Why charities use elearning: five surprising benefits


August 31, 2021

Whether you’re making the case to introduce elearning to your organisation, or are looking to further enhance it, here are five benefits that might surprise you, from the Charity Learning Consortium’s CEO, Martin Baker.


1. Elearning is as effective as traditional training, according to decades of research

In terms of a learning experience, elearning stands up very well to scrutiny. Numerous studies into the effectiveness of different learning methods, over several decades, show that in over 90% of cases, there is no significant difference between learning approaches. The research includes a high degree of analysis of elearning.


2. Elearning helps organisations stay agile, quickly upskilling staff

When courses are readily available and easy to access, your staff will be able to find what is relevant to them and quickly fill their knowledge gaps on the go. That means that new knowledge, new ideas and new approaches can be applied and road-tested in the workplace sooner – rather than waiting for a face-to-face training session or travelling off-site. This has been of huge benefit to charitable organisations that have had to quickly re-think training during the Covid pandemic.


3. Elearning is a great investment

Using a mix of off the shelf and bespoke elearning, alongside other online resources, can create a really effective blended learning programme. Off the shelf learning is a good solution for cash-strapped charities. Bespoke elearning can complement this, to meet specific requirements. The relevance of the content and how it is used is really important though. To create an effective blended programme, differentiate between imparting knowledge and enhancing practical skills – and choose the best solution for each. St John Ambulance did this really effectively when training volunteers during the Covid pandemic. You can read more about the charity’s approach here.


4. Elearning is inclusive when done well

There are several ways that elearning can be inclusive. Learning online breaks through the barrier of travelling to training. Paying special attention to specific features – such as audio, colours, fonts and wording – will also help to include a wider audience within your organisation. This can be of huge benefit to people with disabilities and means that organisations also meet their responsibilities under the Equality Act. Read a few of Gill Chester’s tips for inclusive design here or watch her talk here.


5. Elearning encourages self-directed learning

Every learner is unique, with their own preferences and learning goals. Elearning helps cater to individual needs. It puts learners in the driving seat – they can choose their learning path and navigate at their own pace. And when people decide what and when to learn for themselves, they are far more invested.

Some of these benefits of elearning are taken from the Charity Learning Consortium’s whitepaper: 10 reasons why charities use elearning. It’s a great resource if you need to get buy-in from your stakeholders and has lots of tips and tricks for charity sector L&D personnel. Take a look here.


About Martin Baker

Martin has worked in elearning for more than 20 years and has significant experience working with voluntary sector organisations. He started the Charity Learning Consortium in 2001 after recognising the need for affordable elearning and collaboration within the charity sector. Martin keeps his customers up to date with relevant emerging technologies and is never afraid to try new ideas when he thinks they will be useful to clients – enabling his customers to stay ahead of the game. He freely shares his ideas with business partners, in a bid to drive the delivery of new technologies to support L&D development.


Little Man Project partners with the Charity Learning Consortium to offer its members affordable elearning. Find out more about the Charity Learning Consortium and Little Man Project partnership here.

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