E-Learning Pros & Cons: Training Approach Blog Series (1/4)
This blog is the first of a four part blog series on training approaches. We are discussing our pros and cons of e-learning in this blog.
All employees working with children and young people need to have the same basic knowledge so that they can fulfill their role. Therefore, mandatory training is necessary to meet the job role requirements for every employee.
Regulatory bodies such as Ofsted expect organisations to ensure their staff are all inducted with the same mandatory training. Equally, they expect organisations to make sure all staff receive regular refreshers. Mandatory training often includes the following (list is not exhaustive):
- First Aid
- Fire Safety
- Health and Safety
- Food Hygiene
- Manual Handling
- Data Protection
- Risk Assessment
- Behaviour Management
- Safe Care Practice (Boundaries)
Mandatory training courses are often delivered using e-learning methods. As a result, this method of training is a popular choice for organisations in the childcare industry. Therefore, we are taking a look at some of the pros and cons of e-learning training courses below.
The Pros of E-Learning
- Accessible – Training packages are easily accessible. You just need a computer with access to the internet and a quiet space. You can complete e-learning at home, offices or whilst on public transport.
- Cost effective – They are relatively cheap to purchase. Your organisation can purchase them easily for everyone. Managers can monitor the staff team’s progress.
- Good refreshers – You can refresh your existing knowledge easily. Further, as a manager you can easily reassign training.
- Time efficient – Courses usually take around an hour to 2 hours to complete. You can do e-learning ‘on the shop floor’ at quieter times.
- Meets compliance – It can help you to become compliant with regulatory bodies and legislation quickly. You can ensure staff all have the same level of training quickly. It helps organisations to ‘tick a box’.
- Staff co-ordination – E-learning can be done ad-hoc and the organisation does not need to free up staff for training. Sometimes it can be difficult to get all staff on face-to-face training in one go.
The Cons of E-Learning
- Does it provide its learners with adequate knowledge? – Using safeguarding training as an example. In our opinion, an hour to 2 hours safeguarding training does not provide a detailed overview of safeguarding practice. It also does not provide learning on skills to respond to safeguarding concerns.
- Is it cost effective? – E-learning could end up costing the organisation more due to high staffing turnover or risky practice. This is because of employees not receiving robust training.
- Does it develop better practitioners? – Have you ever thought your practice has been improved by completing an e-learning course? It is likely that new employees would still require intensive supervision and support in the job.
- Could someone retain the necessary information after completing? – Most e-learning training courses use knowledge quizzes to test information retention. Although they are useful, cramming information generally does not help us in the long-term. For example, cramming for an exam at school, do we retain that information six months down the line… probably not.
- Is e-learning interactive enough to aid knowledge retention? – Your learning style may be ‘learning through doing’ rather than reading. From our experience, most e-learning is reading heavy. Furthermore, reading through pages of text can be a chore. It can also lack the enjoyment that face-to-face training can have.
- Is it time efficient? – Although e-learning can take a relatively short time to complete, it can be prolonged by procrastination through distraction. Further, issues may arise at the workplace. Therefore, it can take extra unaccounted resources for e-learning to be completed.
Check out our next blog in the series: Pros and Cons of Face-to-Face Training