The question of the effectiveness of e-learning comes from different angles. It makes no difference whether you are training professional drivers, food assistants or marketing managers. We also see the HR manager (or Head of Training) responsible for internal training struggling with the above questions.
Yes. The number of articles published in the field of e-learning is large. Very broadly defined, you will find more than 100,000 results with "e-learning" in the title. Various studies have also been carried out into "effectiveness of e-learning", for example, you will find 316 articles in Google Scholar.
The research logically focuses on different areas of interest. A number of examples:
A meta-analysis of nearly 300 studies on the effectiveness of e-learning shows that the results are very similar (Dr. Dankbaar). The over-all conclusion is that e-learning is at least as effective as traditional education. In other words, e-learning is a fully-fledged alternative to contact education. The research focuses in particular on adult education and secondary education. Do you want to achieve even better learning results? Then opt for a "blended trajectory" (e-learning and classroom), which leads to better results than just classroom education or only online education.
Columbia University's large-scale research also shows that both e-learning and blended learning on average produce better learning results than classroom teaching alone. The learning results of a blended learning pathway are a lot better than only classroom education, the difference between only e-learning education or classroom education is smaller.
The literature also concludes that it is more useful to conduct more research into the effective use of e-learning. The research question about the over-all effectiveness of e-learning has already been clearly answered positively in many studies.
The use of e-learning is of added value in almost all training situations. With the use of e-learning at least as good learning results can be achieved as with traditional, classroom education. According to the scientific studies, this conclusion seems to be broadly valid, both for regular training and workplace learning, as well as for the transfer of knowledge, skills and behaviour.
The advantages of e-learning such as cost reduction, learning at one's own pace and opportunity and uniform knowledge transfer can thus be fully exploited.
Various factors can be identified which mean that e-learning has little or no effect on the student's learning outcomes. This is the case if the "hygiene" factors are not in order. Think of technical problems with the e-learning system that do not provide good support, a cluttered navigation of the e-learning system or simply incorrect and inconsistent teaching material.
In order to benefit from the advantages of e-learning, it is therefore in any case necessary to present good teaching material. The degree of interactivity of the course material also plays a role. An interactive video, for example, produces better results than a non-interactive video. An interesting research in this context is, for example, article "Instructional video in e-learning: Assessing the impact of interactive video on learning effectiveness" by Dongsong Zhang, Lina Zhou, Robert O. Briggs, Jay F. Nunamaker.
Last but not least, a clear and stable functioning e-learning software is a must for a pleasant learning experience, fortunately these systems are available. ?
Fortunately there are several studies available that provide an overview of the scientific research results on e-learning. For writing this blog, the studies below have been studied.
"A discussion of two comprehensive meta-analyses, comparing learning effects of e-learning instruction with classroom instruction, concludes that e-learning is a fully-fledged alternative to classroom training. This applies to forms of instruction focused on knowledge, skills or behaviour; for initial training or workplace training; for a broad (not exclusively medical) field. E-learning can be used independently or in addition to contact education.
This research was carried out by Dr. M.E.W. Grateful programme manager e-learning at Erasmus MC and chairman of the e-learning working group of the NVMO. This research is interesting because it both provides an overview of the existing scientific insights regarding e-learning and provides recommendations for the successful implementation of e-learning in medical education.
"This meta-analysis was designed to produce a statistical synthesis of studies contrasting learning outcomes for either fully online or blended learning conditions with those of face-to-face classroom instruction.
This research was published and carried out by Columbia University in 2013. The research is interesting because it compares the results of both e-learning only, blended learning and pure classroom teaching. The results of 45 different studies have been included in this study.