E-learning, defined as learning that is enabled electronically, comes in many shapes and forms. Yet, few educators truly grasp the extent to which e-learning examples can stretch. In this post, we’ll be covering four such examples, but the usage of e-learning extends far beyond these case studies.
Advances in technology are enabling our society to shift from traditional, in-person educational models to virtual programs. With modern software systems, people are learning everything — Python programming, Japanese, Chinese, French, or even accounting without ever leaving the comfort of their homes.
The scenario: You log on to your computer and have access to knowledge from world-renowned chefs, professors, and more. You’re able to learn skills that are in demand — through programs developed in collaboration with employers.
E-learning makes this a reality. It grants accessibility, affordability, and opportunity to people around the world. People who might have had limited opportunities due to their location now have access.
And, what’s more, E-learning is growing as technology increases its reach and reliability, with the e-learning industry being expected to surpass $243 billion by 2022.
Education has always been a way to gain access to more opportunities, but it used to only be accessible in the right place at the right time. Now, you can earn an interactive college degree online. You can learn at your own pace for a far lower price than at a traditional university.
Here are 5 examples of e-learning:
Airbus saving millions of pounds with e-learning
Now it’s about time to shift the topic to the corporate examples of e-learning. In the modern world, corporations tend to be quicker innovators than governments or schools, and the education industry is no exception. Up to 90% of corporations already utilize e-learning, and with the following example, it becomes clear why.
Airbus, a European aerospace giant with more than 134,000 employees, famously used digital learning to make multimillion-pound cost savings in their business. Their digital transformation was carried out in collaboration with Workday, a cloud technologies platform that offers human capital management services.
Their jump into digital learning involved creating a digital learning library with thousands of learning materials that employees could access through their new “Pulse” infrastructure. According to the vice-president of Airbus HR, Pulse has led to changes in “employee practices, engagements, and satisfaction levels”.
Not only does a digital learning library give instant access to employees worldwide, but it also makes updating these materials on an ongoing basis much easier. Instead of releasing new employee handbooks on a yearly basis, you can log into the cloud, make relevant changes within a single day, and pass these new learning materials to employees instantly.
This example of e-learning showcases the power of using online learning within large corporations.
eLearning example of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
From career-oriented subjects like “Designing the Future of Work” and “Google Cloud Architecture” to more general interest examples like “The Science of Well Being” and “How to Draw From Beginner to Master.”
Whether you want to get a certificate to become an animal Reiki practitioner or become certified in Data Engineering with Google Cloud — you no longer need to be based at a physical university.
For example, right now, there are 7,000+ courses on Coursera’s platform. Some of their e-learning examples are:
- Interactive, professional certificate programs that explore scenarios that mirror what you might encounter on the job.
- MasterTrack™ Certificate programs that count towards Master’s degrees at accredited higher education institutions.
- Language learning.
Another example is edX, who hosts 2500+ courses on their site which are all accessible for free. These examples are developed by accredited institutions, including Harvard University, MIT, and UC Berkeley.
These massive open online courses (MOOCs) have created a university-like environment, all with a plethora of scenario-based classes to choose from and taught by world-class instructors.
They even have a rating system, so you can learn more about how others have enjoyed the subject.
This example has a cost that is much different than higher education based on physical campuses. There is no dorm cost, no textbooks to buy, and they can more easily distribute information. This allows education and e-learning to be accessible to many more people — one of its many advantages.
These courses often consist of recorded “lectures,” and they’ll include ongoing “exams” to ensure you’re retaining important information.
The on-demand nature of the classes allows you to learn at your own pace. This means it’s more accessible to those with different learning styles.
The type of certification you receive determines your exam scenario. Examples of these exams can be short, multiple-choice quizzes or long-form essays graded by your peers. Another example is a keystone project, reviewed by the instructor or your peers.
These e-learning examples continue to grow. They present opportunities to learn about a scenario that interests you at an affordable price rather than following a set curriculum through standardized, formal education.
E-Learning examples in higher education
Formal education, like accredited colleges and universities, are moving their classes online. These interactive elearning classes allow students to learn in a more accessible way from credentialed and esteemed professors.
The University of Phoenix and Capella University were some of the first examples to establish completely virtual universities. They pioneered offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees online.
As internet access grew, and software became more robust, universities began to offer more courses online. They started with a small offering, and now offer entire degrees through interactive eLearning.
These virtual college and university programs are great scenarios for the institutions. They can accommodate a much larger student population than in-person learning, and students can also enjoy location-independent learning.
Many people now have access to quality education that was formerly only available in person.
Higher education e-learning examples vary in format. Some are based on recorded lectures and progress exams, while others moved the in-person format online — providing live lectures for students and examinations held at specific times.
Some online universities also include a community aspect. One example of the disadvantages of online learning is that it can be isolating and lonely, particularly if your courses are recorded and provide little to no human interaction.
As the higher education experience usually includes meeting people from all different backgrounds and walks of life, this can be a negative for some.
E-learning can accommodate students from all over the world, but creating a sense of community is a huge challenge for online universities.
Regardless, these higher education eLearning examples are great options for many people.
You can earn a degree that holds all the same prestige and esteem as one that was earned in-person — but, without the commute to campus.
No strict class schedules, or sitting in stuffy lecture halls, and you’ll still expand your education and increase your access to job opportunities.
“Nano-Degrees” or “Micro-Credentials”
When it comes to training designed for the job market, e-learning has a unique advantage.
