10 Benefits of Online Learning & The Advantages of Learning Platforms
January 11, 2023
Michelle Mckinley | Head of Growth Marketing, WorkRamp
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Online learning has taken the world by storm. With a global market expected to reach $400 billion by 2026, up from $200 billion in 2019, everyone from doctoral students to corporate organizations is moving learning programs online.
Regarding professional development and continued learning, online courses and programs offer several advantages over traditional in-person options.
In this post:
Advantages of online learning
1. Self-paced learning allows flexibility
One of the biggest advantages of online learning is that it offers flexibility. Courses are self-paced, which means users can complete assignments within a specific time frame.
Participants access the lessons through a Learning Management System (LMS), follow the instructions, and complete the material. Users and instructors interact through messaging apps, email, or discussion boards.
Self-paced learning allows employees to control the pace of learning, which is in line with corporate initiatives. Eighty-one percent of executives state they are changing their workplace policies to offer greater flexibility to their workforce.
2. Teaches learners time management skills
Time management helps you prioritize tasks. It also helps people work more effectively. A recent Timewatch survey found that most employees agreed that better time management reduces stress at work (91 percent) and makes them more productive (90 percent).
Because most online learning is self-paced, users develop three core time management skills:
- Persistence. Team members must be consistent with how they use their time. It takes perseverance to change the way you use time.
- Dedication. Training takes strong commitment, whether it’s compliance, onboarding, or sales training. It’s not something you learn overnight. Learners must show up and practice until new skills become force-of-habit.
- Motivation. People set learning goals and aim to achieve them. Course materials have progress trackers to keep people motivated along the way.
With online learning, people learn how to plan coursework into their schedules. It teaches them to do one thing at a time, and break large projects into smaller, manageable tasks. They can apply time management skills to their everyday work, which builds confidence, improves focus, and fosters better working relationships.
3. Shows self-motivation
Self-motivation is one of the key advantages of online learning. Students’ efforts can be difficult to gauge in a traditional classroom setting. Online learning, however, enables employees to demonstrate their commitment to professional development.
Employees who complete online courses or participate in virtual training sessions can demonstrate their commitment to their job and willingness to invest their time and resources to improve their performance. Employers can benefit from this quality, increasing productivity and efficiency.
Employees who participate in online learning can also demonstrate their adaptability and willingness to learn. Due to the ever-changing landscape of technology, employers are increasingly looking for workers who can adapt to new situations and learn new skills quickly
4. Improves communication and collaboration
Virtual communication and collaboration skills are essential in today’s workplace. Seventy-five percent of employers rank teamwork and collaboration as “very important,” according to Queens University of Charlotte data.
Communicating and collaborating online can help employees be more productive and efficient in their roles. Online learning can help employees develop these skills by providing opportunities to practice and receive feedback in a safe and controlled environment.
Some of the benefits of improved virtual communication and collaboration skills include:
- Improved ability to work with team members in different locations.
- Better understanding of how to use different online tools and resources
- Greater ability to communicate and collaborate with customers and clients
With the increased use of online communication and collaboration tools in the workplace, i’s more important for employees to have these skills. Online learning can provide employees with the opportunity to develop and practice these skills so that they can be more effective in their roles
5. Helps people develop a global perspective
Employees gain a broader, global perspective through online learning. As employees learn online, they are not limited to the resources and perspectives of their company or country.
They can access online courses and materials from around the world, giving them a broader perspective on the world and their place in it. This can be especially beneficial for employees working in global companies or looking to expand their knowledge.
6. Builds critical thinking skills
People can better understand their goals and motivations when they think critically. Learning online can help learners develop their critical thinking skills.
Participants usually passively listen to lectures and take notes in traditional classroom settings. When you learn online, you’re actively engaged in the material, and you’re required to think deeply. Critically analyzing and applying the information to real-life situations is crucial for success.
Users can better understand and retain information when actively involved in the learning process. Additionally, they can adapt their understanding as new information is presented and apply the concepts to new situations. Learners will benefit from this ability to think critically throughout their personal and professional lives.
7. Guides technical skill development
Online learning will also help employees learn technical skills. Employees who take a web design course online will learn HTML and CSS and how to use design software like Adobe Photoshop. These skills can be transferred to the workplace, where they can be used to improve the company website or create marketing materials.
Additionally, online learning can allow employees to learn about new technologies and applications they can use at work. When an employee takes an online course on project management, for example, they’ll learn about different project management software applications and how to use them.
Every company today uses some combination of software and programs. Training your employees in technical skills gives them the self-confidence to handle their daily tasks well.
8. Lowers costs
It’s no secret that online learning can save your company money. It’s one of the most significant benefits of moving your training online. There are several reasons for this:
You don’t need to rent physical space
Renting or leasing space for large groups gets expensive fast. With online learning, you can eliminate this expense completely.
You don’t need to buy physical materials
If you’re using physical materials, such as textbooks or workbooks, you need to purchase them. This can add up, especially if you’re constantly updating your materials to keep up with the latest industry trends. With online learning, you can often access digital materials for free or at a fraction of the cost.
