This blog speaks about the three benefits of online learning that you need to know. I'm going to speak about flexibility, accessibility and growing your network.
Ten years ago. I took my first online course and, to be honest, I was underwhelmed by it and felt I had learned very little. I concluded that the best learning environment for me was in a classroom with other learners and with direct access to the expert.
Roll on 10 years. About two years ago I wanted to access particular training from an expert who was based in the USA. I couldn't take the time to travel there
and, even if I could have taken the time, the cost of travel and the cost of the face-to-face training made it prohibitive. So I tried e-learning again and I bought this expert’s online course. I can honestly say that it was nothing short of transformational.
E-learning and online courses have come on a lot in the last decade. In the particular context of Tourism & Hospitality, we know the industry is growing at an enormous pace, attitudes and behaviors are changing quickly, and the technology - the pace of technology - means it's hard for us even to keep up. This means that we need to be constantly evolving our knowledge and skills.
I can think of at least 10 great advantages of Online Training, but today I want to dwell on just three that make it particularly attractive for business owners and managers in the tourism and hospitality industry.
Online courses can be taken anytime on any device. Given the 24/7 nature of most tourism and hospitality businesses, learning on-the-go is a new reality. I know from delivering face-to-face training myself that it's sometimes just not possible for you to take a half day or a full day or longer out of your business. People book in and just don't make it on the day. Or they make it on the day and then they have to leave because of something that's happening back at base. E-learning and online courses allow you to balance the needs of your business with your learning needs.
Once you have an internet connection, it doesn't matter where you are in the country, or indeed where you are in the world. Downloadable notes, online videos, online interactions and assessment quizzes allow you to learn faster and better. For me, one of the big advantages of e-learning is that you can access the material again and again so that you can look at a video at the point that you need it when you're back in your business. That's a major advantage over classroom-based learning. The other thing is that you can access experts from around the world – knowledge and expertise that you just might not get at home. The bottom line is : the easier that you can access your learning, the easier it's going to be for you to achieve your goals.
A lot of online training programmes come with a learning community or an online forum of some sort. I find that joining an online learning group gives you access to people in other places who are on exactly the same journey as you are and trying to learn what you're trying to learn. You can exchange ideas, questions and answers. It's a wonderful opportunity. Given that tourism and hospitality truly is a global industry, I expect that this Online Global Networking, where you connect expertise and similar individuals around the world, is going to play a very important role in the future.
The pace of change in our world in our industry is well documented. I don't need to say much more about that, other than the only way to keep up is to be constantly learning.
Your business can only grow if you grow. Your team can only grow if you grow. The one sure path to growth is continuous learning.
E-learning is our friend. It means that we can advance our business
and advance our career without us having to step back into the classroom.