With its tremendous growth the last decade, it’s no secret that eLearning is taking the world of education by storm. This might have gotten you a little worried if you are running a traditional educational institution, but it really shouldn’t.
The role of eLearning is not to replace traditional classroom based education. Its role is to supplement it, by providing educational opportunities for those cases and people where traditional learning is not possible, either due to time and location constraints or due to cost.
In fact, not only do traditional educational establishments thrive alongside these new-fangled eLearning services, but more often than not, they embrace eLearning themselves, operating eLearning courses of their own.
It makes sense, too, as those schools have quite a head-start compared to any newly founded eLearning service: they are already well known, they have tons of educational material, and they have a huge experience working in the educational market.
No wonder, then, that established educational establishments, from MIT and Stanford to the Berkeley Music School, have embraced eLearning with open arms, offering both free and paid-for courses to a worldwide audience.
If you’re running a traditional school, college or university yourself and you haven’t already looked into eLearning, it’s probably high time to consider it. And in this post, we’ll go through some of the reasons why it makes perfect sense to start offering your own eLearning courses:
You’re leaving money on the table…
Perhaps the number one fear you have regarding this is that you’ll be hurting your traditional (and more costly) courses. It’s a valid concern, but fortunately it doesn’t hold up to reality.
The kind of students that will opt for your eLearning courses, won’t be the same that will go for your classroom based ones — it will mostly be people who don’t have the money or the time to enroll in your traditional courses (including people who like your school, but live 100 or 10.000 miles away).
By not offering eLearning based courses you’re not benefiting your traditional ones; rather you’re leaving money on the table.
Besides, if you’re that fearful of canibalizing your traditional business, you can always offer a different set of courses in your eLearning curriculum. That’s the cautious approach several established schools have taken.
It’s a small investment
If you run a traditional, classroom based establishment, and know the associated business costs, you’ll probably laugh at the comparative costs of a full blown eLearning deployment.
With eLearning you’ll be able to reach a worldwide audience with less than what it takes to furnish a single classroom with chairs and whiteboards.
Heck, even if you opt for a state of the art eLearning deployment, capable of hosting hundreds of thousands of students, with advanced multimedia courses and the like, still your cost per student will be much less than the costs incurred in traditional learning.
You already have what it takes
The most difficult part in education, eLearning or not, is pedagogy, that is teaching and dealing with the students. That’s something that, as an established school, you already have nailed.
Compared to that, the extra skills required to running a learning management system (LMS) are trivial, and the basic skills of creating a new eLearning based course, uploading your content and managing students can literally be taught in a couple of hours.
That’s especially true if you go with something like our own eFront platform, which is renowned for its ease of use (don’t just trust us on this: check all those third party reviews we’ve been featured in and the universities, like the University of Southern Carolina, that have chosen us).
Somebody else will do it
Education is a competitive market, and I’m sure there are lots of smaller and bigger players in your niche. If you don’t offer an eLearning service, they will. Some of them probably already do.
Again, if you already are in the traditional education business, not offering eLearning courses is like leaving money on the table. Even worse, you’ll be giving potential students the impression that you’re behind the times, and don’t have as comprehensive a curriculum as those competitors that have already embraced eLearning.
We already said that eLearning works alongside traditional education in most institutions, in the sense that it attracts different groups of students who they’d otherwise miss.
But there’s also another way that this is true: eLearning material can supplement traditional courses, e.g. by offering additional help for students that need it, or material beyond the core curriculum for extra bright students. It’s also an excellent way to offer students tests and quizzes alongside their class based lectures (and have them be automatically graded).
So there you have it. One could list a lot more ways in which eLearning and traditional education are a good fit together, but I think you ‘ve got the point.
The next step, if you’re interested in learnign more about our eLearning solution for your school, would be to request a demo to see our flagship eLearning platform, eFront, in action and tells us what you think.
We’ll be glad to answer any questions you might have and help you integrate eLearning to your educational offerings.
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