You don’t need to pay for travel or accommodation
If your employees need to travel for training, you must pay for their travel and accommodation. This can be a significant expense, especially if you’re training employees who live in different parts of the world. With online learning, employees can learn from the comfort of their own homes, eliminating the need for travel.
As long as they have an internet connection, employees can learn anywhere. This is especially beneficial for companies with employees in multiple locations.
9. Provides access to resources and creative learning opportunities
Learners have access to a wealth of resources through online learning. Users can access endless resources with just a few clicks.
These resources include articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, and more. Online learning also allows people to be creative in their learning. For example, learners can create mind maps or join social events to share their learning with others.
Read more: What is Multimodal Learning
10. It’s convenient
One of the most obvious advantages of online learning is its convenience. Employees can participate in learning activities anywhere, anytime day or night.
This is particularly beneficial for employees who live in remote areas or who have difficulty traveling. It’s also helpful for employees with young children or other family responsibilities that make attending traditional classroom-based training sessions difficult.
Is online learning right for your company?
Now that we’ve gone over some of the benefits of online learning let’s look at whether it might be a good fit for your company.
There are a few key factors to consider to understand what types of companies benefit from online learning:
- The size of your company. Suppose you have a large, multinational workforce. In that case, online learning can be a great way to provide training and development opportunities to employees who are based in different parts of the world.
- Type of learning content that you’ll provide. Online learning might not be the best option if you have highly technical training materials or need to provide hands-on training. In these cases, using a more traditional approach might be more effective.
- The learning preferences of your employees. Some people learn best by doing, while others prefer to receive instruction and practice independently. If you have a widely dispersed workforce, you might need to provide both learning opportunities to meet the needs of all your employees.
After you have decided which type of online learning is right for your company, there are a few things to remember when implementing online learning. Here are a few tips:
- Define the goals and objectives of the online learning program.
- Develop a plan for implementing the online learning program.
- Choose an online learning platform that meets your company’s needs.
- Train the instructors and learners on how to use the online learning platform.
- Monitor and evaluate the online learning program.
Online learning can provide many benefits for enterprise organizations, but it is important to ensure that it is the right fit for your company. By following the tips above, you can ensure that online learning is successful for your organization.
The benefits of online learning platforms
Online learning platforms help businesses overcome challenges by allowing HR and L&D professionals to get organized about their training programs. They serve as a central hub for your training material, enable you to import courses and create new ones, automate the onboarding program by integrating with your HR software, track learner progress, and provide analytics to measure engagement and demonstrate ROI.
Besides HR and L&D professionals, customer success professionals also face challenges that can be supported by online learning platforms including:
- Increasing NPS scores
- Scaling customer usage and adoption
- Collect feedback in a centralized location
Online learning platforms that contain customer education courses help turn customers into brand advocates. Customer education also helps in increased product usage and adoption. In short, online learning platforms help with customer education and employee training and help boost your organization’s overall performance.
Online learning platforms boost learner performance
One of the biggest advantages of online training platforms is employee skills development. Employees can receive onboarding, role-based, compliance, and soft skills training in one place. The skills they acquire improve their performance in their current roles and make them eligible for taking on more responsibilities in the future.
1. Win more deals with sales training
According to a study conducted by McKinsey, sales teams that receive customized training are 1.3x more likely to outperform their peers. Your online learning platform serves as the primary resource for your sales team to gain more knowledge about customers and the products they sell.
Sales managers and their teams access courses on the platform, take live, online instructor-led classes, learn at their preferred pace with pre-recorded videos, articles, podcasts, ebooks, and audiobooks, and take assessments to measure information retention. The training material on the platform equips them with the skills they need to improve the quality of the conversations they have with the customers and close more deals.
WorkRamp CMS is a unified LMS + CMS for all your revenue enablement and learning content. Admins and reps have a one-stop shop for all training materials and sales enablement content. Rather than managing disparate systems or vendors, a unified platform gives your team a single source of truth to reduce complexity and improve performance.
Learn more about WorkRamp CMS.
2. Scale product success through customer education
The customer success team can preemptively address customer needs by offering education through an online learning platform. By addressing customer needs in advance, the support team can reduce the number of new support requests they get every week.
Online learning platforms support customer success teams by giving them a place to create and host customer-facing courses. These courses can include full-length tutorials on products, highlighting different features of products and how to use the product to achieve goals. Some of these courses may also focus on improving the skill set of the primary users of the product.
The customer success team uses these courses to increase customer engagement and drive product adoption. Customer-facing courses are incredibly useful for products with a diverse user base or constantly innovating with new updates. The customer success team uses these courses to increase customer engagement, drive product adoption, and educate customers at scale.
Companies such as Reddit and Quantum Metric use WorkRamp to educate their customers. They offer free online training in short courses that teach learners how to get the most out of their products.
Learn more about WorkRamp’s Customer LMS and how it can help you create loyal brand advocates.
3. Increase Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores
One of the core responsibilities of the customer support team is to keep the customers satisfied and informed, and that is reflected in CSAT scores. Online learning platforms offer an at-scale solution for support professionals to sharpen their communication, patience, empathy, active listening, and product-knowledge skills. Armed with these skills, your customer support team can respond to customer queries quickly and resolve challenges.
