Online writing courses at the Writers College

The shift from print to digital media is affecting the way people learn. In the age of e-Learning, skills can be attained in an environment of your choice, on a smartphone or laptop, on your own, in your own time and for free.


by Wendy Ruiter



e-Learning is interactive


Linda van der Loo (Head Learning and Leadership Standard bank Group, Founding member of the ELearning Institute South Africa) highlights the changes in training from ten or twenty years ago where there was a trainer, a classroom, a printed manual and a set of PowerPoint slides. “Screen dumps of an actual system were used as part of the PowerPoint presentation and this was open to errors, as well as being time-consuming to prepare and to teach.” Training modules of today, allow the user to interact with a simulated system.

“Today’s learners,” explains van der Loo, “require innovation and want to be engaged and stimulated.” She notes that in the future, ELearning will include virtual reality and gamification.


e-Learning is need-based

According to the Five Moments of Need model set forth by Bob Mosher & Conrad Gottfredson (2011), there are different moments within the learning model. These moments include:

  • when a learner requires information to learn a new skill,
  • when information is required to perform tasks more efficiently and effectively,
  • when learners need to expand their knowledge base and skill sets.

e-Learning, with its easy access, is better suited to meet these needs than the traditional learning model that stipulated an exact time and location for learning.


e-Learning is immediate

e-Learning allows for learning what you need to know at the moment you need it, in order to complete a task or do your job,” says van der Loo.

She points out that in the future, training will not be separated from the workplace. “Systems will be set up to learn as you do your job and learners will use their smartphones or have fully digitised training facilities.”


“If information is required by a learner, the expectation is that they will access that information there and then.”


Van der Loo points out that through e-Learning, learners are gathering information that is relevant and real to them at a particular time, discarding what they don’t need to know and quickly moving on. This is referred to as the “forgetting curve”.

“We live at a remarkable moment in history. The next 15 years are going to see more change than the last 50 years have had combined. It’s going to be exciting but only if you’re awake and only if you’re prepared to write a different script,” says TomorrowToday founder, Dr Graeme Codrington.


About the Author

Wendy RuitersWendy Ruiter is a stay-at-home mom, who is never at home. She has visions of saving the world and never backs down from a challenge. When she is not road running or running after her children, she likes to write, cook and crochet. She has many sisters and will one day write a novel exposing the contents of the Sister Chat WhatsApp group.