E-Learning and the Future of Online Education

Among the most recent technological advances that have been promoting the competitiveness of companies, such as call centers, electronic commerce, customer relationship management centers and human resource management centers, is a technology hub that is to realize its full potential – electronic education or more popularly the e-learning format.

By definition, e-learning is the provision of educational programs and learning systems through electronic means. The e-learning is based on the use of a computer or other electronic device (for instance, mobile phone) to provide people with educational materials on the go. Distance education laid the foundation for the development of e-learning, which solves some difficulties in terms of timing, synchronization of schedules, attendance and travel, typical problems of traditional education.

Also, the e-learning can involve a wider range of equipment online education. The term e-learning covers a broad suite of applications and processes such as Web-based learning, computer based training, virtual classrooms and digital collaboration (group work).

Advantages of E-Learning Programs

We present what experts in this area considered the most important benefits to the education industry:

Increased Productivity: The e-learning solutions as Web-based training (WBT, web-based training) and computer based training (CBT computer-based training) allows students to study from your desktop. Direct delivery of the courses can reduce downtime involving low productivity and helps to eliminate travel costs.

Timely: When launching a new product or service, e-learning can provide simultaneous training many participants about the processes and applications of the new product. A good program of e-learning can provide the necessary training in time to meet a specific date of commencement of operations.

Flexible Training: An e-learning system usually has a modular design. In some cases, participants can choose their own learning path. Additionally, users can mark certain sources of information as a reference, thus facilitating the process of change and increasing the benefits of the program.

Cost Savings per Participant: Perhaps the greatest benefit of e-learning is that the total cost of training per participant is lower than in a traditional instructor-led. However, e-learning programs tailored to entry may be more expensive due to the design and development thereof. It is recommended to conduct a thorough analysis to determine whether the e-learning is the best solution for your training needs and training before investing in the project.

What Discourages E-Learning?

The main barriers that have prevented the integration of these technologies of e-learning training programs of companies are:

1. Organizational structure and traditionalism.

2. Lack of best practices.

3. The lack of support and experience.

4. Lack of understanding and vision about e-learning.

5. The lack of human resources and user acceptance.

6. Organizations and traditional processes.

7. The lack of skill on the part of teachers and instructors, coupled with a negative attitude.

8. Lack of strategic actions.

9. Lack of training and support to teachers and instructors.

10. The time required for the preparation of the material.

The Most Common Errors

Like any emerging technology, e-learning requires the involvement of expert consultants who can implement a program leading organizations to success. Then we present the ten most common mistakes when defining a strategy for e-learning:

1. No vision.

2. Confusing strategy with technology.

3. Place the Learning Management System (LMS, learning management system) as the core of the strategy.

4. Focusing on the development and delivery rather than the business itself.

5. Focus on transforming a conventional training program in an online education program.

6. No consensus among partners.

7. No time to diagnose the lack of support from senior management.

8. To think that this new function is a part-time work or short duration.

9. Ignore the weaknesses and dangers.

10. Failure to change management.

Designing Tomorrow’s Education

While in Mexico and there are companies that offer e-learning solutions that involve content developed by experts, and infrastructure management platforms and other services, the acceptance of these technologies is not yet that this industry would have. Experts say that the adoption of e-learning in Mexico has been slow because there are cultural barriers.

Like other initiatives such as e-Mexico, public and private institutions are required to design and implement specific programs to advance the education industry in Latin America. It is imperative to mobilize the educational and cultural communities, as well as economic and social actors to accelerate changes in education systems and training for our countries to move towards a knowledge-based society.

An initiative of e-learning could be a path to modernize our economy. At the same time, through the components of the education industry, can provide the entire community, but particularly to our young people the skills and tools they need to succeed in a globalized economy based on knowledge. Those who are more interested in such projects are indeed educational institutions, which reduce costs for both the student and for the institution itself, mean a great incentive.

While companies continue to hire graduates of universities that demand Internet resources and access to information based on Web technologies, a matter of time that these organizations realize that the adoption of this new generation of technologies is imminent.