3 reasons elearning is great for adults

Here’s a scenario: I’m on the train to work, my mobile phone is out, and I’m catching up on some reading. I might be reading for my online course, checking information about Brexit (I love to know what’s going on in the motherland!), or looking at the weather for the next day so I know what ensemble to wear (it pays to check the weather in Wellington). I might even be checking out LinkedIn because I can usually find a good educational article to read, or find some Storyline tips/freebies. (If you’re a Storyline user, Matthew Bibby is always great.)

Experienced something similar?

I’m doing something so many of us do without even realising it – elearning.

What is elearning?

3 reasons elearning is great for adults

Elearning is learning that takes place with the use of an electronic device. It can be informal, like me using my phone on the train to learn something, or it can be formal, like a course where a number of learning modules are completed online.

“A day without learning is a day wasted”

That’s what I said in my last article, ‘What I’ve learned from Articulate Storyline’.

Stop and think for a minute:
What have you learned today?
What did you learn yesterday?
How did you learn what you learned?

As adults, we learn in more ways than we know. We learn from the people around us, from using search engines, from reading articles and books, from watching videos, or from completing courses. (And the list goes on.)

Key characteristics of adult learners

3 reasons elearning is great for adults

Whether from a book, a workshop, or that internet article on the daily commute, there are a number of things we adult learners are looking for.

There’s a great list of adult learning characteristics here, but see if any of these sound familiar:

  • Adults want learning to be relevant (we don’t want lots of theory, we want our learning to be tied to our own experiences)
  • Adults want learning to be practical (we want to be taught things that are useful)
  • Adults want learning to be flexible (we’re juggling family, work, and friends and we don’t want to give up too much free time!)
  • We want to be in charge of our learning

I don’t know about you, but this hits the nail on the head for me. I want to learn in ways that are relevant, practical, and flexible.

That’s why elearning is a great solution for adult learners.

3 reasons elearning is perfect for adult learners

1. You can access elearning anytime, anywhere

3 reasons elearning is great for adults

Sure, a device is needed to access the learning, but the majority of people these days own smartphones and tablets. You can access your learning anytime, anywhere and it’s quick and easy. With busy schedules and constant time pressures, elearning is perfect. It allows people to learn when they have some spare time and when their brain is ready to learn (usually in the morning for me!).

2. Elearning is self-paced

3 reasons elearning is great for adults

Life is busy! We work, we play, we have family activities, commitments, watch the kids play sport, get involved in the community, and so much more. A benefit of elearning is that it is usually self-paced. In some cases, elearning will be formal and a timeframe may be set, but as adults, we decide when to engage in that learning.

3. It’s just-in-time learning

3 reasons elearning is great for adults

Ever had a problem and needed a solution for it right there and then? (I do this all the time at work.) Like you undoubtedly, my solution involves going straight to the internet. If reading a solution isn’t good enough, I’ll find a video; if a video isn’t good enough, I’ll go to Lynda.com. Practical, relevant solutions are needed regularly, and with elearning I have access to those solutions.

Of course, there are more benefits to elearning. From things such as efficiency, accessibility to all ages, and opportunities for personalised learning, elearning presents many possibilities. It can be a great way to learn, it’s just a matter of using it in a way that gets you the best results.

Kelly Watson Lift Education Articulate Storyline

Kelly Watson is a Learning Solutions Developer at Lift Education. She works alongside businesses and organisations to develop learning resources and assessments.
Get in touch if you’d like to know more about how elearning can help your business.