IS FLEXIBLE LEARNING BENEFICIAL? WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF FLEXIBLE EDUCATION?
Are you thinking about the way to move forward with your organisation and developing to meet your company goals and objectives?
Or are you an individual wishing to progress within your career?
Not only are correct training methods of excellent value to individual learners – the ability to realise relevant workforce development through professional training is also intrinsic to an effective organisation’s survival and growth. One of the key features of today’s modern work practice is the design and implementation of learning and development solutions, whether that is improving a specific skill set, productivity or gearing up for a complex project.
According to an IBM study, 84% of employees at top-performing companies receive all the training necessary in their field, allowing them to perform better at their occupation.
Did you know that all of our diplomas are available to study online? Click here to browse our courses. We offer courses in the health & social care, professional services and education and training sectors. We furthermore offer first aid related training, pre-hospital care courses and a number of short e-learning courses.
In the current highly competitive job market, organisations may want to invest in quality training for their employees, as this statistically brings a great return on investment. Practical training leads to higher productivity and increased employee retention. According to Gallup, companies that invest in employee training gain 21% more profit (also see ”‣ Online Learning” below). A great opportunity to develop organisations’ employees in their field is flexible learning, as it allows for maximum workforce skill development, while not limiting the demands and progress of the company. In this article, we will discuss why flexible education is important and what value it will bring to yourself or your organisation.
Why should you choose flexible learning for your organisation or yourself as an individual?
Flexible education offers employers training which will accommodate the work patterns and demands of their company.
As an organisation, you may be asking ”Why should I invest in flexible learning?” Firstly, flexible courses work around the schedule and the demands of companies, rather than the companies working around the patterns and the demands of the course (see ”‣ Tailor-Made Learning Solutions” below). Online learning takes 40%-60% less employee time than traditional learning in-person classes, according to Growth Engineering. This allows employees to spend considerably more time at work, while learning the same amount as they would have in a typical course, which means their career doesn’t have to be put on hold. This provides a better return on investment for the organisation.
They support the unique needs and learning styles of different learners.
All students are unique individuals, that bring their own needs, set of skills, abilities and level of education, and there are many learning styles which work for different learners. A flexible approach to the learning needs of each student and catering to these needs can make a serious change to their progress and development. There are individuals who prefer to be completely independent while working on their projects and learning, others who like to be involved in teamwork, some need close support from their teachers, while yet others learn best alone with their mind focused on their learning material.
Furthermore, flexible learning gives the opportunity for employers to identify employees within their organisation with good potential, and let them deepen their talent by identifying their skill gaps and working with their training provider to fill those skill gaps (see ”‣ Tailor-made learning solutions” below).
Some learners may also struggle with social, emotional or other barriers and challenges, which need to be accommodate or their learning could become affected. With flexible education, these challenges can be identified and overcome.
As opposed to attending an in-person course, a flexible course can be better tailored to each individual, and therefore suit every individual’s unique needs and abilities, expand their study skills, encourage them and boost their morale, which leads students to engage in deep learning and gaining a better understanding of their learning material.
Learning time and place are at companies’ and learners’ convenience, which empowers companies and students by giving them choices in the pace, place and mode of delivery.
According to data from Growth Engineering, the two most popular reasons for choosing flexible/online learning are that learners are able to learn at their own pace (95%) and organisations and students save time and costs on travelling (84%).
Companies and learners are not limited by disturbances in their schedule and workload, as they are able to choose the time when they commence training, and where they wish to do it, whether it’s in-person, online or a blend.
This ultimately puts control in the hands of the company and/or learner, while the training provider will give them the support and advice they need in the process.
Learners will also benefit by being able to grasp and understand the learning material without feeling pressure to complete tasks at a set time, allowing them to complete their workload at their best ability. This leads to achieving better grades, and getting the most out of the course.
It enables the employees within organisations to gain new knowledge and skills.
As found in a LinkedIn study, 94% of employees stay in a company for longer where there are training opportunities available. If an employee feels supported by their employer, it leads to high motivation and enthusiasm for their job. Job satisfaction leads to lower retention, which is significantly economically viable for the company. There are also intrinsic benefits to developing a skilled workforce, which is best suited to meet the goals and challenges of the organisation they work for. Both companies and employees will therefore benefit from employees’ motivation to succeed in their career.
Online techniques are especially beneficial for developing the knowledge and skills of learners (see ”Online Learning” below), as an IBM study found, employees learn 5x more material through online learning.
It brings out the best potential out of companies’ available staff.
Investing in the development of employees is a key to success for organisations. The most successful companies in the UK in fact have invested the most in training.
