benefits of online learning
Bill Gates is an avid fan of online learning, and regularly takes courses from MIT and other unis. Source: Mandel Ngan/AFP

Bill Gates is a massive fan of online learning, and says what he values most about it is the level of personalisation it can offer. Gates regularly views lectures from MIT and other unis. “You can get the best lecture in the world, wherever you are, whenever you want,” he tells journalist Ina Fried in an interview. From certificates to PhDs and MBAs, learning from home has never been more accessible. All over the world, more and more people of all ages have flocked to digital education — and many are happy they chose this over traditional face-to-face learning. Research explains why — below we take a look at the main research that have unearthed the specific benefits of online learning:

Greater value

A 2018 Learning House, Inc. and Aslanian Market Research (2018) survey found that 86% of 1,500 graduate online students surveyed believe that the value they obtained from their online degree was the same or even greater than what they thought they were paying for.

Uninterrupted learning

Learning online requires 40% to 60% less employee time than classroom training, according to a study by Brandon Hall. Why? Because the training can be offered whenever the student requires it and avoids disrupting workflow. In turn, this saves time and improves the quality of learning. 

benefits of online learning

Video learning is becoming increasingly popular — and necessary — way to educate students. Source: Robyn Beck/AFP

Better retention

In a Brandon Hall and Rosenberg report from 2001, courses offered online are shorter by up to 25 to 60% than traditional programmes. Although short, it’s more impactful and the knowledge retention is found to be higher.

More control over learning pace

A review found that out of 83 studies that replaced some type of teaching with videos, 75% of them found that students learned more with a video component added to traditional in-person classes.

Why is this? It gives students control over how fast they learn, mastering content without getting overwhelmed. When students advance at their own pace, it’s been shown to improve learning in higher education — the benefits of online learning are endless.