The Digital Classroom: Pros and Cons of Corporate eLearning

graphic that says the digital classroom: pros and cons of corporate elearning

It’s no secret that companies are moving away from traditional classroom training and toward eLearning platforms. One study shows that 74% of companies are using some level of eLearning.

Powers Resource Center is working with a client now to move its training to an eLearning platform. The business case and future ROI is undeniable. The company is moving from a 6-hour classroom style course – which required employees to travel to one location from around the country to attend – to a 90-minute, on-demand online course in a digital classroom setting. This shift will save the company tens of thousands of dollars in time and resources in just the first year.

But there was more to consider than just the bottom line. Before your organization embarks on a transition to a digital classroom, see the pros and cons below.

The Upside:

  • Flexibility – Learners can choose where and when they conduct their training.
  • Mobile – All you need is a laptop, tablet or smart phone and learning can be done in the office, at home, or on a train.
  • No Travel – Cost of travel for training is virtually eliminated.
  • Lower cost – No expense for travel, trainer’s time, equipment or room rental. The cost of creating the eLearning modules should not be ignored, but once the training modules are complete they can be launched to learners at virtually no additional cost.
  • Customization – Different roles have different training needs. With eLearning, learners can choose the areas they need to focus on, and ignore the ones they don’t. In addition, the training can leverage the technology to adapt to the learner as they move through the training course, presenting them with skills they still need to master until they do.
  • Global – Companies can deploy training in a digital classroom simultaneously to employees in locations around world.

The Downside:

  • Lack of control – With no fixed time and location, motivation for training can lag. Without deadlines, HR and Training teams can have people at various stages of their learning.
  • Learner style – eLearning does not appeal to all learning styles – visual, physical, logical, verbal, aural – so the learning may suffer.
  • Isolated – Many learners enjoy the social and stimulating interaction of the classroom. Even with real-time chat rooms, eLearning cannot recreate this experience.
  • Tech glitches – We’ve all been there. Wifi goes down. Video links with long buffering delays. Learners don’t have required software installed. These delays and frustrations will clearly interfere with learning.
  • Computer competency – Just like there are many levels of roles you need to train, there are many levels of comfort with technology. Plenty of people will not be happy with computer-based learning.

We have been working on exciting eLearning projects focused on performance management, hiring and recruiting processes, and more that focus on eliminating the downsides and help companies to leverage the upsides. Contact us at if you are making the transition to a digital classroom and would like to see samples of our work. We will make sure your transition to eLearning meets your organizations’ goals and your learners’ needs.

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