points system, and many other customizable feature. From learning materials to mandatory work safety trainings, Blue Colibri is a great platform for standardized, interactive and effective e-learning courses.