e-Learning Industry: Advantages and Disadvantages

Guides · 6 min read · Jan 28, 2022
elearning industry

The e-learning industry has been booming recently, and the pandemic situation has done nothing but accelerates the growth of this business.

According to a market report by Global Market Insights, “e-learning market size surpassed USD 250 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to grow at an exponential CAGR of over 21% between 2021 and 2027”.

With COVID-19 restrictions forcing schools and universities to close around the world, e-learning is being adopted as a solution, and corporate sectors are also following the trend and having their employees take online courses as well as virtual training programs as an improvement of the learning experience.

Moreover, technological development in the e-learning industry is also moving quickly, and many expect to see things like Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and cloud-based LMS (Learning Management systems) as the main drivers of e-learning business growth.

All the stats and technologies that could be applied may sound great for e-learning businesses, but what do all these mean for learners. If you want to know, we invite you to keep reading as we tell you everything about it.

A person taking notes for an e-learning course on their laptop.

What is an e-learning business?

To better understand what an e-learning business does, it is important to understand that e-learning refers to education or training provided in a digital way via electronic devices using the Internet, which can be either in the form of a live class or a recorded video together with other digital resources.

E-learning and traditional education

While this description sets them apart from traditional education, the truth is that e-learning courses usually include traditional education features such as:

  • Lectures
  • Reading assignments
  • Projects
  • Participation requirements
  • Quizzes and exams

That said, e-learning businesses are usually two types of organizations. Technologies and providers. Let’s take a look at each of them.

Technologies

An e-learning business falling in the category of technology is the one developing and providing the technologies used for e-learning courses.

Among the most popular technologies found in the industry, we have cloud-based LMS, mobile e-learning, and the so-called MOOC or Massive Open Online Courses.

Providers

A provider is an e-learning business that offers services either to technology users such as hosting or technical support, or directly to learners as content creators and providers of the e-learning courses and training.

A course creator and provider usually rely on instructional designers who are the professionals in charge of creating and optimizing the materials and the learning experience itself.

Now that we have a better idea about what the e-learning industry looks like, let’s go to the details of this type of education from the perspective of the learners.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)

We have to start with this part of the e-learning industry as it is the one with the highest growth in recent years. Let’s first understand what they are by using two of the words in their name, massive and open.

Massive

One of the main features of the education provided through e-learning is that it makes it possible to reach a lot of people. MOOCs allow institutions and course creators to reach a great number of learners from all over the world.

Now, from the perspective of a student, this is an interesting aspect. Thanks to MOOCs, students can interact and do some networking with people they could not reach if they were attending universities or any other form of traditional education.

For most adventurer students, expanding their reach also allows them to find opportunities in foreign organizations and perhaps land a job that will take them to see discover new places.

Open

These e-learning courses are called open because anyone with access to the Internet and the will to learn can register and enroll on the MOOC web.

Moreover, the learning experience is usually free and the business side comes from selling access to some kind of a diploma or certification as well as academic credits towards a higher degree.

Students can take great advantage of this aspect. For example, by enrolling to audit the course students can make sure that it is what they really need without having to pay and only pay if they need the certificate.

In general, MOOCs offer plenty of advantages. Let’s see what are the most common ones.

What are the most common advantages of MOOCs?

While this is not as comprehensive as it could be, we want to give you a good overview of the most common advantages. Here they are:

  • Some content is free.
  • Some courses are created by top professionals from top organizations.
  • The performance of the students can be monitored thanks to data analytics.
  • Both professors and learners get worldwide exposure.
  • They can be used as a tool in a blended learning program, where students can access more information than what is provided in the class.

Now you may be wondering whether there are any disadvantages, right? Let us tell you about it.

Are there any disadvantages for students taking MOOCs?

