Learning online may be cheaper – but is it actually cost effective?JoshDecember 15, 20151 viewsStudent Finance0 Comments1 views 0 From exercise apps to online video tutorials from the likes of Lynda, it’s now possible to learn almost anything online. While this is great news for those seeking a more flexible and cheap education option, can the e-learning format provide a learning experience worth the cost? Here are three areas in which we the benefits of e-learning versus real life environment are weighed up. Business Skills From a financial perspective, e-learning can seem like the best option for training employees. However, the advantages of saving money and time with e-learning may not always outweigh the benefits of the classroom equivalent. It has been argued that classroom learning engages participants in a way that online courses never can. Activia Training have noted that a multi-platform experience can be very beneficial through using online tools alongside a traditional classroom environment. Ultimately, the choice of training platform should depend on the skill that is desired. If it’s a quick trick for Google Analytics then a Lynda lesson or Youtube video is the best way. However if it’s a case of teaching someone a new skillset or giving them a complete skill upgrade, classroom learning will be often be the most cost-effective option in the long run. Holistic Healing In recent years, apps for meditation, mindfulness and yoga have taken off dramatically. Even former Def Jam records founder Russell Simmons has his own meditation app. It seems that these apps make for a great starting point for simply incorporating a practice into your daily life. Art Of Meditation offer online courses, and believe these can be a useful tool for exploring meditation, however they also state that these courses and apps are no substitute for a retreat. The same can be said for yoga: online videos can be useful but if you are not attending a class it’s easy to get positions wrong and you could do more harm than good. If you’re interest in the subject at hand is more in-depth it could prove better value to embark on real life course, but if it’s a brief introduction you’re after – stick to the free apps. Language Learning Language learning can boast a range of benefits, from helping business relations or travel to even helping delay Alzheimer’s. The world of free language learning has expanded vastly over the past decade and most people no longer rely on subscriptions to Rosetta Stone. DuoLingo is a great platform to learn basic language skills, but if you’re travelling to Italy, phrases like ‘we are clowns’ or ‘what do you see on the shark?’ may not be useful. Where DuoLingo can lack in providing conversational skills, Coffee Break Italian language podcasts from RadioLingua can prevail. These podcasts teach relevant phrases in 20 minute snippets. But do these experiences compare with a classroom environment? Arguably, yes. The app and web savvy could gain great language benefits for virtually no money at all. Classroom learning for languages can be expensive, however if flexibility and cost are not an issue, a classroom experience may be the quickest way to master a language.