Traditional universities have rigorous standards for their curriculum, so updating it can be a lengthy process.
This is a good example of how e-learning is changing the face of education.
Elearning can develop training programs for specific skills or industries that see an exponential rate of growth. Courses are developed in a matter of months or even weeks.
This elearning example uses software to train students, where they can experience a practice scenario for future jobs.
Nano-degrees are often developed in cooperation with companies experiencing a labor shortage. Their focus is to ensure that the training is relevant to their employment needs.
Nano-degrees and micro-credentials are scenarios of the elearning industry adapting to the modern needs of big employers. As an example, data collection has grown with the increase in technology.
But, soon, a gap was formed between people trained to interpret the data and the companies who need those skills.
So, companies like Udacity created “nano-degree” programs. They’re designed to train people in the exact skills employers need. The programs teach real, employable expertise — bridging the skill gap in the job market.
The students will experience real-world working conditions through scenario-based elearning. They teach specific software skills, provide feedback and training, and ensure students are prepared to walk into a job.
This elearning example is increasingly popular in the tech industry. Software changes quickly and evolves more rapidly than universities can develop new curriculums.
It’s a challenge to produce top-quality graduates. Especially ones guaranteed to be qualified in a specific software the employer needs.
If you’re looking to make yourself more employable, a nano-degree may be the best scenario for you. This elearning example tends to take a shorter amount of time than others, so if you’re looking to make a quick career change, it’s a great solution for you.
But it’s not only tech jobs that use nano-degrees — Udacity also has a School of Business.
Another elearning example is a short, four-week program to learn medical billing and coding.
Or 90-hour sales boot camps that help you land a sales job, with this example taking you through a scenario similar to the sales process at software companies — particularly software as a service, like Salesforce and Zoom Video.
These programs are rigorous, even though the format is a bit different than accredited, four-year degree programs. Most of the programs work with big employers to develop the curriculum. Some examples are Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
In a specific elearning example, AT&T partnered with Udacity. They’re offering nano-degrees through its philanthropic initiative: AT&T Aspire.
AT&T promotes nano-degrees in fields that are experiencing the largest skill gap. They also agree to give serious consideration to applicants who complete these programs.
These programs are a great example of how e-learning creates a scenario for someone looking for a quick career change. The programs usually last a few months, versus the 2 – 4 years of traditional degree programs.
Some even offer job search support, job-related scenario role-play, resume review, interview prep, and a portfolio audit, ensuring their students find the jobs they’re looking for.
Read more in our review of nano-degree programs from Udacity or check out our Udacity review.
Interactive e-learning virtual workshops
Ever wanted to learn to cook with world-renowned chef, Jamie Oliver?
How about ballet dancing from the comfort of your own home? Or learning to sing?
Traditionally, fitness and yoga classes, cooking courses, and even crafting lessons were taught in-person. It used to be hard to imagine a scenario where you could take part in these examples online.
For example, the need to critique form in a fitness class — a one-way video, pre-recorded, wouldn’t be a like-for-like substitute. And crafting and cooking lessons require materials that you may not have at home, as the company hosting the course usually provides them.
This e-learning example has migrated online slower than other types of e-learning, as it’s had larger barriers to overcome.
Instructors now can interact virtually with their students — they can give pointers to individuals on their downward dog, or help if the pan suddenly catches fire while cooking the salmon. Or they can even use fast shipping times to send their students their yarn for a knitting class.
Live workshops provide an interactive element — one that can be missing from on-demand forms of e-learning.
Remember, we said e-learning experiences difficulty in creating a sense of community similar to in-person learning.
A student who is living alone, taking classes virtually, and even working remotely will be isolated. They’ll have a huge need for live, interactive learning.
Most of the examples we’ve given tend toward on-demand, recorded courses.
Virtual, live workshops are an e-learning example that’s helping solve the loneliness factor.
Students can interact with each other as they would at a yoga studio before class, or arrange virtual coffee after learning to knit a hat for the colder months. The virtual workshops act as a regular meeting place, just as the in-person gym or studio does.
These workshops are easily accessible worldwide with an internet connection. The timing might be a challenge if you’re accessing them across multiple time zones, but the convenience of learning a variety of subjects from home helps make up for it.
Workshops are a popular e-learning example, especially for people looking for an alternative to traditional e-learning examples.
If you’re looking to experience a sense of community and interactivity, and learn the skills and subjects you’re excited about, then virtual workshops allow you to experience everything from your couch, kitchen, or impromptu home yoga studio.
What's next for you?
You’re looking to be the first in your family to obtain a college degree, but the cost and logistics of learning on campus have prevented you from doing so.
Or maybe you’re looking to learn how to bake bread, but you don’t have access to an in-person baking class.
E-learning provides a way for you to continue your education. Whether formal or informal, it will help you reach your goals.
E-learning has also increased accessibility and reduced costs (compared to in-person learning), providing more flexibility for various learning styles and speeds.
We encourage you to explore all that e-learning has to offer.
The power of education has harnessed the power of technology — it’s creating more opportunities to learn from established professionals and world-renowned professors.
Whether you’re looking to make a career change, get a degree virtually, or learn how to knit a scarf, e-learning has made your education possible through a computer and an internet connection.
At e-student.org, we live and breathe e-learning.
To learn more about e-learning, the best examples for your goals, or to look for your next course, we invite you to explore today.