Of course, there are some drawbacks here. Most of the time, academic institutions use their MOOCs to sell a full education program, or they do not always offer a certificate. Other drawbacks include:

  • Attention to the specific needs of the student or direct interaction with the tutor is not always possible.
  • Students’ assignments and involvement can be lost as it is difficult for teachers to keep track of them.
  • This may not be the best idea for students with disabilities or poor internet connection.
  • Language can be a barrier.

Fortunately, most of the drawbacks in the list above are usually solved when the course provider is capable of using a good Learning Management System (LMS) and perhaps combining pre-recorded sessions with live and real-time interaction via a virtual classroom.

Let’s talk about the LMS and all it has to offer.

A person's, who is participating in a virtual classroom via laptop, table with an empty notebook.

Learning management systems (LMS)

In short, a Learning Management System is a type of software that eases the delivery of online courses via the Internet.

The development of this technology began with the intention of helping major education institutions to create learning materials and resources for their students and provide easy access on their web.

However, most recently, with the evolution of the e-learning industry, LMS developers are focusing their business on providing solutions to companies that want to create their own e-learning platform for their employees.

What can an LMS do?

Now, what an LMS has to offer for students and trainees in an organization is a reliable and user-friendly way to obtain the corresponding knowledge and training. With these systems the company that creates a course or a training program can:

  • Tailor the learning experiences for each learner.
  • Allow teachers and learners to take notes and manage the material to their convenience.
  • Provide both teachers and students with the opportunity to collaborate online.
  • Allow the integration of different tools such as calendars and word processors among others.
  • Create a corporate culture-sensitive, branded presence for students and trainees.
  • Include insights into user progress through built-in analytics.
  • Be able to escalate the system created as the company grows.

And all the above generally result in an optimal learning experience thanks to the technology used.

What are the most common features of these systems?

There will always be differences in the features found in one system or the other. However, to fulfill general requirements, there are common features. Here are some of them:

  • A secure way for all users, administrators, and course creators to log in and complete tasks.
  • A built-in experience API (Tin Can API) compliant content management system for authoring content and adding elements.
  • A training system that includes event management and scheduling capabilities that guide users through their specific learning plans.
  • Certificates, learning badges, and profiles that learners can share to prove their knowledge.
  • Automated test scoring and performance management systems based on user behaviors.
  • Live classroom and webinar environments for remote instructors and students, client presentations, and more.
  • Technical and course development support, including built-in tutorials and lesson plans.

These are only a few of the many features that an LMS can offer. Also, as we have mentioned above, it is likely that artificial intelligence (AI) and other technological developments will become essential features to be integrated into the next generation of LMS.

LMS used at Aeroclass.org

For example, here at Aeroclass, we use our LMS to offer a combination of two types of courses. Pre-recorded (on-demand) video courses and virtual classrooms.

Pre-recorded courses consist of videos with an instructor, animated presentations, and links to the information sources.

On the other hand, during the virtual classroom sessions, students participate in real-time and have direct interactions with the instructor online.

Depending on the course, students can receive individual or group assignments, interact with each other, explore networking opportunities and take part in the final examination. And all these thanks to the technology called Learning Management system or just LMS.

In case you still have doubts take a look at one of the Expert Talks videos to get a better view of our courses.

If you want to see our LMS in action choose one of our courses on the aviation industry and start learning about the air transport business now.

aeroclass courses banner

Final words on the e-learning industry

Our business definitely falls under the e-learning industry, the one with expected growth and abroad market. We are proud to have one of the most comprehensive offers of aviation e-learning courses you can find on the market, as it covers different topic areas such as aviation technology, how to manage an airline or an airport, aviation marketing, and more.

We are always looking to expand our offer by implementing new courses, so if you are serious about having a career in aviation, you cannot go too far from us.

To learn more check this guide on aviation e-learning courses, and the benefits you can get by taking them to see your aviation career take off. And of course, you can contact us in case of any doubts. We’ll be glad to help.

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Carlos Collantes
Carlos Collantes
A mechanical engineer and aviation enthusiast dedicated to share some knowledge by creating top-notch content, especially in engineering and aviation topics.

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