Have you taken an online course? If not, it’s high time to experience e-learning!
During the two years of pandemic lockdowns, it became clear that it was time to rethink the traditional classroom model of learning and look to online opportunities.
Universities had been experimenting with e-learning and blended classes for years, but all of a sudden, it became the necessary mode of delivery for courses in all spheres – and that included professional development for people in all fields, including elearning in healthcare. In fact, according to KPMG research, digital learning is the quickest growing market in the education industry, with a whopping 900 percent growth since 2000.
In the past, professional development courses were often offered in exotic locales as a way of encouraging busy health-care professionals to combine learning with vacation. Pandemic restrictions quickly made that impossible, and e-learning filled the gap so successfully that there may be no going back.
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If you haven’t tried e-learning, it’s worth noting that there are many advantages. But, first, let’s talk about how courses are delivered. They can be synchronous, with a set time for students to tune into a course that is taught in real time by the instructor. There are also a-synchronous (self-paced) courses, lessons taped in advance that the learner can access at any time.
Now that pandemic restrictions have eased, you might also be tempted by a blended course, one that mixes online learning and classroom learning. It combines the convenience of online learning with the social opportunities of an in-person class, often by alternating the two formats.
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As the pandemic proved, it’s always useful to stay current in your understanding of emerging problems. While COVID-19 was at its peak, many physicians and nurses who didn’t specialize in either infectious diseases or emergency medicine were called to assist with rising caseloads. Coursework can aid clinicians in adapting to the needs of the patient population, as well as prepare physicians for a side hustle.
E-learning isn’t limited by geography. As long as you have access to a computer and the internet, you can tune into your lessons from any locale. On vacation? No problem. Relaxing in the shade of your backyard? Pour yourself a cool drink and log in. Taking a lunch break? Find a quiet corner and put on your earphones. This flexibility is very appealing to busy people, and it also makes it accessible to anyone who seeks barrier-free access.
If you find commuting to class or travelling to another locale for professional development an inconvenience, fear not. You can save precious time and hassle by tuning in from home or the workplace. No more commuting time or hours spent on an airplane – you only need to be available for the class itself. This allows you to be more productive, since there’s no time wasted.
E-classes may cost less than in-person courses, because there is no classroom required, so that cost isn’t factored into your tuition.
The best e-learning mixes a variety of elements to keep the students engaged. During one session, you may see a video, hear a lecture, take part in a poll and discuss the material in a breakout session. Your attention won’t waver, because there’s so much variety and there’s something for all learning styles.
Once you take an e-class, even if it is delivered live, it is generally recorded and posted online, so you can return to it time and again to review the material.
Since e-learning isn’t limited by geography, your classmates may hail from a variety of different places. During class discussions or breakout sessions, you’ll be getting to know people from across the country – and, perhaps, from around the world.
For busy health-care professionals who don’t have much time to connect with colleagues, this is an ideal opportunity to enlarge your professional network.