86% of employees believe it’s important for employers to provide learning opportunities.
Furthermore, the flexible learning programmes encourage self-discipline, independence and other skills which individuals can implement in their workplace. Using students’ own initiative instead of attending classes is a great contribution to their personal and professional growth.
In the case of online courses, they also allow students to grow a larger social network – see ”‣ Online Learning” below.
At Basegreen Academy, we aim to understand the needs, requirements and challenges of organisations, in order to implement an effective training solution.
This means our learning programmes are tailored to the training needs of the company to fill skill gaps among its employees (see ”‣ Organisational Needs Analysis” below).
How can a course become flexible to our needs?
We have discussed how effective flexible learning is in depth, but what are some of the leading ways to progress in training your workforce in a flexible manner, or pursuing flexible education as an individual?
During the difficult times of the past year, virtual learning has expanded rapidly. However, it’s not only in the past year that organisation have recognised and taken advantage of the benefits of distance education. A study conducted by LinkedIn in 2019 has found that 59% of talent developers invested more in online learning than in classroom-based training, and according to Markinstyle, 72% of organisations have reported that e-learning gave them a significant competitive advantage in 2017. Great benefits have been found in the flexibility of online education, and it is a prime example of how technology has changed and affected education.
What is distance learning and how is it done? In some ways, it’s exactly like attending in-person classes, however it is done virtually through the internet and technology, making technology an important part of modern day education. Typically, online classes are run in a format similar to those in-person, and include virtual discussions, close mentoring, support, and homework. In this day and age, almost any course and qualification can be studied online, even diplomas, apart from those where is is vital that students see or learn the material in-person.
Flexible online learning shows to be beneficial to organisations, and has greatly contributed to their turnover – companies which use technology to provide training (which includes e-learning) have generated higher revenue per employee by as much as 26% (study conducted by The Business Impact of Next-Generation eLearning, 2011).
See also ”‣ It enables the employees within organisations to gain new knowledge and skills” above.
A benefit to online learning is also that they can globally expand students’ social network. Be it nationally or globally, as the learners’ peers could be based anywhere in the world – location plays a very little role in choosing an online course, as opposed to classical education, where learners would meet their peers locally. While the assumption could be made that online learning won’t allow for peers to connect as much as they could in person, there are many ways for online students to connect, network and collaborate, for example via online small group sessions, live discussions, webinars and feedback sessions. Most online courses put in extra effort and care to make their course engaging amongst its learners, and ensure they get sufficient interaction with other students.
Furthermore, distance learning provides flexibility for students, which makes learning times at students’ and companies’ convenience, and offers employers training which will accommodate the work patterns and demands of their company. It allows for a good balance of work and studies, which is neither at the expense of the employee’s workload nor their education.
Basegreen Academy is a distance learning provider – many of our courses available up to level 5 diplomas are offered through TQUK, providing students with the option of distance learning, with support from our dedicated tutors.
Online or remote learning is therefore a great solution to those who wish to need their learning programme tailored to their needs. It can be done from anywhere, at any time, at the organisations’ convenience. It also tends to be less costly than in-person classes – not to mention how much money organisations save on travel, class materials, and their employee time.
There are also many available short online courses that will top up employees’ knowledge and skills across a variety of sectors – see our e-learning courses.
Tailor-Made Learning Solutions
Organisations have various learning and development needs, but they also have varying work patterns, demands, number of employees and level of training these employees are educated up to. Some companies may most benefit from online learning, some a blend, and some have reasons to stick to in-person classes. These organisations will therefore benefit from being in a partnership with a learning provider which will work to accommodate their requirements. Here at Basegreen Academy, we understand that first and foremost we need to listen. We recognise the importance of working in partnership to ensure organisations receive the best training solution, supporting them to develop an effective workforce and a demonstrable return on investment. Only through understanding companies’ unique needs can we implement an effective training solution, tailored to each organisation.
Organisational Needs Analysis: Finding The Perfect Solution for your Organisation
An organisational needs analysis is a complimentary consultation with our business development team, either directly on our website or by contacting us, where we discuss the specific requirements of your organisation, and implement an effective learning solution.
Depending on your preference, this analysis can be a quick solution, but can also go further in-depth at no extra cost, finding the specific skill gaps within your organisation, supporting and helping you in moving forward .
Discussing your training needs in detail will aid in finding the best solution for your organisation as we will work in partnership with you to accommodate your demands and challenges.
Our complimentary Organisational Needs Analysis is available on our website – click here. Alternatively, please contact us directly – we are always happy to help.
We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Tel: 0114 212 5910