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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Self-paced learning through on-demand content: What are the benefits?

In a traditional classroom, students follow the pace of the curriculum. The teacher presents a series of lessons and assignments, and it's the responsibility of each individual enrolled in the class to keep up. This time-honored approach to learning may provide structure and motivation for students of all ages, but that doesn't mean it's always the best model for education or training.

Today's technology makes individualized learning more accessible and effective than ever. Busy professionals who are striving to improve their technical or leadership skills can take advantage of remote learning and on-demand content to set the schedule that works best for them. With the flexibility to pace themselves, workers can develop the knowledge and competencies that are most in demand at growing organizations and prepare to advance in their careers.

The convenience of remote courses

"Flexibility is important in a high-speed business environment."

A Gallup study reported that 43 percent of employees worked remotely at least some of the time in 2016, an increase of 4 percent from 2012. With the ready availability of collaboration software and cloud storage, U.S. workplaces are trending toward allowing employees more freedom to complete tasks from their homes or favorite local cafe. Professional education is following suit, making it as convenient as possible for employees to set time aside for completing a training program.

That flexibility is especially important in a high-speed business environment where workers often need to be capable of responding immediately to changing situations. Getting bogged down with a set schedule and location for training can make it difficult to fulfill crucial responsibilities. Workers are less likely to drop out of a program if they know they can consult materials and complete assignments at their own convenience.

Meeting the needs of every student

In live training, instructors must do their best to teach according to the capabilities of the majority of students. That often means that individuals who already have a solid grounding in the material feel that the course is progressing too slowly, while others might be lost and need more time to explore basic concepts. Having access to lessons on demand makes it possible for all students to undergo training at the speed that suits their needs, taking extra time to review as necessary.

Pacing yourself may also mean retaining more of what you learn, as suggested by a study published in the Journal of Memory and Language. This research looked at how successful subjects were at learning a list of words under time constraints as opposed to when they were able to control their own study time. When learners took advantage of additional time to focus in on more difficult items, they performed significantly better than those who had to obey an imposed limit.

Having access to detailed lessons on demand results in more opportunities to explore key concepts before an exam. Afterward, you have the flexibility to discover where you made mistakes before moving on to the next unit. Otherwise, you can press on to the next challenge, avoiding getting bored with a course that's too slow for your level of expertise and losing your motivation.

Man using tablet and laptop to codeThe freedom to pace yourself can make learning more efficient and effective.

A more cost-effective training program

Self-paced content can be an excellent option for making educational initiatives more affordable, whether for individuals or entire teams. The expenses of training in a classroom or through live virtual sessions can mount quickly, especially for businesses that offer courses for numerous employees. Paying for qualified instructors and for the use of space and technology can add up.

On-demand programs are often a more affordable alternative. If a company needs to repeat the same lessons for every group of new hires or several teams across the organization, it can scale up with ease. Each student will have the ability to tailor the experience to his or her requirements and fit lessons into a packed calendar.

New Horizons Computer Learning Centers offers a wide range of online learning options that are all designed to make it as intuitive as possible to build the skills that matter in organizations, from vendor-authorized training in essential database and productivity tools to soft skills in communication. Those who prefer traditional, classroom-based training can choose between attending their courses at locations across the U.S. and around the world. Meanwhile, online live training brings real-time instruction to professionals wherever they are.

Self-paced eLearning maximizes convenience and customization, delivering on-demand content that's updated to meet the demands of professional certifications and offer experience in solving realistic problems. Find out more about what you can gain from courses through New Horizons by attending a free webinar.

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