Last updated: 16.11.13

Online learning offers freedom and flexibility

Part-time study is becoming an increasingly attractive option for people who want to learn new skills while they work, with online learning platforms the best way to make this happen.

Someone who has a full-time job and only evenings spare to study, or caring responsibilities that dominate their schedule, can work towards qualifications when they want and from wherever they choose through e-learning.

Technology has advanced in such a way that ordinary barriers to education are being broken down and more people than ever have access to new skills they never thought it possible for them to develop.

According to Kerrie Hallam, a recent graduate of a foundation degree in drug and alcohol counselling, she previously couldn't imagine herself obtaining such a qualification.

She told the Guardian: "I always wanted to, but I thought I wasn't intelligent enough to do so. Graduating with a distinction has been a huge boost for my confidence."

Individuals who have a day job put up with enough pressure without the worry of how they're going to balance their studies around work, but accessing materials via e-learning systems can be done at their own pace, and with minimum hassle.

It is the same with business training - employers often find arranging training sessions with their staff an arduous and stressful process, but by supplying them with online resources, they can cut costs, free up more time in their jam-packed schedule and provide staff with a unique method of absorbing information.

That's not to mention that with online learning comes interactivity, and employees find this far more stimulating than traditional training practices.

Indeed, a recent survey conducted by video specialist simpleshow found that more than half (52 per cent) of HR managers questioned rely on e-learning to deliver company education so that it is understood and retained.

Meanwhile, co-founder of the company Jens Schmelzle revealed cloud-based tools allowing workers to brainstorm ideas with their colleagues via a virtual learning environment are among the best ways of engaging employees.