On-demand learning refers to the ability to access educational content and resources at any time, rather than being restricted to a predetermined schedule or location. This type of learning has become increasingly popular in recent years due to the proliferation of online learning platforms and the convenience and flexibility they offer.
One major benefit of on-demand learning is that it lets individuals learn at their own pace instead of being required to keep up with the pace of a traditional classroom setting. This can be particularly useful for those who may be struggling to grasp certain concepts or for those who want to delve deeper into a particular subject. On-demand learning also allows students to customize their learning experience. They can choose the specific topics and resources that best suit their needs and interests.
Additionally, on-demand learning is often a more cost-effective option when compared to traditional education. Many online learning platforms offer free or low-cost access to a wide range of educational materials, and some even offer fully-accredited degree programs at a fraction of the cost of traditional universities. The flexibility of on-demand learning makes it possible for individuals to continue working and earning an income while they pursue their education rather than having to take time off or incurring the additional expenses of relocating to attend a traditional school.
However, this type of learning is not without its challenges. One of the biggest on demand learning disadvantages is the lack of in-person interaction and support, which can make it hard for some individuals to stay motivated and on track. It is also important for individuals to be self-disciplined and proactive in seeking out the resources and support they need in order to succeed in an on-demand learning environment.
Despite its drawbacks, on-demand learning offers a great deal of flexibility and convenience for those seeking to further their education or gain new skills. With the continued growth of online learning platforms, it is likely that on-demand learning will become an increasingly popular option for individuals looking to pursue their education and career goals.
Viewing on-demand learning examples can give you a better understanding of how this learning model works. It can be helpful to see how different businesses in different industries have used it to their advantage. Common examples today include:
- Video lectures
- E-learning modules
- Chat forums
While the “on-demand learning” meaning may vary slightly depending on the context, it typically encompasses all forms of online, asynchronous learning. Whether you’re a college student looking for a more flexible path towards your degree, or a new employee getting ready to undergo onboarding training, you can benefit from this type of learning. It grants you the freedom to learn when and where you want. What’s more, by studying on demand learning advantages and disadvantages, you can prepare yourself to tackle whatever obstacles you may face in your learning journey.
Skytap helps users to offer virtual training and labs that simplify the learning process. Platform benefits include:
- Virtual training delivered how you choose
- The ability to provision classrooms in minutes without IT support
- Reduced training costs with consumption-based pricing
- 24/7 training that can be accessed by anyone anywhere
- Improved training management
By deploying virtual IT labs through Skytap, you can get learners on track to achieving critical learning goals while allowing them the freedom and flexibility to move through course material in a way that’s most convenient for them.
On Demand Learning Platforms
On-demand learning platforms are online platforms that offer a wide range of educational materials, including courses, tutorials, and lectures, to users on a subscription basis or on a pay-per-use model. These platforms allow users to access educational content at their own pace and convenience, and they often offer a range of features that enhance the learning experience, such as:
- Interactive quizzes
- Live Q&A sessions
- Slides and readings
One of the key benefits of on demand virtual labs is their flexibility. Users can choose from a variety of courses and subjects, and they can access the content at any time and from any location, as long as they have an internet connection. This makes it easy for people to fit learning into their busy schedules, and it also enables them to learn at their own pace, whether they prefer to go through the material quickly or take their time to absorb it more thoroughly.
Learning platform materials are usually produced by field experts and are designed to be engaging and informative. Many platforms also offer interactive features, such as quizzes and forums, which allow users to test their knowledge and engage with their peers. This helps to create a sense of community and support among learners, which can be especially helpful for those who are studying independently.
There are many different types of on demand learning platforms, each of which are designed for different types of learners. For example, online learning platforms for business are typically built for employee and customer training and product demos. Online learning platforms for students are designed for college or K-12 students and facilitate remote learning.
Accessing online learning platforms for free can be a great option for those on a budget. While free platforms are often limited in terms of tools and features, they can serve as a good segue into more advanced platforms down the road. It’s important to become familiar with these platforms before jumping in and committing fully to the on-demand learning model.
When deciding between free and paid platforms, then, it’s important to consider your specific needs and budget. How many students or employees are you looking to train? What tools or features are you hoping to offer? How much can you reasonably afford to invest in a learning platform? These questions are critical when it comes to choosing the right platform for your business.
It can also be helpful to take notes from other organizations in your space. See what platforms they are using, and look at the successes—and challenges—they have experienced along the way. Ask a trusted business partner what type of platform or learning model they recommend. They can help point you in the right direction and ensure that you find something that’s right for your learners.
Benefits of On Demand Learning
The benefits of on-demand learning are extensive. They include:
- Flexibility: Users can choose from a wide range of courses and subjects, and they can access the content at any time and from any location.
- Convenience: On-demand learning platforms offer a convenient way to access educational materials. Users can log in from any device with an internet connection and start learning right away. This is particularly useful for those who may not have the time or resources to attend in-person classes or who live in areas without access to quality educational institutions.
- Varied subjects: Any number of subjects can be taught over virtual learning platforms, including technical skills, business management, and creative arts. This allows users to choose the courses that are most relevant to their interests and goals.
- Interactive features: Many on-demand learning platforms offer interactive features, such as quizzes, forums, and live Q&A sessions, which help users to test their knowledge and engage with their peers.
- Cost-effectiveness: There are many different types of on-demand learning platforms that you can choose from. While some are expensive and require advanced expertise to implement and use, others can be accessed for free. Upfront costs are typically offset by the money you will have saved by going virtual rather than old school—for example, you won’t have to pay for building use or maintenance fees, nor the costs of travel in getting to and from a brick and mortar learning site.
- Student-led learning options: Another major benefit of on-demand learning is that it provides the opportunity for students to teach their peers. Those that might otherwise feel uncomfortable making their voices heard in a traditional classroom setting may be more willing to open up on a virtual platform, leading to more robust discussion.
Of course, there are a few downsides to consider as well. As discussed previously, those that choose to learn on demand may feel disconnected from peers and instructors. It can be difficult to maintain an open line of communication with classmates when you are working through course material remotely. The asynchronous learning model can prove especially challenging for learners that require a structured path to course completion.
By weighing the pros and cons of self-paced learning, businesses can determine which model to offer learners. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to education, and so it’s important for all parties involved to consider their unique needs and think carefully about how they’d like to complete course requirements. Not all learners benefit from the same types of learning models, and engaging with the wrong model can actually set their learning back. This is why it’s crucial to consider the various options that are available to you.
Skytap provides a range of virtual learning options, including the ability to offer both instructor-led and self-paced training. Rather than having to switch between multiple platforms for multiple learners, you can meet a variety of needs in a single platform. You can also customize course content, accounting for each person’s unique learning needs and preferences. Skytap makes it possible for organizations to create quality, virtual course materials for complex lab environments. Skytap also provides global availability and scalability, which is ideal for organizations looking for flexible learning options. Learn more about Skytap Virtual IT Labs now.