This is Your Brain on eLearning/Online Learning

by Debbie Williams

eLearning, also known as online learning, isn’t just good for a company’s bottom line; it is also excellent for the human brain. Researchers are daily discovering more about how online learning affects a person mentally, and the results are amazing. Any theory that learning primarily through a digital mode is unhealthy is being disproved as eLearning experts find that online learning nourishes the mind and results in much greater learning outcomes.

image of human nerves brain online learning

This is Your Brain on eLearning/Online Learning

A brain that regularly participates in online learning is a happy brain. Here’s why:

  • Online learning happens over a period of time. This is good news for a brain because learning delivered over a period of weeks is more likely to be remembered and prevents a person from feeling overwhelmed. In fact, a staff member at The Guardian claimed that spaced repetition, which is precisely what happens in eLearning, is “a hack to make your brain store information.”
  • Online learning heavily utilizes multimedia tools. This is a big deal when you consider that multimedia tools improve the brain’s ability to remember things. eLearning expert Christopher Pappas said, “It's been proven through multiple research studies and surveys that multimedia in eLearning, such as images and video, not only engage the learners but also help them to actually remember what they've learned. According to research, students who used ebooks that contained sound effects, music, audio narration, and images were able to retain and recite more information than those who were simply given traditional textbooks.” The more multimedia is used in corporate learning, the better for the brain.
  • Online learning is often gamified, and games are key to a good educational experience. Why? Because they take us out of the realm of being taught theories and into the realm of experiential learning where we actually do what we are being taught about. PC Magazine stated, “Gamified e-learning solutions hew more towards the experiential learning model in which you learn by doing rather than by being trained in theory. Gamification supports the growth mindset by providing a guided experience or process for achieving goals. (In game-based learning), step by step, people are guided and motivated to reach their goals." Digital games make corporate training fun, which makes employees want to engage in it. Some company leaders are not fans of gaming in corporate learning, but the fact is that it helps people learn and therefore should be utilized.

Easy Ways to Get Started Offering Online Learning to Employees

Would you like to offer online learning options to your employees? Here are some ideas to help you get started:

  • Include video/audio in emails – An easy (and free) way to begin offering online learning to employee learners is by including video and audio in emails. Of course, the content of these videos should be educational and pertinent to the person’s job, and should drive home the point you are trying to make in your email. Attaching YouTube videos of Ted talks to work emails is a good idea. Also, don’t hesitate to let employees hear your voice via recording. Audio recordings humanize an email’s content, appeal to auditory learners, and can be accessed over and over for better knowledge retention. Making a voice recording can be easier than taking the time to type out a lengthy message, so consider attaching audio to more of your work-related emails. Speaking of audio/video, this YouTube video explains exactly how to attach voice messages to Gmail.
  • Leverage social platforms for eLearning – Do you feel like social platforms like Facebook and Instagram are the bane of your existence as a manager? If so, you are not alone. Platforms like these can be distracting to workers because they cause the brain release feel-good chemicals. Employees are going to use these platforms, so why don’t you leverage them to promote online learning? One way to do this is to create a Facebook group for employees, or several groups if you have many employees. This will allow members to upload videos, audio, written communications, and other educational materials. A Facebook group dedicated to employees perfectly facilitates social/informal learning. Since most of what we learn, even in the workplace, is absorbed informally, Facebook may just be the perfect place to begin offering online learning to your employees.
  • Launch an LMS demo – The most efficient way to make online learning the primary mode of training your company offers is to implement a learning management system (LMS). An LMS is a computer software program that has a number of built-in features that promote online learning. These features often include calendaring, online courses, eLearning content libraries, realtime chat, video conferencing, and Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), a tool that seamlessly connects all of a company’s apps and systems. Some LMS providers provide a free demo. Get your employees started with online learning by requesting a free demo of the fully hosted LMS TOPYX. TOPYX is an award-winning, full-featured LMS used by organizations like Rotary International, Honeywell, and 3M. Find out more about TOPYX LMS here.

Online learning is good for the human brain. It helps the mind deeply engage with, comprehend, and retain training. That’s why employees tend to prefer it to classroom-style learning. Are you giving your employees the eLearning experiences they need?

Debbie Williams

Debbie Williams

Director, Marketing