With advancements in technology and a higher demand for accessible education, online courses have become an increasingly popular method for professionals to learn and improve their skillset. In February 2023, we conducted a poll on our company LinkedIn page about the benefits of online learning. The following CPD article will give a brief outline on why online courses are becoming more prevalent and offer a simple analysis of the results.
What is a CPD online course?
CPD stands for Continuing Professional Development and is the term used to describe the learning activities professionals engage in to develop and enhance their abilities. CPD can be undertaken using a variety of different traditional methods, including training courses, workshops, seminars, conferences, and educational events. You can find out more on the CPD Explained page.
As the name implies, an online course is a structured form of learning that is completed virtually as opposed to in-person. Using computer technology as a tool can offer professionals an array of additional benefits that make online courses an effective learning method to suit a wide range of individual requirements.
What are the benefits of taking an online CPD course?
Due to the greater flexibility and affordability associated with online courses, these are fast becoming a common alternative to standard, traditional forms of skill development. There are numerous benefits to participating in an online CPD training course and these can be found listed below:
- Easy access to expert knowledge: Online CPD courses offer the ability to engage with an increased variety of resources within an individuals’ particular field and interests. In general, online courses make accessing course information or materials easier and knowledge can be gained easily in an effective format.
- Learn in a comfortable environment: Online courses allow learners to participate from an environment that they find to be the most appropriate or even at their own home. This can make learning feel more relaxed and, therefore, potentially lead to greater focus and retention of the material that is being taught.
- Collaboration opportunities: Professionals will be able to participate in learning from a range of countries and participants may come from many different regions around the world. This can provide further opportunities to network and collaborate with a diverse group from numerous backgrounds and industries.
- Improve your employability: In an increasingly competitive job market, acquiring additional workplace skills and knowledge through the undertaking of online CPD training courses can help a professional to distinguish themselves from other applicants, improve their overall employability and enhance a CV.
- More affordable learning: Online CPD courses are often cheaper than in-person courses, as they do not require the same level of infrastructure and resources. Also, they do not require the need to travel to locations which can save on travel costs and accommodation, therefore making education more accessible to a wider amount of people.
- Keep abilities up-to-date and meet CPD requirements: CPD helps professionals to stay up-to-date throughout their career and meet any industry requirements. Individuals can participate in a larger amount of CPD learning due to the added convenience and flexibility associated with online courses.
- Alternative to traditional learning methods: Online courses are a useful option to provide a well-rounded learning experience and can incorporate multimedia to improve material engagement. However, it is recommended that an individual should include a mix of different methods and types of CPD for optimal results.
Analysis of our LinkedIn Survey Poll results
The CPD LinkedIn survey poll results indicate the most important benefits associated with online courses.
38% of voters chose greater flexibility as the main reason to participate in an online course over traditional learning. One of the most common benefits of being online is the freedom to learn at the most suitable time and place, and be able to structure a course around existing commitments and responsibilities.
27% of voters chose the option to learn from anywhere as the most valuable benefit. The ability to access a range of learning methods, regardless of geography or location, helps individuals to interact and network with others from around the world. Online courses give participants the freedom to engage with CPD wherever they are. This can allow professionals to dedicate the time needed to fully develop a new skill that suits their learning needs or participate in training that would be difficult to attend in person.
20% of voters decided that the advantages of being self-paced is a key factor of participation in online courses. Online education provides the opportunity for students to work at their own pace to meet specific needs and preferences, allowing them to spend more time on difficult topics or move quickly through material they find easier. Individuals can also revisit areas they struggled with, which can help with information retention and, as a result, give learners more confidence in their ability.
15% of voters chose affordability as their primary reason to complete a course online. Many online courses are completely free of charge, and often course materials such as textbooks and handouts can be made available for cheap access. This makes learning more accessible to people who may not be able to afford in-person training.
It is worth noting, however, that while being more affordable may not be the main factor in participating in an online course for everyone according to this poll, it is still a hugely important benefit as it can help a variety of people engage with a high amount of CPD learning and encourage them to want to continue to develop their skills further.
The CPD Certification Service
We hope this article was informative and helpful. To find out more about the benefits of online CPD for organisations and professionals, you can read the following articles:
- Step by step tips on how to create a successful online training course
- The Key Differences Between Online Learning and Offline Learning
- Do certificates from online courses have value?
- CPD - How to get an online course accredited
Get accreditation for your CPD training courses and events
Established in 1996, The CPD Certification Service is the world’s leading and largest Continuing Professional Development accreditation organisation working across all industry sectors. If you are looking to become a CPD Provider, please contact our team to discuss your requirements in more detail. Alternatively, if you are interested in recording your CPD, please go to the myCPD Portal where you can manage, track and log your learning in one simple place.