Apple, Amazon, and Costco have the highest CSAT scores in the retail industry. All three of these companies use online learning platforms to train their customer support representatives, showing the impact of training your employees with the help of the right tools.
4. Improve talent retention
Employees rate opportunities to learn and grow as the number one driver for great work culture, so developing a strong learning program is a good tactic to improve talent retention. Investing in an online learning platform and offering custom, role-specific training to your employees shows them that you take their learning and development seriously.
Training platforms provide the necessary technology for businesses to develop talent through upskilling. Employees become better at their current roles and can become eligible for other roles within the organization. They can move into leadership positions or switch to a different role within the company. Upskilling can prevent employee turnover and reduce your cost per hire.
Read more: 7 Ways to Motivate and Retain Top Talent
Online learning platforms facilitate additional practical benefits
Besides helping you boost employee performance and customer retention, online learning platforms have many benefits that make them an essential part of the technology stack used in your organization.
They keep the efforts of your company’s learning and development team efficient and organized. These platforms are compatible with the software programs generally used in most businesses, have access to remote workers, are scalable, and have reporting options that help you track user progress and find the ROI on your training budget.
5. Virtual learning platforms are convenient
Modern online learning platforms are compatible with desktop and mobile devices and can be accessed anywhere. This means that employees have access to training at work, from home, and even while traveling. According to Gallup, roughly45 percent of employees in the U.S. work remotely either full time or a few days a week. In a survey conducted by Buffer, 97 percent of the participants said they’d like to work remotely and recommend remote work to others. With so many people working from home, virtual learning through online learning platforms is a great way to make training accessible to everyone.
6. Online training is environmentally friendly/sustainable
Online training reduces your carbon footprint by eliminating the need for paper handouts. Everything from courses and assessments to feedback can be done online. Even certificates of completion are issued online.
7. You save time through automation
Fity-four percent of employees believe that automation can help them save 240 hours annually.
The best online training platforms allow you to automate everything from employee onboarding to compliance training. You can define rules addressing who gets assigned what kind of training based on job role.
Whenever there is a new onboarding class, the HR system will transfer their information to the learning platform, assigning them courses based on their job titles. You will not have to download a spreadsheet, upload it to the platform, or assign training to each learner individually.
For compliance training, you will not need to keep track of the expiry date of every employee’s compliance certificate, as the learning platform will do it for you.
8. These platforms integrate with existing tools
The top online training platforms have built-in integrations with major human resource information systems (HRISs), CRMs, and other tools. They also support third-party integrations, which fit seamlessly into your technology stack. You do not have to change how you work to start using these platforms.
9. Online learning platforms are scalable
Online training platforms enable teams to train multiple batches of learners simultaneously. Once the training material and learning paths have been established, learners can be enrolled in bulk and trained in batches without you having to plan the training for each batch.
10. Most LMSs come with built-in reporting options
Through LMS learning analytics, training platforms give you the ability to track course completion rates, learner progress, active learners, and other metrics to measure the effectiveness of your training program. With the help of built-in reporting options, it is easier to analyze data, detect patterns, and take steps to increase learner engagement.
11. Online learning platforms are cost-effective
Online training platforms are especially beneficial for growing businesses because of their cost-effectiveness. These platforms allow you to train employees at scale so you don’t have to set aside huge budgets to train your teams. Even if you include live online classes in your training program, it still costs you less than hiring an instructor to visit your location and deliver classes in a physical classroom.
12. Training through LMSs means better information retention
Training material on online training platforms is available in the form of smaller, digestible lessons, sometimes referred to as microlearning. Even the longer courses can be converted into bite-sized training. You can add small quizzes and tests at the end of each lesson. The lessons can be revisited at any time. All of this makes for better retention because each learner can learn at their own pace and take more time with specific parts of the training material.
How WorkRamp supports online learning
Having a learning platform is key to running successful online learning programs. WorkRamp makes it easy to create, customize, and launch new learning programs tailored to individual needs.
With WorkRamp you can:
- Tap into WorkRamp’s experience in the training industry
- Enjoy a world-class customer success experience
- Transform your learning strategy with the help of our professional services
- Gain access to WorkRamp’s VIP customer community
- Reap the benefits of WorkRamp’s highly customizable learner UI & UX
- Tap into the power of robust integrations
- Gain access to a breadth of learning types (guides, paths, events, virtual labs etc.)
- Edit content using a drag-and-drop editor
- Enjoy enterprise-grade security (SOC 2 Type 2 Compliance)
- Get out-of-the-box reports to measure team performance, analyze trends, and track training effectiveness
You can also monitor course completion and track metrics to determine the revenue impact of your training investments with WorkRamp’s advanced reporting options. As a result, you can create a growth engine for your organization that encourages learning and drives ROI.
Discover how you can create and deliver online learning programs with WorkRamp. Contact us to schedule a free, personalized demo.
Complete the form for a custom demo.
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Michelle MckinleyHead of Growth Marketing, WorkRamp
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